MILL CREEK– Kentwood’s Sarah Toeaina said she was shaking when she walked to the free-throw line after just tying No. 3 Lynnwood at 49 in her first attempt with 13.8 seconds left in regulation.
It was that kind of game.
Toeaina didn’t convert the second, leaving it well short, but Lynnwood didn’t convert on the other end – meaning a lot more basketball was left.
Neither team ever led by more than one possession throughout the second half and two overtime periods in a tense thriller, but Kentwood hung on for a 61-60 regional victory to hand the Royals their second loss of the season and first in the past 12 games.
With the Conquerors ahead 59-58 in the second overtime, Lynnwood’s Jordyn Edwards missed and Jenny Johnson grabbed her 19th rebound and took a quick foul.
Johnson hit both free throws to put Kentwood ahead 61-58 with 15.6 seconds left. Johnson then blocked Lynnwood’s Arsenia Ivanov’s 3-point attempt before Mikayla Pivec grabbed the miss and scored. But time ran out as Kentwood held the ball out of bounds and earned a trip to the Tacoma Dome as one of the final eight teams competing in the quarterfinals of the 4A Hardwood Classic.
“We just had to stick together, we had to play as a team,” Toeaina said. “That’s how we pulled it out. Total team effort.”
Kentwood’s past five wins have been decided by only 12 points, including three one-point wins.
“For them to get this point, it just means a lot for me because I know how hard they have worked,” said Kentwood coach Lisa Ashley, as she wiped tears from her eyes. “The girls have worked so extremely hard for this.”
Lynnwood’s Jasmin Edwards led all scorers with 23 points. Johnson had 18 points to go with her 19 rebounds. Toeaina and Kate Kramer each had 13 points.
For Lynnwood (22-2), the loss ends one of the program’s best seasons.
Inglemoor 68, Bellarmine Prep 42: Turnovers plagued the Lions in the first quarter, then continued to do so throughout the game as No. 6 Inglemoor ended their season in the 4A girls’ regionals.
The Vikings (21-2) held the Lions to four third-quarter points and went into the fourth with a 21-point advantage.
Bellarmine committed 19 of its 30 turnovers in the first half.