Gateway: Sports

Gig Harbor girls basketball wins district title over Prairie, 44-26

The Gig Harbor girls basketball team won the 2017 West Central III/Southwest bi-district title over the weekend with a win over Prairie in the title game.
The Gig Harbor girls basketball team won the 2017 West Central III/Southwest bi-district title over the weekend with a win over Prairie in the title game. Courtesy

The Gig Harbor High School girls basketball team won the Class 3A West Central III/Southwest bi-district title over the weekend with a 44-26 win over Prairie High School.

The Tides won all four games in the tournament, holding opponents to an average of just 35 points per game.

It was the same story against Prairie: Good offense and stifling defense.

“It was close in the first half,” said Gig Harbor coach Megan Murray, who has now delivered the school’s first-ever district title on the girls side. “We just kept fighting away, getting some good defensive stops, knocking down shots. We just came away with it.”

Gig Harbor had already secured a spot in the Class 4A state tournament after the second game of the bi-district tournament, after beating Wilson, 66-38. So watching the girls stay focused throughout the next two games was a treat for Murray.

“You never know what a guaranteed spot in state will do to the team the next couple of games,” Murray said. “They’re so focused, ready to play and dialed in. You can tell. They just don’t take any possessions off.”

Brynna Maxwell led Gig Harbor (20-3) over Prairie (20-4) with 18 points and 11 steals. Murray said the entire team was crucial in the title effort. Junior Maddie Willett added 14, while senior guard Emily Shields chipped in 13.

“They all contributed,” Murray said. “They stepped up. Just defensively, all of them just helped so well on our defensive rotation. All of them talking, it just led to some transition buckets and some great offense.”

Murray downplayed the accomplishment of winning the title, from a coaching perspective, but said she’s proud of it nonetheless.

“All the work that we’ve put in, it’s just paid off,” Murray said. “It’s a passion of mine, getting the girls to buy in, and this is just a reflection of that.”

Gig Harbor will play in a state regional game at Puyallup High School at 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 25) against either Mercer Island (21-5) or Kamiakin (21-1). Regardless of the outcome, Gig Harbor will play in the Tacoma Dome this season following the regional game.

TIMBERLINE GIRLS 49, PENINSULA 38

Peninsula’s season came to an end with a loss to the Blazers in the Class 3A West Central III/Southwest bi-district tournament last Thursday. Peninsula finished with a 16-8 record and was vastly improved from the previous season.

Peninsula coach Shane Patrick tweeted after the game, “Very proud of this basketball team. Exceeded expectations and won the hearts of many. ... #seahawk pride.”

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