Almost 300 miles separate Mead and Mount Rainier high schools, but the two have strikingly related girls’ basketball teams.
In the case of Mead’s senior post, Mackenzie McPhee, she’s a cousin of Mount Rainier’s super twins, Brittany and Jordan McPhee. And Mead’s Jade Redmon, a News Tribune 2013 All-State guard, played on the same club team as Brittany McPhee in the offseason. So did Mead’s Sue Winger.
Redmon said she believes that will aid the Panthers as the two teams match up in the 4A state semifinal at 9 p.m. today, especially trying to stop Brittany McPhee, the News Tribune All-State Player of the Year.
“We know quite a bit about her,” Redmon said. “We think we are ready for what she’s got.”
But Brittany McPhee knows plenty about Redmon, too.
“She has a great pull-up jumper and plays with a lot of intensity,” Brittany McPhee said. “We will have our hands full.”
The Panthers and Rams have only one loss on their résumés. Mead is ranked No. 1, Mount Rainier No. 2.
But there wasn’t much common ground in the way each team pulled out quarterfinal wins on Thursday.
Mead cruised to a 53-33 victory against Skyline. The Panthers led 22-3 after the first quarter and held the Spartans to just 21 percent shooting.
The Rams eeked past Inglemoor for a 61-56 victory. Brittany McPhee scored 28 points to go with 14 rebounds and rallied the Rams after they trailed through much of the fourth quarter.
The battle of top-ranked teams will be interesting, but the other semifinal could also be dramatic as Wesco-rivals Lake Stevens and Arlington battle.
That is, if the Eagles can slow down Lake Stevens’ Boise State-bound guard Brooke Pahukoa.
Pahukoa exploded for 34 points against Kentwood (22 in the first half) in a 52-36 victory. Since starting the season 6-5, including a 26-point loss against Arlington, Lake Stevens has gone 13-2. The Vikings beat Arlington in the second meeting, 55-41, on Jan. 25.
Arlington survived a potential tying 3-pointer from Gonzaga Prep’s Laura Stockton, daughter of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton, in the first game of the quarterfinals to advance to the semis with a 43-40 victory.
Lindsay Brown, an Idaho-State bound forward, led the Eagles with 13 points. Arlington has won six of its past seven since losing to Lake Stevens a month ago.
They play each other for a third time this season tonight at 7:15.
Kentwood faces Gonzaga Prep in the consolation bracket today at 12:15 p.m., while Skyline faces Inglemoor at 2. preps.thenewstribune.com