For every run Timberline High School made Friday night in Lacey, Brynna Maxwell and Gig Harbor had a convincing answer.
Aided by nine 3-pointers the ninth-ranked Tides all but locked up the 3A South Sound Conference title, riding a hot shooting night to top Timberline, 62-46, on the road.
Maxwell led the way with a game-high 23 points — including four 3-pointers — and scored Gig Harbor’s first four baskets to give the Tides a lead they never lost.
“We used the same game plan we did last time when we were successful against Gig Harbor,” Timberline coach Tim Borchardt said, noting Timberline’s 43-40 upset win over the Tides earlier this season in Gig Harbor.
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“Brynna came out on fire. She’s a great player. You have to be able to contain her. Not necessarily stop her, but contain her.”
But the Blazers (12-6, 9-3 3A SSC) never quite caught up with the crafty 5-foot-11 guard, or the rest of the Tides offense.
Maddie Willett added 17 points for Gig Harbor, Sydney Langworthy had 16, and the Tides (14-4, 11-1) scored early and often to keep Timberline out of reach.
The Blazers made a handful of runs throughout the contest to get within striking distance, but the Tides consistently answered.
After trailing by nine points at halftime, the Blazers clawed back to cut Gig Harbor’s lead to one possession. Rayanna Dyas hit a 3-pointer with four minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 34-33.
“We came out down by nine and really flipped it on them,” Borchardt said.
But Gig Harbor slipped away after that, finishing the quarter on a 9-1 run, and adding another 19 points in the final period.
“They always had some sort of dagger or something to answer any kind of rhythm we tried to get,” Borchardt said.
Kiara Brooks led Timberline with 14 points, while Mia Harriott added 10. Keshara Romain, who averages a double-double for the Blazers, and held Maxwell to seven points during the first meeting earlier this month, played limited time after battling the flu all week.
Romain still finished with 11 points and eight boards for Timberline.
“As soon as you start exerting that higher level of energy, you just tap out quick, and that hurt us,” Borchardt said.
Timberline is now in a three-way tie for second place in the league — with Peninsula and Shelton — with two games left to play next week.
“We didn’t get the win we wanted to, and we have to move on,” Borchardt said. “We’re still going for that No. 2 seed.”
NO. 9 GIG HARBOR
GH – Liberty 2, Stewart 1, Maxwell 23, Edwards 3, Langworthy 16, Willett 17
T – Romain 11, Dyas 5, Williams 1, Huynh 4, Borchardt 1, Brooks 14, Harriott 10