TACOMA — After battling through four loser-out games in its past five contests, the Everett girls basketball team had another win-or-go-home situation Wednesday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome.
The No. 13-seed Seagulls fell one bucket short from advancing, dropping a highly contested bout to No. 5 Lincoln of Tacoma 45-43. With the victory, the Abes will square off against Lake Washington (24-2) in the quarterfinal round Thursday at 12:15 p.m.
Oliviyah Edwards, a 6-foot-3 freshman, was a nightmare on the glass for Lincoln (20-4), reeling in 20 rebounds (six offensive) with nine points and two blocks.
Despite a rough shooting day that saw Everett (18-8) convert just 27.6% of its shots, the ‘Gulls hung around for the long haul behind first-team All-Wesco juniors Alana Washington and Mae Washington.
Alana Washington had a game-high 17 points, adding six boards and three assists while Mae Washington posted nine points, six rebounds and three steals.
“Our girls can compete against anybody. If you look at the programs in our league, overall, they’ve had winning teams that make it to state,” Everett coach Darrell McNeal said. “We want to be one of those teams. One thing I can take away from today: It wasn’t any one play, it was an overall play. We gotta be able to shoot the ball better, and I think that was the difference. … They hit outside shots, we didn’t.”
The Seagulls went 0-for-12 from the 3-point line while Lincoln hit 5 of 12, including 4-for-7 in the second half.
Junior Jaleigha Robinson hit three crucial 3s for the Abes and had 13 points.
Early on, Everett jumped ahead 10-6 as senior guard Junior Parrish picked off one of her three steals and sent a pass ahead to Mae Washington, who laid it in on the other end with 1 minute, 38 seconds left in the first period. The ‘Gulls went into the second in front 10-8.
A 12-2 Lincoln run to begin the quarter provided the Abes with a 20-12 advantage with 1:45 left, a lead that proved the for either team in the game.
A pair of layins from Alana Washington brought the Seagulls back within striking distance as they trailed 20-17 at intermission.
Everett blitzed as they came back out on the floor in the third, regaining a 21-20 lead at the 7:11 mark. However, it would be the ‘Gulls last lead of the day.
Back-to-back triples from Robinson and senior Malani Warren gave Lincoln a 28-23 cushion with 3:51 to go in the third.
The Seagulls continued their push into the final period, finding themselves within a single possession at multiple points.
After Alana Washington split a pair of free throws, the Abes led 37-36. Robinson buried a 3-pointer on the following trip down the floor as Lincoln pulled ahead 40-36 with 4:09 left.
Lanie Thompson hit a 15-footer at the top of the key and followed it up with a block on the defensive side as Everett regained control of the ball. Mae Washington went 1-for-2 at the stripe and Everett trailed 40-39 with 1:15 remaining.
After Everett junior Mylie Wugumgeg (nine points, four rebounds) darted up the length of the floor and banked in a runner and was fouled, Everett was within a point again at 42-41. She missed the free throw, giving the Abes a chance to close it out for good.
They did just that, as Edwards ate up another offensive board on the other end and muscled in a bucket and drew a foul. She hit the freebie, giving Lincoln a 45-41 edge.
Wugumgeg was fouled on a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left and made the first two. She intentionally missed the third to give Everett a desperation chance at a tip-in. It didn’t happen, and the Seagulls first trip to the Hardwood Classic since 1996 ended one game shy of a quarterfinal berth.
“We had to play a bunch of loser-outs just to even get here,” McNeal said. “I told them coming into this that we have nothing to lose and there’s so much to gain. Don’t drop your heads, hang your heads up, be prideful. … The only thing I could have hoped for was if one of us could make an outside jumper.”
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