Kondalia Montgomery discusses Lincoln’s win over Wilson
Whether it is at Lincoln High School girls basketball practices, or playing her a full 32 minutes in games, coach Jamila Jones knows one thing for sure.
He cannot tire out senior Kondalia Montgomery.
And that is a good thing for the No. 4 Abes.
Montgomery registered her most dominant effort in a Lincoln uniform — 23 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists — and the Abes finally pulled away from host Wilson, 67-47, in Tacoma.
Ninth grader Sharayah Johnson added 16 points, 10 coming in the decisive third quarter, and the Abes (6-0, 4-0 in 3A PCL) remained tied atop the league standings with Bethel.
Hope Lalau scored a team-high 16 points for the Rams, and Brooklyn Grant chipped in with 14. But Wilson was done in by 26 turnovers.
Last summer, as Jones looked over his roster, he decided to move Montgomery over to point guard.
So far, that has looked like a clever move.
“She has done an awesome job,” Jones said. “It was a bold move, because our point guards are pretty good. But it is more of her natural position at the next level.”
The Rams (4-3, 2-2) frustrated Lincoln with a 1-2-2 zone defense that baited the visitors into settling for outside jumpers.
That all changed in the third quarter in a close game.
Montgomery made sure to get the ball inside to Johnson, a powerful and talented 6-foot-3 post player.
Johnson converted three-point plays on back-to-back Lincoln possessions, and the Abes had a 35-26 lead midway through the quarter.
“I just told them to stay calm … and shoot your shot — and to let me know where you are comfortable at, and I will get you the ball,” Montgomery said.
A minute later, it was Montgomery again making great decision. She flipped a bounce pass along the baseline to Azallee Johnson, who made a bucket, got fouled, and finished off another three-point play for a 40-26 Lincoln lead.
“We have enough of a talented group, but they don’t have that competitive confidence yet to compete in those games,” Wilson coach Michelle Birge said. “But we can run with that group.”
Even when Wilson made runs, it was Montgomery who kept fitting through creases, and getting to the foul line. She made 14 of 16 free throws.
“She has upped her scoring, upped her assists, and that is a good deal,” Jones said. “That was something she wasn’t doing a year ago.”
The bigger Abes nearly outshout Wilson by a 2-to-1 margin, making 22 of 64 field goals, to the Rams’ 13-of-35 shooting.