By KEVIN BREIWICK
MARYSVILLE – Had Cascade played the script handed to it, it would of likely have had to fight through the losers bracket for a chance at the state tournament Saturday at the Class 4A bi-district tournament.
But the Bruins made sure their third-seeded position from the Western Conference 4A didn’t dictate their outcome and finished the tournament looking more like a No. 1 seed.
Cascade upended the Bothell Cougars, the second-seeded team from the Kingco 4A, in the quarterfinals and Wesco 4A top seed Marysville-Pilchuck in the semifinals to earn a trip to the state tournament.
The Cascade-M-P match went three games just as first-year Cascade coach Kris Little expected.
“I told them this match was going to go down to who played the hardest,” Little said.
Cascade fought back from a 10-6 deficit in the first game to squeak out a 17-15 victory. M-P got even in the second with a 15-9 win. But the Bruins controlled the third match, winning 15-4.
“I told them win or lose let’s go out fighting,” Little said. “We’re so excited to be going to state.”
Marysville-Pilchuck’s Ashley Isaksen had 12 kills and teammate Stephanie Parker added 34 assists in the loss.
Though Cascade was excited by its three-game victory, it still had the championship match with Woodinville, the No. 1 seed from the Kingco 4A. Woodinville won the championship 15-8, 15-13.
Cascade had an opportunity to force a third game, ahead 13-12, but Woodinville came from behind for the victory.
The Falcons secured a state berth by defeating Kamiak 15-10, 15-4 in the other semifinal match.
“They (team) knew Woodinville would be tough,” Kamiak coach Debra Crawford said. “We played well against them and it carried over to the next match.”
The Knights came back to grab a state berth with a 16-14, 15-9, 15-12 victory over Bothell.
Middle blocker Heather Hetzer put the Knights up 14-12 with a kill in the third game. She finished the game off with another kill.
This will be the Knights second straight year at state.
“Last year we were star-struck,” Crawford said. “This year we have much higher expectations.”
Marysville-Pilchuck also earned a state berth with a 15-9, 15-2 victory over Inglemoor.
Though M-P coach Shelly Johnson said it was difficult to come back after the loss to Cascade.
“It’s nice and we’re excited to be going to state, but (we’re) tired,” Johnson said.
Kamiak took third place with a 15-13, 15-3 victory over M-P.
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