Wilson girls finish 5th with loss to Bellevue

Contributing writerMarch 8, 2014 

Bellevue took advantage of a worn-out Wilson bench and turned a two-point game at the half into a comfortable 70-61 win in the third-place game Saturday afternoon in the Girls Class 3A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

“These girls didn’t have anything more in the tank,” said Wilson coach Michelle Birge, whose team earned the fifth-place trophy. “We’ve known all year that our bench is a little light, and we’re still trying to work on that. The confidence wasn’t there.”

Up 43-36 midway through the third quarter, the Wolverines put together an 11-3 run over the final three minutes, grabbing a 54-39 lead after three.

Sophomore Shelby Cansler scored six of those points on the run, finishing with 24 on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Bellevue (23-7), which shot 50 percent from the field for the game, also got 12 points from Mandy Steward.

Junior Violet Morrow had 21 points and six rebounds for Wilson (20-7), and freshman Josie Matz finished with 14.

Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the Rams, who will return a young core.

“They know we’re going to be back (in the state tournament),” Birge said. “They knew we were going to be here this year. Everyone else didn’t know it, but we knew it. That was the goal from the beginning of the season: to surprise some teams, to work hard, get better and get the experience necessary to compete in the postseason.”

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