The Gig Harbor girls basketball team wrapped up the Class 3A South Sound Conference title the same way it’s been playing all season: with stifling defense.
The Tides (14-3, 12-0 SSC 3A) held visiting Timberline (12-6, 9-3) to just 25 points for the game, winning 46-25 and keeping their undefeated league record intact.
“We work on defense every day in practice,” said Gig Harbor senior guard Abby Nordquist, who chipped in eight points. “We really work hard on it.”
Gig Harbor outscored Timberline 14-5 in the third quarter to take a 36-19 lead heading into the final period, essentially sealing the game and the league title in the process.
“The second half, we came out, adjusted,” said Gig Harbor coach Megan Murray. “We stayed in our zone but adjusted how we were rotating to their offense. We got our hands on a lot of passes and got a lot of steals from them trying to get (the ball) inside to their main player.”
Timberline’s 2-2-1, full-court press made scoring difficult for the Tides, but Gig Harbor, paced by sophomore guard Brynna Maxwell’s 17 points, was able to do enough to distance itself from the Blazers.
“It was a little rough going but my teammates starting hitting shots, got some steals and we just went off from there,” Maxwell said. “(The Blazers are) really athletic. When we play them, you have to be really sure of your passes.”
Gig Harbor junior wing Maddie Willett scored nine for Gig Harbor, while sophomore Anna Stewart added four and senior guard Emily Shields scored one.
Timberline was led by sophomore guard Rayanna Dyas, who scored nine. Junior post Keshara Romain scored eight, sophomore Kiara Brooks had seven and junior Andraya Williams had a point.
As for winning the league title, Gig Harbor’s players and coaches checked it off the list of goals, but largely downplayed the feat.
“I didn’t even know we won it,” Nordquist said. “But that’s pretty awesome.”
Murray’s “one game at a time” message seemed to permeate through the locker room.
“It’s awesome,” Murray said. “Just now thinking about, I was telling the girls how proud of them I was but I didn’t mention (winning the league title) at all. We’re just still continuing to take it one game at a time. That’s kind of how I am as a coach.”
As for the postseason, Maxwell was bullish on Gig Harbor’s prospects.
“I’m pretty confident,” she said. “We’ve improved a lot. We kind of know what we’re going to be seeing. I think we have a chance to win districts and go farther than that.”
Timberline: 6 8 5 6—25
Gig Harbor: 11 11 14 10—46
Gig Harbor: Maxwell 17, Willett 9, Norquist 8, Emery 7, Stewart 4, Shields 1.
Timberline: Dyas 9, Romain 8, Brooks 7, Williams 1.