No. 1 Cleveland girls happy with 'ugly' win, trip to state title

Staff writerMarch 7, 2014 

In the Tacoma Dome, a team needs to create its opportunities in order to be crowned the champion.

That’s just what the Class 3A No. 1-ranked Cleveland girls did in their 53-43 “ugly” win over Bellevue in the state semifinals.

“I would rather win ugly any day than have a beautiful loss,” Cleveland forward Joyce Harrell said.

All season long the Eagles (23-2) have been able to win ugly with their forward Alexia Mefi cleaning up down low. Coming in to their semifinals matchup with Bellevue, the Eagles thought they needed Mefi to handle the Wolverines’ star player Shelby Cansler.

The rotation of Harrell and Asiyah Davis (seven points, six rebounds) proved enough to slow down Cansler.

“It’s always great to play against (Cansler)…she’s a dear friend of mine,” Harrell said. “She’s gotten better and better every year. She always brings her ‘A’ game. You never know her age when she plays.”

Cansler, a sophomore, finished with game highs in points (28) and rebounds (18) and was the sole reason the Wolverines stuck with Cleveland late.

Harrell finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, both team highs.

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