KENT — There are a special few basketball players in which it doesn’t matter how much the opposing team prepares for them, they’re going to produce.
Mount Rainier’s Brittany McPhee is one of those players.
The two-time defending Washington State Gatorade Player of the Year scored 28 points and helped the Rams advance to the state quarterfinals in Tacoma with a 76-46 win over Edmonds-Woodway in Saturday’s state-regional game.
After losing to Lynnwood for the third time this season in the semifinals of the 4A district 1 tournament, the Warriors reeled off three straight wins to earn a spot in the regional-round, including a thrilling victory over Eastlake.
Despite coming up short of Tacoma, first-year head coach Rebekah Wells was proud of her team.
“I think this season these girls proved they have a lot of talent and they have a lot of skills and a lot they can contribute when we come together and play as a group,” Wells said. “They proved to a lot of people that this can still be a good powerhouse basketball team like it was three or four years ago.”
The Warriors came into the game knowing they were the underdog, but held the lead for most of the first four minutes of the game. As the quarter wore on, McPhee and her teammates began to take over. Mount Rainier scored 18 of the final 24 points in the quarter to take a 24-15 advantage.
It only got worse for the Warriors from there.
The Rams held the Warriors to just five points in the second quarter, all of which were scored by Edmonds-Woodway junior Moni Jackson, and built a 37-20 lead at halftime. McPhee had 13 points in the game’s first 16 minutes, but she was getting plenty of help from her teammates.
Eleven of McPhee’s 13 points came in the first quarter and she opened the second half the same way, setting the tone in the third quarter with another 11 points.
“We kind of just stalled out a little on defense,” Wells said. “We were a half-step or a full-step behind everyone all day today, so it just makes it a little bit harder to get out on them. We were just a little bit slower on defense than we needed to be to be able to contend with them.”
McPhee finished with 28 points.
Sidney Eck and Jackson each scored 13 to lead Edmonds-Woodway.
The season ends for the Edmonds-Woodway as do the high-school careers of Eck, Maddy Nealey and Victoria Lebesis. With the rest of the team returning next season, the future looks bright for the Warriors.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Kent-Meridian H.S.
Edmonds-Woodway 15 5 13 13 — 46
Mount Rainier 24 13 22 17 — 76
Edmonds-Woodway—Kate Woolley 2, Allie Browning 0, Mady Burdett 2, Sidney Eck 13, Natalie Kasper 8, Maddy Nealey 3, Claire Fyfe 0, Kietra Jones 0, Moni Jackson 13, Lea Bakken 0, Victoria Lebesis 0, Missy Peterson 5. Mount Rainier—Jordan Mc Phee 13, CeCe Tafia 0, Kaiti Freeberg 2, Brittany McPhee 28, Jenna Shamseldin 2, Simone Johnson 4, Kenzie Gandy 2, Aqeelah Williams 8, Emily Fiso 17, Madeline Fletcher 0, Megan Houston 0. 3-point goals—Kasper 2, Jackson 1, Peterson 1, B. McPhee 2, Williams 2, Fiso 1. Record—Edmonds-Woodway 16-9. Mount Rainier 23-3.