Royals take on Gonzaga Prep in semifinal battle

TACOMA — It will be a showdown between No. 1 and No. 2 in 4A girls.

Lynnwood’s win over Kentwood Thursday earned the Royals, the No. 1-ranked team in the final Associated Press poll of the year, a spot in the semifinals and a date with second-ranked Gonzaga Prep Friday at 3:45 p.m. at Tacoma Dome.

Lynnwood has a little bit of first-hand knowledge of the team from Spokane. Royals head coach Everett Edwards said Lynnwood played the Bullpups in a tournament in Oregon City this summer. The Royals had a 12-point lead in the contest, but lost a close game. Also playing the early game afforded the Royals a chance to scout their next opponent and still have plenty of time afterwards to enjoy the state experience.

“We’re very familiar with them,” Edwards said. “Luckily we’re able to get some tape of them playing against Central Valley and we’re going to watch the game today. To have a chance to play, whether it’s Gonzaga Prep or any team in the Tacoma Dome, to make it to the final four and have the chance to move on to the finals with one more win, I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

Gonzaga Prep is led by post Otiona Gildon and guard Laura Stockton, who is the daughter of former Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton (who is also an assistant coach on the GP team). Stockton had 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Gonzaga Prep’s 53-45 win over Skyview in the quarterfinals. Gildon added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Hannah Caudill hit three 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 15 points for the Bullpups.

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