The Lincoln High School girls basketball team just battled through four games in four days to do what no Abes team has done since 1980.
And they were tired.
“I’m really drained,” Lincoln’s Kondalia Montgomery said. “We played as a team but it wasn’t with enough energy today.
“All of these back-to-back games – we couldn’t pull through.
And that led to an offensive struggle against Snohomish in a 46-37 loss in the Tacoma Dome with the Panthers earning the 3A state third-place trophy and Lincoln taking fifth place.
Despite the loss to Snohomish, and to Bishop Blanchet in Friday’s state semifinals, this is still the highest finish for Lincoln (21-8) since 1980 — when it lost to Garfield in the state title game.
“The first speech we gave them this year is that excuses will always be there, but opportunities won’t,” Lincoln coach Jamila Jones said. “This was an opportunity to do something for our school and our community. There are some really good Lincoln teams that can’t say that.
“I’m super proud of them at the end of the day — but the bar is set now.”
That regional round loss to Snohomish came back to hurt Lincoln on Saturday.
It meant the Abes had to survive a first-round, loser-out game instead of earning a bye to the quarterfinals. After an emotional battle against top-ranked Blanchet in the semifinals Friday, Lincoln made just 3 of 22 shots in the first half Saturday, trailing 16-9 at halftime.
Lincoln finished 14 of 49 (28.6 percent), with A’shia Donahue scoring a team-high eight points. Faith Brantley had seven points and eight rebounds and Montgomery — the younger sister of Lincoln grad and San Antonio Stars guard Alex Montgomery — had four points and eight rebounds.
“We wanted it bad, we just didn’t have the energy,” Montgomery said. “We didn’t set the tone like we should have. We should have come out like we played in our first two games here.”
Katie Brandvold scored 23 points for Snohomish, making 5 of 8 3-pointers.
The Panthers took a 40-30 lead with four minutes to play, but Lincoln rallied. Montgomery scored, Lisi Brooks — a JV call-up — hit her second 3-pointer and Azallee Johnson added a bucket to cut Snohomish’s lead to 41-37 with 1:14 to play.
Brandvold answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to seal it.
Lincoln will be back, Montgomery said. She and A’shia Donahue are juniors, Brantley is a sophomore and Jones said he’s looking forward to an influx of talent coming in next year from Tacoma’s East Side.
The Abes will have to replace Morticia McCall, who entered averaging the second-most points in the 3A girls tournament at 21 per game and the second most rebounds at 10.3 per game. Lincoln’s other seniors are Shawndriea Brown, Tida Salevao, Dashawnae Archibald and Jessica Salavao.
“I thought the seniors led us right,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, I’m not sad. I’m ready to go. I’ll take the rest of today off and tomorrow off and then it’s no days off. I got better things planned for our young ladies.
“Most of these girl have been playing since November. We took a team of kids who play really from November to March to Day Four of the Tacoma Dome. The process is in place.”
NO. 7 LINCOLN; 3; 6; 15; 13; --; 37
SNOHOMISH; 9; 7; 13; 17; --; 46
L: Brantley 7, Johnson 4, Donahue 8, Montgomery 4, McCall 3, Brooks 6, Brown 5.
S: Brandvold 23, Gallatin 2, Marshall 2, Otteson 3, Beckman 10, Perry 6