MILL CREEK — Once again, the Glacier Peak High School girls basketball team is headed to the state regionals.
The Grizzlies took control with a 13-0 first-half run and pulled away late for a 63-45 win over Inglemoor in a Class 4A Wes-King Bi-District Tournament semifinal Tuesday night at Jackson High School.
With the victory, Wesco 4A champion Glacier Peak (20-2) clinched its fourth consecutive state regional berth and its ninth in the past 10 seasons.
“It’s just really exciting that we get to spend another season (going to state),” Grizzlies junior guard Aaliyah Collins said. “I literally love (my teammates), and it’s nice to know that we’ve accomplished another year of getting to regionals.”
The victory also advanced Glacier Peak to Friday’s bi-district title game against KingCo 4A champion Woodinville (24-0), the only remaining unbeaten in the state’s 4A classification.
Woodinville beat the Grizzlies in last year’s bi-district championship, but Glacier Peak returned the favor less than two weeks later with a 53-51 victory in a Hardwood Classic consolation game en route to a fourth-place state trophy. That was the Falcons’ last loss.
“We’re really excited to play them,” Collins said.
Glacier Peak and KingCo 4A No. 2 seed Inglemoor both got off to fast starts Tuesday during a back-and-forth first quarter.
But after taking a 15-13 lead late in the opening period, the Vikings went cold. Glacier Peak rattled off the next 13 points and held Inglemoor (18-6) scoreless for nearly six minutes.
Kailyn Allison highlighted the run by swishing a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer and Collins made a pair of baskets to give the Grizzlies a 26-15 lead near the midway mark of the second quarter.
“We came out really excited and wanting to do more than just play basketball,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said. “Once we settled down, we did way better.”
Inglemoor closed the gap to five points by halftime and was within single digits for most of the second half. But after the Vikings trimmed the deficit to 49-42 with 4:35 to play, Glacier Peak pulled away with free throws and a series of defensive stops to seal the victory.
The Grizzlies once again featured a balanced attack with four scorers in double figures. Malia Smith drained three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points. Maya Erling also scored 15, despite foul trouble in the second half. Collins added 14 and post Madison Rubino provided 11.
Lucy Young led Inglemoor with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Abby Haller added 12 points and Colbi Zorich scored 10 for the Vikings.
With the loss, Inglemoor dropped to the bi-district loser’s bracket and will face Wesco 4A runner-up Lake Stevens in a winner-to-state, loser-out game Thursday. Lake Stevens kept its season alive with a 52-42 win over Mount Si on Tuesday.