Their coach figured the Timberline Blazers executed half their game plan.
The half of the plan that didn’t work ended up hurting the most.
Gig Harbor sophomore Brynna Maxwell — one of two players, including senior Emily Shields, that coach Tim Borchardt wanted to control — scored a ball-
hawking 26 points as the Tides broke loose for a 62-46 girls basketball victory in a game between two early South Sound Conference 3A leaders.
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Shields never gained much traction, finishing with two points, but Maxwell, a point guard, filled passing lanes and worked the boards in a demonstration of versatility Timberline didn’t match.
“She’s 5-(foot)-11 with long arms,” Borchardt said. “She disrupts some things.”
Borchardt’s game plan didn’t much include stopping Maddie Willett — he expected the Tides’ smooth junior scorer would get her points. She did, scoring in the lane and the corner and beyond the arc (two 3-pointers) to finish with a game-high 28.
Gig Harbor coach Megan Murray, whose team improved to 5-0 in the SSC and 7-3 overall, sets a high bar for Willett.
“We expect her to be able to do that night in and night out,” Murray said.
The visiting Tides were far the more assertive team in the first quarter, working the offensive boards to earn second and third shots on the way to a 14-5 lead at period’s end.
“We knew they were quick and athletic,” Murray said of the Blazers. “We had to keep bodies on them — that was a key fundamental for us.”
After a Maxwell 3-pointer bumped the Tides’ margin to 22-11 early in the second quarter, Blazer senior Cadence Monti’s triple ignited a 12-1 surge that pulled the Blazers into a 23-23 tie with 2:50 to go in the half.
Steals by Maxwell and senior Katie Emery led to Tides baskets, and Maxwell went hard to the basket for a lefty layup and foul shot as Gig Harbor gained a 32-25 lead at halftime.
Willett scored 12 of her team’s 17 points in the third quarter as the Tides went up 49-39.
The Blazers proved hard to shake, getting a trey from Rayanna Dyas and consecutive buckets down low from Keshara Romain early in the fourth. But Maxwell applied the dagger, scoring nine fourth-quarter points, including a steal and breakaway and a three-pointer that accounted for the final score.
The feisty 5-6 Monti led Timberline with 18 points; her two third-quarter 3-pointers helped the Blazers hang around. Romain contributed 15 points and an active presence in the post for the Blazers, now 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the SSC.
The home loss to a team he expects to battle for the conference title doesn’t make things easier for his team, Borchardt said.
“Now we’ve got to go to their place and beat ’em,” he said.
Gig Harbor 62, Timberline 46
Gig Harbor14181713 -- 62
Timberline520147 -- 46
GH: Liberty, Stewart 2, Maxwell 26, Emery 2, Shields 2, Willett 28, Langworthy 2.
T: Romain 15, Dyas 3, Monti 18, Brooks 6, Gardner 2, Harriott 2.