Shots were falling for the No. 5 Peninsula High School girls basketball team in the first half of the Class 3A state tournament opening round at the Tacoma Dome on Wednesday afternoon against No. 12 Roosevelt.
But, in the second half — especially in the fourth quarter — the Seahawks went cold.
The Rough Riders took advantage, outscoring Peninsula by 12 points in the second half en route to a 60-56 win, eliminating the Seahawks.
“I think the lights kind of got to us,” said Peninsula senior Belle Frazier, a Portland State signee who scored 20 points in the loss.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
“Being under the lights in front of everybody, I think we just got rattled toward the end. That can’t happen.”
Roosevelt was paced by senior guard Karmelah Dean, who scored a game-high 28 points, beating Peninsula in transition on several occasions.
While Peninsula led for much of the game, Roosevelt never panicked, keeping the game tight before taking the lead for good in the second half.
“Sometimes we start to slow down when another team gets a lead, and not play as well,” Dean said. “But today, we stayed focused, stayed under control, tuned out all the people and the noise. We talked to each other well.”
Frazier said Dean’s speed caused issues for the Seahawks’ defense.
“She’s the quickest point guard we’ve played all year,” Frazier said. “She’s a good player.”
Peninsula also failed to connect at all from beyond the arc, going 0 for 12 on 3-pointers in the loss.
“We had the right girls shooting the right shots,” Peninsula coach Mike Schick said. “They were open shots. We didn’t force too much today, which is nice.”
But, not stretching Roosevelt’s defense ultimately didn’t help Peninsula’s cause.
“We’re definitely a shooting team,” Frazier said. “A lot of our games have come down to us knocking down 3’s. So to not be able to do that today, that really got us out of our rhythm. We started missing layups toward the end and missed a lot of free throws. That really cost us the game.”
With 16 seconds left in the game, Roosevelt’s Katie Thiers made a contested layup to put the Rough Riders up by four points and effectively seal the game.
Peninsula had a 51-49 lead with just under five minutes to go in the game, but wasn’t able to hang on down the stretch.
“I keep harping on these girls that it’s a full 32-minute game,” Schick said. “You just can’t take a minute off here or a minute off there. The girls executed the game plan to the best I could have hoped for and the best I could have asked. If we just had a couple little ones fall our way, we just go from there.”
While Peninsula’s season won’t have a dream ending, the Seahawks have come a long way in the past four years, from being a relative afterthought to one of the state’s top teams.
“It’s tough, just because we’ve worked so hard to get here,” Frazier said. “We started something new. Peninsula isn’t just nobody now. We put a name on it. It’s good to have that moving forward.”
NO. 12 ROOSEVELT
NO. 5 PENINSULA
R – Shooting: 24 of 55 (43.6 percent). Free throws: 9 of 13 (69.2). Turnovers: 14.
P – Shooting: 19 of 50 (38 percent). Free throws: 18 of 26 (69.2). Turnovers: 10.
R – Dean 28, Thiers 14, Dukes 4, Symons 4, Walker 4, Johnson 2.
P – Belle Frazier 20, Linsey Lovrovich 11, Kara McKinney 7, Renee Doss 7, Piper Bauer 7, Esther Pappuleas 2, Taryn Richter 2.