Everett senior Alana Washington scores in the paint against Seattle Prep during a playoff matchup at Shorewood High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett senior Alana Washington scores in the paint against Seattle Prep during a playoff matchup at Shorewood High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett girls oust Seattle Prep for return trip to the Tacoma Dome

Alana Washington’s 33 points leads the Seagulls to a 64-60 victory.

SHORELINE — The 12th-seeded Everett girls basketball team earned a hard-fought 64-60 win over 20th-seeded Seattle Prep in the second round of state regionals on Saturday afternoon at Shorewood High School.

The nail-biter victory for the Seagulls (17-8) eliminated Seattle Prep (15-14) from the state tournament and moved Everett into the round of 12 against fourth-seeded Auburn at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday in Tacoma.

“It feels amazing to be able to go back and do it again back to back” Everett coach Darrell McNeal said of a second straight trip to the Tacoma Dome. “It’s hard to do. … We’re out there, we’re banging, we’re fighting, we’re scrapping. And to be able to get these girls back two years in a row, I’m excited for them. I’m happy for them. I’m very, very proud of them.”

The Seagulls came into the matchup having topped Meadowdale in the winner-to-state, loser-out 3A District 1 consolation game and were looking to continue the momentum.

The score was tied 55-55 with under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and buckets from senior guards Alana and Mae Washington and a free throw from sophomore Emily Barton gave Everett a 60-57 lead at the one-minute mark. Then a costly turnover by the Panthers negated their chances to cut the lead or tie. Seattle Prep fouled Mae Washington then Alana Washington on consecutive possessions and each made their respective free throws, stretching the score to 64-57. Panthers junior EJ Ovena made a late 3-pointer, but there wasn’t enough time left to get closer.

The Everett girls celebrate a playoff victory over Seattle Prep at Shorewood High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The Everett girls celebrate a playoff victory over Seattle Prep at Shorewood High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“I was imagining it going in,” said Alana Washington of her two made free throws at the end of the fourth quarter. “My sister hit the two, so I can hit the two. I knew I had to at least make one, and I’m thankful I did.”

Alana Washington scored the first 13 points of the game for Everett and finished the afternoon with a game-high 33 points, including six 3-pointers.

“My teammates were putting me in the right positions,” she said. ”My shots were falling today. I knew I had to step up since our point guard (senior Mylie Wugumgeg) is out, and it just paid off.”

Everett never trailed at the conclusion of any quarter, and Seattle Prep’s largest lead of the game was only 42-37, which occurred in the middle of the third quarter.

Mae Washington scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half, and Emily Barton chipped in six.

“I was trying to figure out if somebody else is going to score,” McNeal said. “Alana was scoring early on, but we needed someone else to step up and score. And then when Emily got in foul trouble, we had to sit her, and Mae finally started to pop up and rise, and she started to hit her shots in transition. And that was big. Her being able to transition and hit those little 15-footers and get a couple of buckets going to the rim was a huge difference for us.”

For Seattle Prep, junior Grace Renners scored a team-high 16 points, junior Elsa Castro contributed 13 and sophomore Cody Kohler added 12.

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