BOTHELL — The Glacier Peak girls basketball team had a big lead — nine — for a defensive battle.
The Grizzlies would need just about every one of those points.
Glacier Peak hung on to defeat Ferndale 34-32 in an exciting, defensive 3A District 1 semifinal game that went down to the final seconds Friday night at Lynnwood High School.
“Points were at a premium. Points were like gold in a game like this,” said Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill.
Not only did the Grizzlies clinch a berth in Friday’s district championship game, Glacier Peak also guaranteed itself a berth in the 3A regionals. The District 1 Nos. 1 and 2 seeds will play at Glacier Peak High School, essentially giving the Grizzlies a home game in the next roun of the playoffs.
“That’s kind of nice,” Hill said.
Glacier Peak had to work to secure its regionals berth, facing a Ferndale team that had only lost one game all season – 46-45 to Ballard on Dec. 28. The Golden Eagles, the No. 7 ranked team in the latest Associated Press poll out of the Northwest 1A/2A/3A conference, opened up the game in a 2-3 zone, daring Glacier Peak to shoot from the perimeter.
The Grizzlies were happy to oblige. Glacier Peak (17-5 overall) scored 15 of its 22 first-half points from behind the 3-point arc, and didn’t make a two-point field goal until 20 seconds before halftime.
“We knew we were going to have to shoot 3’s,” Hill said. “So anytime we got open we were gunning it.”
Sophomore Kianna Garner was the only person in the game to score in double digits, finishing with 10 points off the bench for Glacier Peak. Garner had eight of her 10 in the second quarter when the Grizzlies outscored Ferndale 14-3 to post a 22-13 lead at halftime.
It was also the only quarter that Glacier Peak outscored the Golden Eagles.
“Kianna Garner had fantastic minutes,” Hill said.
Ferndale (19-2) continued to chip away at the Grizzlies’ lead in the second half, and got it down to two points with 5.4 seconds remaining. The Golden Eagles inbounded the ball but Sadie Mensing got her third steal of the game and passed it up to her teammates at midcourt who hurled it around until the final two seconds ticked away.
“We knew the score was probably going to be in the 30’s,” Hill said. “?Their team played so hard. Districts are fun because of the atmosphere and the competition. It’s so fun. It’s sad to see a team lose a game like that.”
The Grizzlies got strong all-around performances from several players. India Smith grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots, Mensing had five rebounds and Sarah Smith added four steals for the Grizzlies, whose defense did a good job frustrating the Ferndale offense the entire game.
The Golden Eagles were led by Hannah Carlson and Linsey Honeycutt who had eight points apiece. Honeycutt also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
Hill said he watched film of Ferndale’s 54-35 first-round win over Shorecrest on Tuesday and noticed that the Golden Eagles liked to score quickly in transition. According to Hill, 24 of Ferndale’s 54 points came on a fastbreak.
“We didn’t want that to happen,” Hill said. “? We knew what they’re capable of, so we wanted to get back on defense.”
At Lynnwood H.S.
Ferndale 10 3 9 10 — 32
Glacier Peak 8 14 6 6 — 34
Ferndale—Kendra Bodger 5, Koral Weidkamp 5, Taylor Knutson 0, Taylor Reid 4, Kodie Euper 0, Taryn Knutson 2, Hannah Carlson 8, Brooke Benson 0, Linsey Honeycutt 8. Glacier Peak—Taylor Baird 5, Sadie Mensing 4, Sophia Gaffney 8, Victoria Goudreau 0, India Smith 1, Sarah Smith 0, Sawyer Manning 0, Kianna Garner 10, Nicole Fausey 3, Allie Weathersby 3. 3-point goals—Weidkamp 1, Gaffney 2, Garner 2, Weathersby 1. Records—Ferndale 19-3 overall. Glacier Peak 17-5.