Not much can bring Jamila Jones to tears, but it happened Monday night at the 3A West Central/Southwest girls basketball tournament.
Tears streamed down his face as the Lincoln Abes’ first-year coach spoke following a 53-51 come-from-behind victory over Enumclaw at Clover Park High School.
“They deserve to have some success,” said Jones, a Lincoln High alum and a former Abes assistant boys basketball coach.
Monday night was step one. Step two is Wednesday when Lincoln (17-4) faces 3A South Puget Sound League champion Auburn Mountainview at 7:45 p.m. at Washington High, with a regional berth at stake.
Jones’ heart was racing in the final 12 seconds with Lincoln’s lead at 52-50, and Enumclaw coach Mindi Dribnak calling a timeout for one final play.
Hayley Sonneson’s go-ahead 3-pointer for the Hornets was off the mark, but Kimmy Aubert was fouled on the rebound.
Aubert made one of two free throws, but after Lincoln’s Joy Failauga stepped to the foul line, scoring on her second free throw with 2.5 seconds to go, the Abes sealed the win in a game that saw Lincoln trail by as many as 11 points.
“We earned everything,” Jones said. “When I got the job this summer, I told them the only way we’re going to win the big games is if we’re going to do it together. When we calmed down and got patient, we got what we wanted.”
His Abes were locked in an uphill battle all game, primarily due to sophomore Tamia Braggs, the 3A Narrows MVP, playing only eight minutes because of foul trouble. She fouled out with 3:17 to go after re-entering the game with 3:35 remaining and finished with two points, four blocks and five rebounds.
Lincoln’s relentless defense stepped up a notch the final six minutes of the game to spark the Abes’ comeback.
Lincoln held Enumclaw without a field goal from 58 seconds to go in the third quarter until the 2:37 mark of the fourth when Noelle Putnam, who finished with a team-high 13 points for the Hornets, drained a 3-pointer to cut the Abes’ lead to 50-47.
While Enumclaw struggled on offense, the Abes made their run. Enumclaw’s lead was 44-40 a minute into the fourth before a 10-0 run by Lincoln — with all 10 scored by Kiaira Thomas — gave Lincoln its largest lead at 50-44.
Thomas, whom Jones described as the Abes’ spark, finished with a game-high 27.
Lakes 59, Timberline 55: The Lancers scored 27 of their 59 points from the free-throw line, as Olivia Crawford, Auzhane Johnson and Kaytlan Soriano had 15 points apiece in Lakes’ upset victory over the Blazers, the second-place team from the 3A Narrows League.
While the Blazers finish the season 13-8 overall, Lakes (10-11) advances to play Prairie in the double-elimination portion of the tournament at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Hudson’s Bay High in Vancouver, Wash.
Bonney Lake 53, Kelso 44: The Panthers held off the Hilanders’ fourth-quarter rally to advance to the double-elimination portion of the girls’ basketball district tournament and will face 3A Narrows champion Wilson at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at Clover Park High with a regional berth on the line.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Sumner 72, Lindbergh 50: Riley Bruil sank a pair of 3-pointers 28 seconds apart early in the second quarter to fuel a key run, and the SPSL 2A regular-season champions survived a loser-out game at Foss High School.
Bruil’s second 3-pointer gave the Spartans a 20-8 lead with 5 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the first half. Jace Johnson led Sumner with 19 points.
Clover Park 62, Port Angeles 48: The Warriors (11-11) opened the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run to pull away for a loser-out victory at Foss High School.
Anthony White capped the spurt with a layup off a Phillip Winston pass to give the Warriors a 60-45 lead. Winston led the defending WCD champions with 26 points (10-of-20 shooting), four steals and four assists.
Olympic 54, Steilacoom 42: The Trojans made six 3-pointers in the first 91/2 minutes, and held off the Sentinels in the second half to advance to the WCD quarterfinals.
Olympic (15-6) grabbed a 26-10 lead on T.J. Mosely’s 3-pointer with 6 minutes, 32 seconds remaining in the first half. Steilacoom (13-11), which got 18 points from Glenn Jordan, was eliminated.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Renton 81, Washington 43: The Indians’ fullcourt pressure finally wore the Patriots (6-18) down. Forcing three quick turnovers to start the second half, Renton (16-5) cashed in on a 6-0 run to grab a 44-26 lead en route to a loser-out win at Curtis High School.
Santa Clara signee Taylor Farris had 25 points for the Indians. Alicia Polk scored 20 for the Patriots.
Franklin Pierce 41, Sequim 31: Anna Lennox and Ly Vuthy keyed a 13-6 run in the third quarter on 3-pointers, and the Cardinals (16-8) broke away to eliminate the Wolves (10-11).