Coach Jackie Robinson still claims he is the biggest, most commanding 6-foot-4 basketball player his River Ridge High School girls will ever see on any court.
Sammamish High School’s Promise Taylor might be running a close second.
Taylor converted the game-clinching three-point play with 10.5 seconds to go, and the Totems rallied for a 43-39 victory over the Hawks in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A West Central bi-district tournament Friday night at Foss High School.
“(Taylor) is tough,” Robinson said. “She is nice around the paint.”
The Totems clinched a spot in the regional round of the state tournament.
The biggest lead by either team was five points, held by River Ridge late in the first quarter.
The Hawks’ final lead was 36-35 on Savannah McGill’s bucket at the 3:38 mark of the fourth quarter. The senior post player tallied 22 of the team’s 39 points — including all 15 in the first half.
But with McGill and Taylor (15 points) offsetting each other scoring-wise, the difference was the Totems’ ability to sink 3-pointers at crucial times – including Montana Hagstrom’s straightaway shot 21 seconds later that gave Sammamish (11-10) the lead for good.
River Ridge trimmed it to 40-39 on two Peggy Johnston free throws with 1:23 to go — and had a chance to take the lead when Kyla Coleman got a steal on the other end.
With the shot clock running down, McGill made a move to her left and was stripped by Morgan Mincy for a turnover with 34 seconds remaining.
Coleman made a 6-footer in the lane, was fouled and put the Hawks away on Sammamish’s next trip.
River Ridge (13-9), which had won 10 of its past 11 games before Friday, has to win a pair of loser-out games — starting Monday night against Evergreen of Seattle at Wilson High School.
Amanda Lance and Kendall Bird each had 21 points, but equally impressive was White River’s defensive effort on North Kitsap star Rebekah Baugh, who finished with 12 points on 3-of-26 shooting.
“I was pleased with tonight,” White River coach Chris Gibson said. “Defensively, we kept them from scoring. We respected their running game.”
The defending district champion Hornets face Liberty in the district semifinals Wednesday.
Cherelle Demps led Liberty (15-7) with 14 points. Argosino added 11. Fife (15-7) was held to eight points in the first half on 3-of-16 shooting.