By Aaron Lommers
For The Weekly Herald
The Snohomish Panthers girls basketball team proved one thing on Feb. 7 – they are resilient.
After throwing away a first-half lead in the third quarter and while their star Julia Young was being held in check, the Panthers came from behind to defeat Edmonds-Woodway 44-42 in an opening round game of the 4A District 1 playoffs.
Kristina Bride made the tying and the go-ahead free throws with 22.1 second remaining.
“I just wanted to stay focused and work for my team to get the win,” Bride said.
The Panthers erased a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to earn the victory.
By winning, Snohomish moves on to face Lake Stevens (20-1) at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 at Arlington High School with the winner advancing to state regionals. Edmonds-Woodway will host Mariner at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 in a loser-out contest.
The Panthers went into the locker room at halftime with a five-point lead, but the first half seemed even more competitive than that. Snohomish’s ability to make the 3-point shot gave them the advantage, but Warriors coach Duane Hodges didn’t see that happening for the entire game.
“They didn’t hit as many of their 3-pointers in the second half,” Hodges said. “They shot 63 percent from 3 in the first half and I kind of knew that would even out.”
Hodges was right – the numbers did even out – but maybe not as much as he had hoped. The Panthers still shot 8-for-17 from the 3-point arc for the game, including a very timely one by Callie Harwood late in the fourth quarter.
“Callie Harwood made some huge shots,” Snohomish coach Ken Roberts said.
Harwood, a sophomore, finished the game with 14 points. The Panthers needed every one of those as the Warriors held Young to just four points in the contest.
“They did a good job of taking Julia Young out of the game in their box-and-one and diamond-and-one pretty much all game long.
Working that hard defensively on Young meant Harwood and others got their opportunities to shine.
“It was nice to see our young kids come through in a big game and help bail us out,” Roberts said. “Obviously when teams focus that much on Julia the other kids are going to get pretty good looks and they did.”
Roberts was philosophical about playing powerhouse Lake Stevens in the next round of the district tournament on Friday.
“Obviously, we have nothing to lose,” he said. “We were picked to finish sixth in league and we came in tied for third and we won the draw, so we aren’t third, but we are tied for third. To make districts was great for this team and now we are just in a position that we have absolutely nothing to lose. We are going to go play a great team and we will see what we can do.”