TACOMA — The Stanwood High School girls basketball team drew the alarm-clock game for the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament Thursday at the Tacoma Dome, with the Spartans tipping off against the Lincoln Abes at 9 a.m.
Unfortunately for Stanwood, those alarms went off a little late, and the Spartans were never able to recover.
Stanwood got off to a slow start as Lincoln scored the first eight points of the game, and the Spartans never recovered as they fell 53-37.
“It naturally affects you,” Stanwood coach Dennis Kloke said of the early-morning start. “We just could not offensively keep up with them.
“We had nerves at the start,” Kloke added. “We didn’t get the number of transitions that we normally do. That’s because they pounded us on the offensive boards.”
Stanwood had no answer for Lincoln star Morticia Mc’Call, who finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and four assists — including 17 points in the first half as the Abes took control. Lincoln (21-6), the No. 3 seed, advanced to face top-seeded Bishop Blanchet in Friday’s semifinals.
“Not many teams are ready to go at 9 a.m., but we’ve been fired up,” said Lincoln coach Jamila Jones, whose team also won a 9 a.m. game Wednesday, defeating West Seattle 65-54 in a loser-out contest.
“They don’t want to go home,” Jones added. “This is a big deal, they’re writing their own history right now, because we haven’t (reached the state semifinals) since 1980.”
Kaitlin Larson had 11 points and seven boards to lead Stanwood (20-5), the No. 5 seed, which received a bye into the quarterfinals. The Spartans fell into the fourth/sixth bracket, where they face fellow Wesco 3A member Lynnwood in a loser-out game at 9 a.m. Friday. Lynnwood lost to Bishop Blanchet 58-57 in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Stanwood was still shaking out the cobwebs when the Abes raced to an 8-0 lead out of the gate, and the Spartans weren’t able to get on the scoreboard until Larson’s 3-pointer 4 minutes into the contest.
Stanwood was able to settle into the game after that, and the Spartans pulled within one at 19-18 midway through the second quarter following Ashley Alter’s 3-pointer. However, the Abes countered by switching to a full-court press, which forced turnovers on back-to-back possessions and hassled Stanwood the remainder of the half. Lincoln finished the half on a 9-2 run to grab a 28-20 halftime lead.
Then in the third quarter the Abes got hot from deep, with 6-foot center Shawndriea Brown hitting a pair of 3-pointers as Lincoln extended its lead to double digits. Meanwhile, the shots weren’t falling for the Spartans. Stanwood finished the game shooting just 27.5 percent (14-for-51) from the floor.
“They did a good job,” Kloke said of Lincoln’s aggressive 2-3 zone defense. “We could not get around the basket. We had to settle for threes and they didn’t go in.”
Faith Brantley added 14 points for Lincoln.
Stanwood received nine points and five rebounds from Alter, and Kayla Frazier dished out five assists.
Lincoln 14 14 15 10—53
Stanwood 8 12 10 7—37
Lincoln: Faith Brantley 14, Zaniya Banks 1, Azallee Johnson 2, A’shia Donahue 1, Jessica Salevao 0, Dashawnae Archibald 0, Kondalia Montgomery 5, Morticia Mc’Call 22, Sa’Naya McAfee 0, Tida Salevao 0, Lisi Brooks 0, Shawndriea Brown 8.
Stanwood: Kayla Frazier 0, Brooke Strowbridge 0, Shelby Lund 0, Espy Sanchez 0, Anna Depew 0, Jillian Heichel 5, Madison Plautz 0, Kaitlin Larson 11, Madison Chisman 8, Ashley Bierer 3, Ashley Alter 9, Koa Beck 1.