Puyallup Vikings interior players Addie Picha and Marissa Miller proved to be too much for the South Kitsap Wolves to handle.
Picha scored a team-high 16 points and Miller chipped in 13 points in Puyallup's 60-46 victory over South Kitsap in the first round of the Class 4A West Central District III girls basketball tournament Thursday at Puyallup High School.
South Kitsap, who was paced by Gabrielle Stewart's 16 points, cut Puyallup's lead to 26-25 in the early stages of the third quarter. Puyallup finished with a 34-21 run in the final 13 minutes to put the game away. The Vikings got the ball to Picha and Miller for easy buckets in the low post consistently throughout the game.
"At practice all week we were working on our high-low game and getting each other open on the block," Miller said. "We really need to be a threat on the inside so our guards on the outside could have some open looks at threes (3-pointers.)"
The Vikings fed off the energy of guard Braylie Jeffers. Jeffers was constantly in motion, finishing with 13 points and three steals.
"Braylie plays awesome every night. She gives it 110-percent. We wouldn't be the team we are without her. I'm thankful for her defense," Miller said. "Our team just hustles and gets those loose balls. That helps us run our offense on the other end too."
Puyallup coach Cherokee Ainslie said her team knew how to attack South Kitsap's defense.
"We just came together as a team,” she said. “We wanted it and we worked hard. It started clicking. They were looking for each other and playing selfless basketball. That's what we needed.”