Glacier Peak’s Aaliyah Collins steals the ball away from Camas’ Anna Mooney in the final seconds to seal the win in a 4A girls Hardwood Classic game on Wednesday in Tacoma. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Aaliyah Collins steals the ball away from Camas’ Anna Mooney in the final seconds to seal the win in a 4A girls Hardwood Classic game on Wednesday in Tacoma. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Collins leads Glacier Peak girls into state quarterfinals

The Grizzlies survive a miserable first quarter and rally for a 46-40 win over Camas.

TACOMA — Aaliyah Collins didn’t want all her clothing decisions to go for naught.

“I packed for four days,” she said, “so I was definitely not going to go home today.”

That being the case, the Glacier Peak High School junior point guard effectively said to her team, “Giddy up, get on my back, I’m carrying us to the quarterfinals.”

Collins was the catalyst, using her quickness on both offense and defense to turn the game on its head, and the Grizzlies overcame a horrendous start to defeat the Camas Papermakers 46-40 in the first round of the Class 4A girls Hardwood Classic on Wednesday morning at the Tacoma Dome.

Glacier Peak (21-4), the No. 6 seed, advanced to face fourth-seeded Chiawana in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Thursday. Camas, the No. 14 seed, finished its season 16-12.

The Grizzlies were in all kinds of trouble early as Glacier Peak was in disarray the entire first quarter. The Grizzlies committed careless turnovers, Collins’ backcourt running mate Maya Erling got into foul trouble, and when the Papermakers’ Haylie Johnson drained a 3-pointer just before the horn sounded Glacier Peak found itself trailing 19-6.

But that’s when Collins decided to take over the game. She used her quick hands on defense to create turnovers and her quick feet to get to loose balls. Once she had the ball in her hands, she dashed the other direction to create three-on-twos in transition, which her teammates converted.

“Honestly I think it was nerves,” Collins said of Glacier Peak’s slow start. “I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t nervous but I was really jittery and excited. I also think I came out too aggressive, thinking we would win this in the first quarter. But then I realized I have my teammates, and defense was the biggest key. After the first quarter it was an eye opener and we all calmed down.”

Collins’ defining moment came late in the second quarter when she reached up to grab the ball out of Camas post Faith Bergstrom’s hands in the paint — despite the 6-foot-2 Bergstrom having an eight-inch height advantage — then sprinted up the court and beat everyone for an uncontested layup that gave the Grizzlies their first lead at 24-22.

“At the end of the first quarter, it really reminded me of Central Valley all over,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said, referencing his team’s 67-49 loss in last week’s state regional. “What we learned from Central Valley is we have to stay a little more positive, we have to take care of the ball, let’s play a little stronger, and Aaliyah we need you to get through all this.”

Indeed, Collins was effective in transition even when Camas was able to set up its full-court press, weaving through the defense as a one-player press breaker. Collins finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals.

“That’s kind of our press breaker, having Aaliyah go through,” Hill said. “We’ve talked about it, I’ve even had conversations with her and the team, ‘Do you want us to run it traditional or do you want us to just go through?’ She’s like, ‘I’ll get through it coach.’ So I love that confidence. They sent two people and then started sending three people, and that really helped us get back into it, actually. Their press kind of helped us because Aaliyah is so strong.”

Shaylin Sande added 10 points and five boards for the Grizzlies. Erling, Glacier Peak’s leading scorer, finished with just three as she spent much of the game on the bench because of foul trouble.

Bergstrom was the lone effective offensive player for Camas, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. She also caused difficulties for Glacier Peak inside as she blocked two shots and altered several others.

After recovering in the second quarter, Glacier Peak began to pull away in the third, building its lead to as many as 11 points. But in the fourth quarter the Grizzlies missed their free throws, which allowed Camas to slowly climb back into the game, and at 43-40 the Papermakers had a good look at a 3-pointer that just rimmed out with 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining.

But Collins made one free throw to make it a two-possession game, then came up with a strip and layup in the closing seconds to seal the victory.

Box score

Talk to us

More in Sports

Brazilian skater Kelvin Hoefler jumps over the SLS sign during a Street League Skateboarding event. (Photo provided by SLS)
Ready to get radical in Everett

Street League Skateboarding is bringing some of the world’s top skateboarders to Angel of the Winds Arena this weekend.

Runners participate in the first annual Run For Your Life Suicide Awareness Run/Walk in 2021. (Photo provided by Austin Johnson)
Suicide awareness run/walk returns to Lake Stevens

Snohomish County native Austin Johnson developed the event to provide support for people battling mental-health struggles.

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez after his one run RBI double against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 29, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Mariners reinstate All-Star Julio Rodríguez from 10-day IL

Seattle also activates new catcher Curt Casali, options outfielder Jarred Kelenic to Tacoma and DFAs catcher Luis Torrens.

Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Vegas police: Marshawn Lynch was asleep in car before arrest

The former Seahawks’ vehicle was in “undriveable condition,” with no tire on the driver’s side front wheel, according to a report.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Late rally comes up short, AquaSox lose to Dust Devils

Everett gets the tying run to second in the ninth, but falls to Tri-City 3-2.

A korfball hits the edge of the basket Thursday evening at Mukilteo Beach on September 9, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Kamiak trio set for beach korfball worlds

Plus, Cascade grad Aubrey Peterson helps Great Britain earn softball silver and much more.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, center, passes as head coach Pete Carroll, left, and assistant quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph, right, look on, during NFL football practice Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Smith to start at QB in Seahawks’ preseason opener

Veteran Geno Smith remains in front of Drew Lock in the key position battle, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox hold off Dust Devils to snap 6-game skid

Mike Salvatore and Dariel Gomez provide key hits in Everett’s 4-2 win.

FILE - Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Saying “the countdown has begun,” 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, she is ready to step away from tennis so she can turn her focus to having another child and her business interests, presaging the end of a career that transcended sports.AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams says she’s ready to step away from tennis

The 23-time Grand Slam champion indicates in an essay that she will stop playing after this month’s U.S. Open.

Most Read