By David Krueger Herald Writer
BOTHELL — The Glacier Peak defense made a concerted effort to stop one Rielly sister in second half of the 3A district championship.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the Everett team has two of them.
Darian and Sidney Rielly combined to score 55 of the Seagulls’ 68 points while leading Everett to a 68-58 win over Glacier Peak and a district title Friday night at Lynnwood High School.
Darian, the younger sister, had 31 points. The elder Sidney, a junior, finished with 24 — 20 of which came in the first half.
“They’re huge. They play a lot of basketball,” said Everett head coach John Low. “They bring a game savvy to the court. They don’t panic.”
The Rielly sisters scored Everett’s first 35 points. The Seagulls’ Kiki Harper, who was the only other Everett player to score, made a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left in the second quarter.
Harper finished with the game with 13 points.
“Those three were big,” Low said.
The Riellys — and Harper — helped Everett pull ahead in the third quarter. The first two quarters ended in ties, but the Seagulls were able to outscored Glacier Peak 14-7 in the third to take a 51-44 lead.
However, the Grizzlies didn’t back down. Glacier Peak’s Sadie Mensing and Sophia Gaffney each had five points in the final quarter and got the Grizzlies to within five points.
But Darian Rielly (nine points) and Harper (eight) helped keep Everett out in front, and sealed the district championship.
“This is the best feeling I’ve had in a long time,” Rielly said. “I’m so proud of my entire team and how we fought.”
It was especially sweet for Rielly who felt like her shot was off in the Seagulls’ last game, a 59-51 semifinal win over Stanwood on Feb. 8. Her 16 second-half points on Friday helped put the game away for Everett.
“The last game I shot pretty poorly,” said Rielly, who is a sophomore. “…So this week in practice my coaches helped me work on my shot so I’d be ready. Tonight, yeah, I was just feeling it out there.”
Nobody was quite certain when the last Everett district championship was. Low heard “the seventies” from one of the former Everett athletic directors who was attending the game, but with the Seagulls’ gymnasium currently undergoing a renovation the trophies aren’t available for reference right now.
“It feels pretty good,” Low said. “I think we only have one other net in the girls’ trophy case. … With our gym under remodel, our trophies are all boxed up.”
The win punctuated a unique season for the Seagulls, which saw five players suspended earlier in the year for violating the Everett School District Code of Conduct. The players returned in Everett’s final regular season game — a 60-52 win over Marysville Pilchuck on Jan. 30 — and have now helped their team claim a district championship.
“I think it’s great. We’re playing well at the right time of year,” Low said. “It was a bit of a question how long it would take us to find our groove with all of our players coming back. Fortunately, it took about one half against Marysville Pilchuck.”
It didn’t take long for Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill to quickly point out what prevented his team from winning a district title.
“The Rielly sisters killed us,” he said. “They stepped up big.”
He praised his team — known for its defense — for stepping up on offense and scoring 58 points. It was the fifth-highest score of the season for the Grizzlies, who scored 59 points twice.
Mensing, who had a double-double in the first half, led Glacier Peak with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Gaffney and Kianna Garner each scored 10 points apiece for the Grizzlies’ offense.
“Sophia (Gaffney) did a great job of slowing down Sidney in the second half,” said Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill. “Kianna had a great game for us on offense and defense. Sadie had 15 points. I’ve got some girls stepping up and doing some good things.”
Both teams will play regionals games next week at Glacier Peak High School. Everett (13-10 overall) will play the fourth seed from District No. 2 while Glacier Peak (17-6) will take on the District 3/4 No. 3 seed. Both of those opponents are yet to be determined.
Hill hopes his team will be able to rebound in the regionals round, which is essentially a home game for Glacier Peak. He had a simple message for his team after the game: their season isn’t over.
“I told the girls as much as it would be nice to be district champs we still get to play a game to get to the Tacoma Dome,” Hill said. “Hardware’s nice, but the Tacoma Dome is where they’ll get memories that’ll last forever.”
At Lynnwood H.S.
Everett– Kiki Harper 13, Bailey McMullen 0, Sydney Taggart 0, Darian Rielly 31, Sidney Rielly 24, Rosie Sittauer 0, Caroline Overstreet 0, Amber Hagar 0, Katy Hedington 0. Glacier Peak–Taylor Baird 1, Sadie Mensing 15, Sophia Gaffney 10, Victoria Goudreau 0, India Smith 2, Sarah Smith 1, Sawyer Manning 5, Kianna Garner 10, Nicole Fausey 8, Allie Weathersby 6. 3-point goals–D. Rielly 3, S. Rielly 2, Gaffney 1, Manning 1, Garner 1. Records–Everett 13-10 overall. Glacier Peak 17-6.