By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — After a back-and-forth first half, the Glacier Peak girls basketball team used an early third-quarter run to build a 10-point lead against visiting Shorecrest. The Scots promptly answered with a run of their own, trimming the deficit to three.
Glacier Peak then put together another good run to start the fourth quarter. And this time Shorecrest had no answer.
With an impressive display of perimeter shooting and the strong inside play of senior posts Nikki Fausey and Taylor Baird, Glacier Peak turned a two-point halftime lead into a 15-point margin at the finish for a decisive 66-51 Western Conference 3A South victory on Wednesday night.
“It was a really tight game for the whole first half, and we knew it was going to be,” said Grizzlies coach Brian Hill. “I told the girls, ‘This whole game is a game of runs. We’re going to make a run, they’re going to make a run.’ And we did make a nice run (in the second half)… and then were able to keep some momentum going.”
Glacier Peak led 30-28 at halftime, and then opened the third quarter with a 10-2 burst keyed by four points apiece from Fausey and guard Sadie Mensing. But Shorecrest responded with a 9-2 run of its own, pulling within 42-39 late in the period.
The Grizzlies then mounted another surge to start the fourth quarter, this time a 7-2 burst for a 52-41 advantage. And although the Scots crept back within six points with just under three minutes to play in the game, the rally fizzled.
Glacier Peak closed the game with another flurry, pushing the margin to a game-high 15 points at the final buzzer.
“I thought we played really well,” said the 6-foot-4 Fausey. “We were really good at getting the extra pass, and when we do that we convert better than when we just try to take it (and score) ourselves. So I was really proud of the way we played.”
“We’re a tough team to match up with,” Hill added. “We’ve got some height and we’ve got some speed, and tonight we moved the ball better.”
The Grizzlies also found a decided edge at the free throw line, where they were 21-for-26, including 9-for-9 in the final period. Shorecrest was 8-for-13 at the line.
Shorecrest head coach Dori Monson, a KIRO radio host, missed the game because he is in New Jersey for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Assistant Dean Wiley coached the team in his absence.
“We talked about Glacier Peak and how they make runs,” Wiley said. “And we said that when they do make a run, we have to make sure that we slow it down, pound it inside and try to stop that run. And we just didn’t get that done.
“But give (the Grizzlies) credit,” he said. “They made shot after shot after shot. And Nikki Fausey was unbelievable. I don’t think she missed. So they’re tough and you have to give them credit. We focused on stopping their runs and we just couldn’t get it done. But I thought my kids battled. They never gave up,” Wiley said.
With the win, the Grizzlies improve to 15-2 overall and 8-2 in conference, leaving them tied with Shorecrest for second place in the conference. Mountlake Terrace, which defeated Marysville Pilchuck 52-45 on Wednesday, sits atop the league standings with a 9-1 mark.
“I feel confident about our team, but (Hill) pushes us every day in practice,” Fausey said. “He tells us that nothing is given and everyone is going to come to play when they play us. So no night is (easy). But we’re ready. We want to get to the third day at state. That’s our goal.”
Baird led all scorers with 18 points, including nine in the first quarter. Fausey added 17 and Mensing had 12. Shorecrest was led by post Onyie Chibuogwu with 17 points and guard Keyonna Jones with 16.
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Shorecrest 13 15 11 12 — 51
Glacier Peak 17 13 15 21 — 66
Shorecrest—Lindsey Shattuck 2, Wurrie Njadoe 4, Arianna Rantz 0, Jazlyn Owens 0, Keyonna Jones 16, Onyie Chibuogwu 17, Jalyn Hizey 8, Uju Chibuogwu 4. Glacier Peak—Taylor Baird 18, Sadie Mensing 12, Natalie Rasmussen 5, Sarah Smith 2, Sawyer Manning 2, Kianna Garner 8, Samantha Fatkin 0, Paisley Johnson 2, Nicole Fausey 17. 3-point goals—Keyonna Jones 1, Jalyn Hizey 2, Natalie Rasmussen 1, Kianna Garner 2. Records—Shorecrest is 8-2 in league, 13-4 overall. Glacier Peak is 8-2, 15-2.