Top performer: Josie Matz, Wilson
18 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in a 70-57 win over Timberline
Wilson 70, Timberline 57: In a game that saw the Rams pull away in the third quarter behind sophomore Hope Lalau-Byrd, Wilson beat out the Blazers to secure its place in state.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” said Wilson coach Michelle Birge. “It’s been a long week having to win these loser-out games, and I thought our girls did an amazing job getting over that hurdle.”
With the loss, Timberline’s season came to an end.
“Timberline was an even-matched team with us,” said Birge. “I know it came down to what team had more fuel in the tank and rose to the moment, and not let that moment get the best of us.”
Wilson was up by five points going into the half, and then saw Lalau-Byrd come out in the third ready to score.
“I thought Hope had an amazing game,” said Birge. “Hope went on a scoring tear all by herself in the third that gave us the big-enough lead to make us comfortable.”
Lalau-Byrd scored 12 of her team’s 17 points in that quarter, and she finished with 16 points.
“We just took what they were giving us,” said Birge. “You’ve got some players who did some big things in a big game.”
One of those players was Wilson’s Josie Matz, who ended up with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists.
In the game, Matz set a school record by becoming the first player from a boys or girls Rams team to score 1,625 points as well as get more than 500 assists.
Timberline 55, Spanaway Lake 54: The Blazers secured third place with senior Tariq Romain hitting the clutch free throws.
“Tariq Romain ended up chilling the game with free throws down the stretch to put us up (by) four,” said Timberline coach Allen Thomas. “They ended up making a 3 at the end to make it one.”
Thomas added: “Down the stretch it went back and forth. Both teams had a chance to get reserves in to get some time.”