The Wilson High School girls basketball team was without its point guard and leading scorer.
But even so, Lincoln coach Jamila Jones knew his team was going to have to take this game.
Wilson took it to overtime when Kiki Knox connected on a layup with 4.3 seconds remaining, but Lincoln’s Morticia McCall scored eight points in overtime to lift the Abes to a 63-59 victory Tuesday to clinch the Class 3A Narrows League title — the first time in four years that distinction hasn’t gone to the Rams.
“Man, this is a big deal. Our seniors deserved it,” Jones said. “They’ve spent really three and a half years being kind of the stepchild to Wilson, so to speak. Really this whole league has.”
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Tamia Braggs led Lincoln with 23 points and seven rebounds (five offensive) for Lincoln (18-1, 13-0 3A Narrows). McCall added 21 points and took over in overtime when Braggs fouled out.
Wilson (15-4, 11-2) junior Josie Matz spent this game on the bench. She was averaging 20.4 points per game before tearing her ACL in the third quarter against Central Kitsap last week. She said she will see a doctor Monday to confirm the extent of the injury.
But for now the team is moving forward as if she’ll miss the remainder of the season.
Knox stepped up, scoring 29 points. Erica Hamlin added 19, and Kiara McMillan scored eight starting at point guard in Matz’s place.
“We had key players who had to step up and play bigger minutes, and I’m proud of them,” Wilson coach Michelle Birge said. “I know what the storyline was prior to this game — everyone thought we were going to get beat because we didn’t have Josie Matz. And don’t get me wrong — Josie Matz is an incredible player who I love wholeheartedly. But this team exists beyond Josie Matz.
“I hate the fact that they didn’t win this game, because they deserved it.”
Knox tied the game at 53-all with 4.3 seconds left when Braggs missed a free throw and Knox took it coast-to-coast for the bucket and a chance at the three-point play. But she missed the ensuing free throw and the game went to OT.
McCall, who goes by “Money,” put it away when she made the second of two free throws with 11.2 seconds remaining in overtime to put Lincoln up 63-59.
“She’s so hard to match up with,” Jones said. “There’s not many people who can play inside and out and handle it like she can.
“We had a kid on the boys side, Tre Fletcher (now at the University of Colorado). They got to a point in the season where we said ‘Tre, nobody can stay in front of you.’ And that’s Money right now.”
Wilson locked up the league’s No. 2 seed even though it plays Mt. Tahoma on Thursday.
“This doesn’t take away from what Wilson has been,” Birge said. “Every so often, the giant gets knocked down in order to climb back on top. So we’ll start climbing.”