The Beamer High School girls finally got what they’ve wanted all along — a rematch date with SPSL 4A rival and defending West Central District champion Mount Rainier.
But first, the Titans might want to catch their breath after the nail-biter they survived Thursday night.
Bellarmine Prep, the 4A Narrows League champion, gave Beamer all it could handle, pushing the Titans to overtime before falling, 60-53, in the district semifinals at Puyallup High School.
The No. 3 Titans (23-1) will play sixth-ranked Mount Rainier for the district title Saturday at noon at Pacific Lutheran University.
But they might not do it at full strength. Starting point guard Bria Rice went down hard in a collision with the Lions’ Jayanna Ervin going for a loose ball near the end of the first half. She walked off holding her right shoulder, did not return and is questionable, at best, for Saturday.
With two starters down – shooting guard Quinessa Caylao-Do (Achilles) did not start – Beamer needed every one of Megan Huff’s 25 points to hold off the No. 9 Lions (19-3).
Even that was almost not enough.
The game pitted the 6-foot-3 Huff against 6-5 Bellarmine Prep center Claire Martin. Both took turns taking it right at each other.
Martin opened the fourth quarter by scoring on three consecutive trips, giving the Lions a 41-38 lead with 6:28 to go.
“They are strong,” Beamer coach Corey Alexander said. “They played their game.”
In a back-and-forth game, Alexander looked down his bench and told Caylao-Do if she was ready to play, it was her call. And the sophomore laced up her shoes and went in at the 3:47 mark.
She didn’t do anything at the end of regulation — Nia Alexander missed two shots in the final 10 seconds to win it — but she did in overtime.
After Huff split a pair of free throws, the Titans got the rebound and found Caylao-Do at the top of the key. She buried a 3-pointer, and scored all six of her points in overtime as Beamer pulled away.
“She got ready at the right time,” Alexander said.
Jasmyne Holmes led the Lions with 20 points. Martin added 17 before fouling out.
“I just told the girls, win or lose that game, it prepared them for Saturday, it prepares us for next week and it prepares us for the week after that,” Lions coach Kevin Meines said. “We haven’t been pushed like that.”
Mount Rainier 65, Skyview 61: The Rams and Brittany McPhee are certainly used to the high stakes of playing for a district title.
Led by the early hot shooting of Emily Fiso (half of her 16 points in the first quarter, and the closing of McPhee (23 points), Mount Rainier (21-3) will play in its fourth consecutive WCD championship game Saturday at PLU.
After losing the first year to Federal Way in the 2011 finals, the Rams have won the past two — in a rematch with the Eagles in 2012, and last season against Beamer.
“It definitely means a lot,” McPhee said. “But more it is looking forward to state — a stepping stone to state.”
Aqeelah Williams hit a right-side 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to give the Rams a 52-44 lead. Three minutes, it was McPhee in the right corner with another 3-pointer to give the Rams their biggest lead – 61-51 – with 3:02 remaining.