With just over a minute left and their lead only four points, Kailee Yan of the Mercer Island girls basketball team drew the foul.
Then another. Then another.
Yan was fouled three straight times, and she made all six shots to all but seal the game for the Islanders.
And after giving up an obligatory three point shot to Snohomish, the Islanders watched the clock wind down to a 60-51 final on Friday and a shot to take on Bishop Blanchet in the 3A state championship.
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“She was huge. A senior captain stepping up right there,” said Islanders coach Gillian d’Hondt. “She got a huge defensive rebound, she got a steal; she stepped up last game in the fourth quarter and did the same thing solidifying it.”
Yan would finish the night with 18 points on the night. But perhaps the biggest two points of the night belong to Josie Blakeslee.
With four minutes to go in a tie ball game, Blakeslee threw up her shot and it was sailing past the hoop. Instead of letting it go, Blakeslee charged the board and put the ball backup for the layup.
“That’s Josie giving everything she’s got, just like she does every game,” d’Hondt said. “On both ends of the floor, she takes care of it. She knows what it takes for us to win.”
Blakeslee wound up scoring eight total points, but it was those two that set their run in motion.
The Islanders also worked hard to shut down Snohomish’s best two offensive weapons in Maya Duchesne and Kyra Beckman.
“We had to pressure and take them away,” d’Hondt said. “We held them to a combined five points in the first half. The second half, Beckman got a few put backs. It was a tough matchup.”
The Islanders will play Bishop Blanchet at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 at the Tacoma Dome.