Whatever demons were haunting the Glacier Peak girls basketball team at the Tacoma Dome are now exercised.
The Grizzlies won in a close contest against Moses Lake High School 55-51 to set up a date against Kentridge for the 4A state championship.
“It’s fantastic to win. These girls have been waiting a long time for this opportunity,” said coach Brian Hill. “We’ve had bad luck with injuries and for them to battle and put four years into getting to this point, I think is great.”
The Grizzlies’ record at the Tacoma Dome was less than thrilling, going two-and-out both previous times they played in the state tournament.
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But now, that’s changed.
Leading the Grizzlies on the floor and in scoring was senior guard Paisley Johnson. Johnson was vocal on the court, calling out defensive packages as well as plays to run.
“Paisley definitely has a different gear at times, they all do, but I don’t think Paisley’s ever turns off,” Hill said. “She’s got a lot of natural talent. I wish I could take credit for it but it’s all her.”
Johnson would finish with a game high 17 points.
On the other side of the court was Jessica Olson, a senior forward that was an offensive force of her own.
Tucked away in the pockets of the Chiefs’ offense, Olson would get an open look and drain the jumper, keeping her team within striking distance during the first half.
But the Grizzlies turned up the pressure in the second half to only allow Olson to score three of her 13 points.
“We really tried to take them out of it, make them work and earn everything they got,” Hill said. “We slowed them down a little bit. It was a team effort.”
The 4A state championship game will be at 7 p.m., March 4 at the Tacoma Dome.