If nothing else, the youth of many of the key players for North Thurston and Timberline assures the health of this Lacey-centric girls basketball rivalry for years to come.
It’s a pretty good battle right here, right now.
Wednesday night in the Timberline gym, North Thurston — which starts two freshmen and a sophomore — led after each of the first three quarters. But an experienced hand, senior Sara Bowen, guided a Timberline comeback that began late in the third quarter, and the Blazers pulled away in the fourth for a 55-48 victory.
Bowen, who finished with 16 points, hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Blazers trimmed a nine-point deficit to four. Then in the fourth, after frosh teammate Mia Harriott scored down low, Bowen swished another triple to give the Blazers their first outright lead of the game at 45-44.
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“My dad always tells me, ‘Keep shooting,’ ” said Bowen, who had five first-half points but no 3-pointers. “That’s what I did.”
Earlier, North Thurston freshman Brooklyn Harn, who led all scorers with 20 points, completed a four-point play with the first of three straight three-pointers to open the third quarter.
Sophomore Keshara Romain had two key offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter to keep Timberline possessions alive, and scored four points in a 6-0 Blazers run to close the game.
“Keshara came in clutch,” Bowen said of Romain, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. “We can’t win a basketball game if we don’t rebound.”
North Thurston coach Mike Harn, for whom eight of his top 10 players are freshmen or sophomores, knows he’s got talent on the roster. It’s just still blossoming.
“You miss that experience,” he said. “They’re coming along. When they click, when they get it, they’re going to be deadly.”
Junior Natalie Stark was a steadying influence for Timberline and finished with 10 points. A freshmen trio of Kiara Brooks (six points), Jaysa Brandis (five) and Harriott (four) played important minutes for the Blazers.
Anna Hartley, a 5-foot-3 freshman, contributed a solid eight points for North Thurston. Sophomore Quinlan Christian, who scored the first five points of the second quarter, also scored eight.