Timberline High School girls basketball fans got a pleasant look at the future Wednesday night: Two sophomores led the scoring as the Blazers pulled away from visiting North Thurston, 58-35.
With senior point guard Natalie Stark playing only a few minutes because of illness and junior post Keshara Romain back from a two-game absence, Kiki Brooks led Timberline with 18 points while Rayanna Dyas scored 13.
“Kiki and Rayanna were a lot more patient tonight,” said Blazers coach Tim Borchardt. “They’re becoming more sound basketball players. I’ve had to remind myself they’re just sophomores.”
Brooks and Dyas put pressure on the Rams defense with drives into the lane. Brooks, who took on more of a point guard’s role, also nailed a pair of 3-pointers.
Romain came off the bench to give the Blazers (12-5, 9-2 3A South Sound Conference) a third double-figure scorer with 11 points, and she grabbed nine rebounds. Cadence Monti added nine points and Briyanna Gardner corralled eight rebounds.
“The last couple of games, our team has learned to play together more,” Borchardt said. “Everybody knows when you get to the playoffs, you need to have strong chemistry. We didn’t have that in the postseason last year. We want to make sure we develop it this year.”
The Blazers shot 23 percent in the first half. Both teams had trouble finding the basket in an opening quarter that ended 9-4 in Timberline’s favor.
North Thurston (4-13, 2-9) was held scoreless for the better part of the first seven minutes, until a 3-pointer by Anna Hartley got the Rams on the board.
Seven consecutive points early in the second period capped a 14-3 run, giving the Blazers a double-digit lead for good.
“The great thing is we played really good defense early, so we didn’t dig ourselves the type of hole you can when you’re not scoring,” said Borchardt.
With a big third-quarter lead, Timberline got another welcome look at its future when freshman Ari Bush — called up from junior varsity three weeks ago — scored two baskets in a row on drives to the hoop.
“She’s still very raw, but those were two strong moves,” said Borchardt. “We took her up to play Lake Stevens because JV didn’t have a game that day. When I put her in just to see if she could give us a spark, I knew she was ready to move up.”
Junior post Lauren Bailey led the Rams with 12 points.
Timberline travels to league-leading Gig Harbor on Friday while North Thurston will be home to face Yelm.
North Thurston 4 10 6 15 - 35
Timberline 9 16 17 16 - 58
N – Harn 5, Brown 5, Hartley 3, Arnold-McClanahan 7, Christian 3, Freese 0, Kalama 0, Goodwin 0, Bailey12.
T – Romain 11, Dyas 13, Stark 0, Monti 9, Huynh 0, Williams 0, Brooks 18, Gardner 0, Harriott 3.