Seeking its first berth in a girls basketball championship game in school history, Inglemoor and Alex Hagen simply wouldn’t be denied.
Hagen scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Vikings outlasted Moses Lake, 65-60, in a 4A girls basketball semifinal Friday night at the Tacoma Dome.
The Vikings — winners of 18 straight games — will face the winner of the other semifinal — either Beamer or Gonzaga Prep — in the championship game Saturday night.
The fourth quarter belonged to Hagan. The 6-foot-1 senior forward, bound for the University of San Diego next year, broke a 39-all tie to start the quarter with a putback of a Deja Strother miss, was fouled and hit the free throw. Those were three of Hagen’s 10 fourth quarter points, to go along with six rebounds in the quarter.
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“She hates to lose. Never coached a kid that hates to lose more than her. That’s why she’s such a joy to coach,” Inglemoor coach John Augustavo said.
Early on, it looked as though losing wouldn’t be in the cards for the Vikings.
With the 6-foot-5 Strother leading the way, the Vikings jumped out to a 15-5 lead. Inglemoor used its height advantage to grab 10 of the game’s first 11 rebounds, six on the offensive end.
Trailing the entire first half, the Chiefs tied the game at 32 on a Jessie Lorea 3-pointer and took its first lead on a three-point play from McKenna Walker, 38-35 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
A Strother shot from close-in tied the game for the final time at 39 entering the fourth.
Strother, who fouled out with 1:48 left, turned in her customary dominant performance in the paint with 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots.
The Vikings held a 48-31 rebounding edge.
“Going in, we knew dealing with their size would be the biggest issue, and it was,” said Moses Lake coach Matt Strophy. “You’re not going to win many games with a 17-rebound deficit. It gave them little momentum shifts throughout when they could haul them in.”
Lorea led all scorers with 25 points, connecting on 7 of 12 from behind the arc. Backcourt mate McKenna Walker added 17 points.