MILL CREEK — The Clallam Bay basketball girls pulled off their second straight upset and, winning their second loser-out playoff game by beating Tulalip Heritage 50-42 Saturday to earn a hard-fought berth to the State 1B Tournament in Spokane.
“They’re ecstatic,” said assistant coach Cal Ritter. He said the girls had to win two playoff games on the road as underdogs, one against Tulalip and the other against Cedar Park Christian of Mountlake Terrace. Tulalip is the No. 13th-ranked team in the WIAA’s 1B RPI. and Cedar Park Christian is the No. 4-ranked team in the state. Clallam Bay is the No. 16-ranked team.
It is the Clallam Bay girls’ first trip to state in 10 or 11 years, Ritter said.
Tulalip Heritage is a big team for a 1B school, with two 6-foot girls and a third player who is 5-11.
Head coach Michael Maines said “we worked on our defense all week and defending the post.”
Ritter said the Bruins decided to front Deandra Grant, Tulalip’s strong post player who gave Neah Bay fits inside at the 1B Tri-District tournament.
“We noticed no one had really fronted her,” Ritter said. He said Molly McCoy and Chelsey Ritter took up the task of fronting Grant, not allowing her to dominate inside.
“Definitely, it was defense,” said Maines. “It was the whole team.”
Maines and Ritter also said the Bruins decided to attack Tulalip’s size with the Bruins’ speed.
“We were able to get out and run on them,” Maines said.
Atokena Abe led the Bruins with 14 points, while Miriam Wonderly scored 13 and Mariah LaChester scored 11. Hannah Olson scored six, while Jennica Maines and Ritter each scored four.
The Clallam Bay girls now get to play Cedar Park Christian a second time at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Maines said the girls have the confidence that they can beat the No. 4-ranked Lions, but are taking nothing for granted.
“It doesn’t mean [anything]. These games are all one game at a time.”
It also will be the Bruins’ third loser-out do-or-die playoff game of the year.
The Bruins (17-5) beat Cedar Park Christian 49-46 in overtime on Feb. 16 in the 1B Tri-District tournament.