By David Krueger Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — Technically, the Glacier Peak girls basketball team was a guest in its own gymnasium Friday night.
Enumclaw came into the 3A state tournament regional game, played at Glacier Peak High School, as the a higher seed and was listed as the home team, not that it mattered. The “visiting” Grizzlies made sure the Hornets didn’t feel welcome, beating Enumclaw 47-40 to advance to the round of eight Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.
“It was a little bit different,” Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill said of the “away” designation. “We sure had a great crowd. These regionals games are fun. There’s a lot of pressure on everybody.”
Glacier Peak ensured its season would continue with some big 3-point shots and its signature defense, which held up when it needed to at the end of the game. Enumclaw outscored Glacier Peak 14-8 in the final quarter.
But by the time the Hornets made their push in the final eight minutes, Grizzlies held a comfortable 13-point lead, built on some clutch long-range shots by Sophia Gaffney and Kianna Garner in the third quarter.
“We made some big shots,” Hill said. “We had some open 3’s and we made them.”
Gaffney and Garner both finished with nine points apiece — all coming on 3-pointers. Nicole Fausey led a balanced Glacier Peak scoring attack with 10 points.
“We’re pretty balanced. We’re a tough team,” Hill said. “Who are you going to stop? We have a lot of talent. Lots of weapons.”
Fausey was one of those weapons. The 6-foot-4 post stood five inches taller than anybody on the Enumclaw roster and the Grizzlies took advantage of her height, both offensively and defensively, The junior had five blocked shots to go along with her 10 points.
“We were trying to pound it in on them,” Hill said. “Stretch where Nicole scored twice in a row. Our post play definitely helps in games like today.”
Glacier Peak (18-6 overall) had a 39-26 lead at the end of the third quarter but Enumclaw (19-7) opened up the fourth with a 6-0 run. The Grizzlies countered with a 6-2 run of their own, punctuated by Fausey’s back-to-back baskets under the rim.
The Hornets continued to attack, causing Glacier Peak to foul and put Enumclaw in the bonus with 2:47 to play in the game. Enumclaw was 10-for-11 from the free throw line in the second half of the game.
“I kind of got on them a little,” Hill said of the final minutes. “The losers are going home. You’ve got to close out. It’s not over. You have to keep going.”
The victory sends Glacier Peak to the Tacoma Dome for the second time in the past three years. The Grizzlies lost to Lakeside 48-38 in last year’s regionals.
Glacier Peak will find out its next opponent after a draw on Sunday.
“It’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is (to get to Tacoma),” Hill said with a smile. “Anytime you have the opportunity to get to the Tacoma Dome, it’s special. Only eight teams make it there.”
The Grizzlies ended the 2012-2013 season for Enumclaw, a team with which Glacier Peak was familiar. The two schools attended a camp at Gonzaga three years ago. Hill always finds a school to “buddy up” with, and at that particular camp, Enumclaw was that school.
“It was nice to reconnect a bit,” Hill said. “? What a great team. They came in here with a lot of heart.”
Enumclaw senior Julia Myers scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds before fouling out with 1:36 reamaining in the game.
“I’m glad (this game is) over. I’m glad we still got another week,” Hill said. “Enumclaw is a great team. (Myers) what a fantastic game she had. She played hard and came at us. Someone’s season had to end tonight.”
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Glacier Peak 13 12 14 8 — 47
Enumclaw 6 12 8 14 — 40
Glacier Peak–Taylor Baird 4, Nicole Fausey 10, Sophia Gaffney 9, Kianna Garner 9, Victoria Goudreau 0, Sawyer Manning 0, Sadie Mensing 4, India Smith 6, Sarah Smith 2, Allie Weathersby 3. Enumclaw–Kimmy Aubert 2, Hannah Calvert 3, Katie Carlson 0, Tallie Carlson 0, Samantha Engebretsen 0, Katie Holland 8, Nadine Huff 2, Julia Myers 19, Noelle Putman 0, Calli Remitz 0, Danielle Saltarelli 1, Jessica Snoen 5. 3-point goals–Gaffney 3, Garner 3, Myers 1, H. Calvert 1, Snoen 1. Records–Glacier Peak 18-6 overall. Enumclaw 19-7.