It has been one heck of a week for Jamie Lange.
So strong, so relentless, the Sumner High School senior post scored 36 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Spartans to a 68-61 victory over Lincoln on Wednesday in the 3A West Central bidistrict girls basketball semifinals at Rogers High School.
This after 31 points and 16 rebounds in a district quarterfinal win over Central Kitsap.
“The post can’t get the ball without her guards,” Lange said. “I couldn’t have scored without them.”
Lange, the 3A South Puget Sound Most Valuable Player this year after being named co-MVP of the 2A SPSL last season, had 16 of Sumner’s 18 points in the first quarter and scored 10 (all off free throws) in the fourth.
“Jamie is the real deal,” first-year Sumner coach Jordan Moog said. “She’s a big girl (6-foot), but she’s elusively fast. She doesn’t look fast, but she changes speeds, pump fakes and does a good job of still getting her shot off.”
Sumner (19-4) advances to face No. 7 Wilson in the district championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Puyallup High School.
Lincoln (14-6) plays Prairie at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at Rogers for the third seed.
Lange got the ball in the post early and often in the first quarter. Even if she missed, she bulled her way into position for the offensive rebound. Her first basket came after she missed her first two shots.
Not only did that slow the game, which better suits Sumner’s pace, but her work down low also got Lincoln’s Tamia Braggs, the 3A Narrows League MVP, in early foul trouble. She finished with six points and fouled out with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the game.
“Our coach called it the heavyweight battle,” Lange said. “I thought it was pretty funny. But it’s amazing to go up against such a great player, and I think it makes us both better.”
The Abes appeared to figure her out in the second quarter. They switched to a zone, held Sumner to four points and tied the game at 22-all going into halftime.
But Lange got back to work in the third quarter, even bringing up the ball occasionally against Lincoln’s press. Moog said Lange is the team’s third-best ballhandler.
But it was her work around the basket that Lincoln didn’t have answer for.
“We didn’t play disciplined enough on her,” Lincoln coach Jamila Jones said. “We got her to take some of the shots we wanted, but the side fronts — everything we did in practice — we tried tonight. She’s strong.”
Kiaira Thomas led the Abes with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Lincoln hit just enough deep shots to not let the game get away.
The Abes trailed 47-44 with 23 seconds to play when Aamira Turner missed a 3-pointer at the top of the key. Lange hit a pair of free throws the next possession to seal the win.
“For us, every layup they had to shoot this week was a pump-fake layup,” Moog said. “They couldn’t shoot a regular one or they had to run. And that was our theme tonight. We knew they could jump out of the gym. They are way more athletic than us, that’s the reality. But I think we are a little more disciplined and we showed that tonight.”
What they also showed was that even with a 24-year-old coach, their first year in both a new league and new classification they can play with anybody.
“I think we proved that we are here to win and nothing can stop us,” Lange said. “We’re the underdogs, and we’re ready to take over.”
“This is our district,” she said, smiling after the Rams’ win. “We’re taking it home. We’re going for a state championship, too.”
She scored 18 of her game-high 23 points in the second half as Wilson used a 12-2 run to start the third quarter and held on from there.
“I just had to lead our team. I just had to lead us,” Morrow said. “And I had to pick myself up before I picked up my team.”
The Rams (19-4) forced three turnovers on the first five possessions of the second half to turn a 26-26 tie into a 38-28 lead. Morrow scored nine of Wilson’s first 12 points of the second half.
Josie Matz added 16 points, and Kiki Knox 15 for the Rams. Cherita Daugherty had 17 points for Prairie.