The intensity was there.
Timberline High School competed against fourth-ranked Prairie’s full-court pressure defense and forced a few turnovers itself. Down big at the half, the Blazers came out strong to score the first two baskets of the second half. The bench stayed vocal the entire game.
But Timberline shot 19 percent from the field and suffered through a 12-minute drought without a field goal during the second half, and the Blazers were denied a spot in the girls basketball West Central/Southwest Bi-District 3A semifinals, losing 72-25 on Saturday afternoon at Chick Rockey Gym in Olympia.
“You’re not going to win games shooting like that,” said Blazers coach Tim Borchardt. “We’ve got to forgot about this game and move on.”
Next for the Blazers (15-7) will be a loser-out game at home against a South Sound Conference rival, either Yelm or Shelton, at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Prairie (19-3) advances to play sixth-ranked Lincoln at 6 p.m. Thursday in Olympia.
No Timberline player reached double figures. Cadence Monti led the Blazers with eight points while Keshara Romain added six.
Brooke Walling, the Falcons’ 6-foot-3 sophomore post and leading scorer on the season, exceeded her 13.0 average with a 21-point performance. Senior guard Jozie Tangeman added 17.
Timberline’s difficulty scoring was foreshadowed from the outset. After a pair of baskets by Tangeman gave Prairie a 4-0 lead, it took the Blazers three full minutes to score, when Monti drove the right baseline for a layup.
Down 39-16 at intermission, Timberline came out aggressively to score twice in the first two minutes of the third quarter: once on a jumper by Monti and once on a fastbreak layup by Romain off an assist from Kiara Brooks. Moments later, Romain made one of two free throws.
But the Blazers wouldn’t score again until nine minutes later on another Romain foul shot. It would be three minutes after that before they hit another field goal, a baseline jumper by Taylor Grantham with just under three minutes to play and the game clock running nonstop because of the mercy rule.
“I really appreciated the kids keeping their heads up,” said Borchardt. “They didn’t get down on themselves or on each other. We told them in the locker room now we have to win three games to get to state, but that we can do it.”
Timberline 8 8 5 4 - 25
Prairie 24 15 13 20 - 72
T – Romain 6, Dyas 4, Stark 0, Monti 8, Huynh 0, Borchardt 0, A. Williams 0, Brooks 2, Grantham 2, B. Gardner 0, Harriott 1, Bush 2.
P – Martinez 7, Corral 2, Parks 2, Tangeman 17, M. Williams 3, Prom 8, Weber 0, Quigley 3, Reed 2, C. Gardner 7, Walling 21.