Top Performer: Belle Frazier, Peninsula
Scored 28 points in 66-64 win over Timberline
Bethel 69, Wilson 39: You can bet Wilson coach Michelle Birge would have a plan for slowing Bethel’s standout Brown sisters, Tianna and Tiarra Brown.
So the Braves turned to Option 3: 5-foot-4 freshman guard Esmeralda Morales.
She scored a game-high 23 points as the Braves jumped out to a 20-5 first quarter lead and never looked back to improve to 3-0, while handing the Rams their first loss.
“We had a lot of steals,” Bethel coach John Ainslie said “Esmeralda Morales plays the front on the press so when we steal she’s always up there.”
It was all about keeping the pressure on for the Braves.
“Pressure is part of our main thing,” Ainslie said. “The second quarter, we pulled off the pressure and they got really hot. The beginning of the fourth, we put our pressure back on and got up by almost 25.”
Tiarra Brown scored 15 points and Tianna Brown added 13.
Hope Lalau led Wilson with 14 points.
Peninsula 66, Timberline 64: It took some adjusting but the Seahawks were able to get the narrow win over the Blazers.
They outscored Timberline 22-9 in the third quarter to storm back into the game after trailing 42-29 at halftime.
“We switched from a zone to man defense full court which gave us a lot of turnovers,” first-year Peninsula coach Michael Schick said. “That switch was a turning point.”
Belle Frazier led the way for the Seahawks, getting 28 points as she battled against Timberline’s Kiara Brooks who got 27 points.
Yelm 82, Central Kitsap 61: Kaitlin Jewell and Maddie Plevyak each scored 23 points to lead the Tornados past the Cougars.
“We started off in a full court press and they were beating us on the backside of it early,” Yelm coach Russ Riches said. “So we got out of it and just started playing really good man defense in the half court. We were able to shut down what they were doing.”
Yelm kept a double-digit lead throughout. Central Kitsap pulled to within 10 early in the fourth quarter.
“But then we started attacking their defense,” Riches said. “It was a hard-fought game. I was just happy with the way our kids buckled down and took care of business.”
Gig Harbor 53, North Thurston 44: It was a tough battle between the Rams and the Tides that saw Gig Harbor be near perfect shooting which gave them the edge.
Brynna Maxwell led Gig Harbor with 22 points and Maddie Willett added 18 points and helped the Tides pull away in the fourth quarter.
“Their shots were just falling in the hoop, and ours were not,” North Thurston coach Jackie Meyer said. “That’s the difference, they were lights out and didn’t miss. Our girls pressured and everything, it’s just our shots didn’t fall.”
Quinland Christian led North Thurston with 18 points and Brooklyn Hard added 16.
Lakes 61, Spanaway Lake 26: Jayauna Keister scored 21 points, Tonisha Flowers had 15 and Amber Nealy added 12 as the Lancers cruised past the Sentinels for the 3A Pierce County League win.
Bonney Lake 69, Stadium 42: Maisyn Jensen scored 21 points to lead the Panthers rode a big second half past the Tigers in 3A PCL play.
Kristol Ayson led Stadium with 13 points.
Life Christian 54, Raymond 24: Mark Lovelady officially has a better career win percentage coaching girls basketball than he does as a boys basketball coach.
He’s still the Eagles’ boys coach, entering his 25th season with a a 363-214 record. But he thought he’d make his winter a lot more hectic and also take on the open position as the girls coach, too.
And he opened the 2017-18 season with Life Christian’s win over Raymond, getting 20 points and 17 rebounds from Alea Yun, who was coming off a big season as a leader on Life Christian’s 2B/1B state champion girls soccer team.
“I just took over as head coach about 10 days ago,” Life Christian coach Mark Lovelady said. “So there has been a bit of learning curve.”
The Eagles outscored Raymond 31-5 in the second half to pull away. Lovelady’s daughter, Landyn Lovelady, scored 15 points.
“We got a few more girls that are coming out now that weren’t going to earlier,” Lovelady said. “It was nice to have a few additions joining us this week.”
Kentridge 61, Tahoma 31: The defending 4A state champions really wanted to remove the stench from their season-opening loss to Bellarmine Prep.
So they came alive rights out of the gates in a big first win of the season over the Bears, getting a game-high 23 points from sophomore Jordyn Jenkins and 15 points from senior Morgan Gary.
Kentridge built a 17-2 lead heading into the second quarter.
“We are looking to be a bit better with our half-court execution for our offense,” Kentridge coach Bob Sandall said. “We scored most of our points in transition but I think the growth for us needs to come in executing the half court when teams slow down. Tahoma went to a zone defense and they made us work a lot hard to get open shots.”
Audrey Tommervik led Tahoma with seven points.
Todd Beamer 37, Enumclaw 22: The Titans put the clamps on defensively in their win.
Enumclaw was held to nine points in the first half (thought Beamer only had 12) but the Titans pulled away in the third quarter to open with their second consecutive win after beating Rogers in a nonleague game on Tuesday.
Chasity Spady and Halo Parks each had 10 points for Beamer.
Auburn Mountainview 43, Jefferson 39: The Lions rallied in the fourth quarter for the win, getting 11 points each from Taylor Flores and Jenna Lacey.
AMV trailed 30-28 entering the final quarter before pulling away. Hailey Still led the Raiders with 19 points.
Annie Wright 60, Forest Ridge/Sacred Heart 15: Another day, another big night from the Gators’ freshman.
Julianna Walker scored 36 points as Annie Wright built a 30-4 lead by halftime. It comes a night after she dropped 43 points in a 61-54 win over Overlake.
Top Performer: Grant Erickson, Capital
Scored 15 points and had 20 rebounds in 75-50 win over Shelton
Capital 75, Shelton 50: Grant Erickson just made a name for himself.
The junior led the Cougars in their win over the Highclimbers with 15 points and 20 rebounds.
“It was really nice to see a great kid like Grant Erickson have such a great night,” Capital coach Brian Vandiver said. “He was just in the zone both on offense and defense.”
Despite a rough start to the game and a tough first half, Vandiver said he was pleased with how the Cougars responded in the second half.
They were led by senior guard Brett Stock. Stock netted 10 of his 16 points in the second half, and led the Cougars on a 23-11 run after halftime. Chris Penner added 12 points.
“We played really well,” Vandiver said. “Especially coming out in the second half. We really picked it up on the defensive end. We were able to get in a rhythm and move the ball really well.
Malik Freeman scored 12 points for Shelton and Ty Thompson added 11 points.
Timberline 76, Peninisula 71: Eli Morton and Erik Stevenson just didn’t play fair.
The two seniors combined for 47 points, with Morton scoring a game-high 25 points and Stevenson, a Wichita State signee, adding 22 as the Blazers held off the Seahawks.
Peninsula outscored Timberline 30-22 in the fourth quarter to pull back into the game behind Seth Kasteler’s 24 points. Sam Miller added 18 points and Elijah McLaughlin had 17 points.
The Blazers notched their third straight win to open the season.
Lincoln 71, Mt. Tahoma 31: Willie Thomas scored 17 points and Emmett Linton III added 13 in the Abes’ runaway victory, their third consecutive win to open the season.
Bonney Lake 61, Stadium 49: The Panthers are on a roll.
The win over the Tigers makes it three in a row to start the season. The Panthers led by just three points at the half but were able to pull away in the second half.
They were led by Tyson Lawes, who finished with 18 points, while Alex Stevenson finished with 13.
The Tigers were led in scoring Davion Gaines, who had 23 points.
Federal Way 100, Auburn Riverside 50: The Eagles jumped to a 31-12 lead after the first quarter and got 25 points from junior wing Jaden McDaniels and 24 from Jalen Womack in their win over the Ravens.
It was Federal Way’s first game since placing sixth in the 4A state tournament a year ago after back-to-back state titles the two years before that.
Marcus Austin scored 18 points and Jordan Magee added 17 points in the high-scoring opener for Federal Way.
Jaden Robinson led Auburn Riverside with 20 points.
Auburn 86, Decatur 63: Make it two straight for the Trojans.
They put the Gators away early with a big first quarter, pulling ahead 18-0, and winning the quarter 24-5 en route to their second consecutive win to begin the season.
The Trojans were led by senior guard Ka'sean Griffin, who finished with 16 points.
Jason Brown Jr. added 15 points, while Sidney White had 14. The Golden Gators were led by Bradley Graham, who led all scorers with 29 points.
Kentridge 44, Tahoma 39: Tyler Cronk scored 18 points and Jett Briceno added 12 to lead the Chargers, who are 2-0 to open the season.
Payton Anderson led Taoma with 16 points.
Sumner 36, Olympia 30: The Spartans won key matches from Marcus Peterson at 138 pounds and Jonah Brumbaugh at 182 in their win over the Bears.
Peterson and Brumbaugh both won by pin. Sumner’s Ethan Barney edged Gage Watson in the 285-pound match, 2-1.
But in maybe the biggest upset, Olympia’s Chase Poston edged Sumner’s Kalei Saicedo, 2-1, in the 120-pound match. Saicedo entered ranked No. 8 in 4A in that weight class by Washington Wrestling Report.
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