Glacier Peak girls hoops wins holiday tournament title

The Grizzlies defeated Lewis and Clark 49-40 to win the Top of the Peak Tournament championship.

The Glacier Peak girls basketball team used a massive fourth-quarter run to claim the Top of the Peak Holiday Tournament title with a 49-40 win over Lewis and Clark of Spokane on Saturday afternoon at Glacier Peak High School.

The victory avenged the Grizzlies’ season-ending loss last February, when they fell 55-36 to Lewis and Clark in the Class 4A state regionals.

“To beat a team like LC, it lets us know that we can compete with really good teams,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said. “… It’s a great win. It feels good to know that we can play with them.”

Trailing 35-27 late in the third quarter, the Grizzlies (9-1) scored eight straight points to tie the game at 35 in the fourth. Then after a Lewis and Clark basket, Glacier Peak’s Madison Rubino and Sydney Guffey sank back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Grizzlies a four-point lead with less than five minutes to play.

Glacier Peak pulled away and stretched the margin to 11 points in the game’s closing moments, capping a 20-3 fourth-quarter run.

Aaliyah Collins led the Grizzlies with 13 points, Rubino and Haley Grambo each scored 10 and Malia Smith added eight.

Glacier Peak forced Lewis and Clark (9-2) into numerous turnovers and held the Tigers more than 23 points below their season average entering the game.

“We knew (LC) from last year, and they had no seniors last year, so it’s pretty much the exact same team,” Hill said. “They were good then, (and) they’re better now. We’ve just worked really hard on defense just trying to control some teams that way.”

The Grizzlies beat Peninsula 76-61 on Thursday and defeated Sunnyside 51-34 on Friday before surging past Lewis and Clark in Saturday’s tournament championship game. The eight-team tournament featured six teams that reached their classification’s state regionals last season.

“We put on (this tournament) because we wanted to get tested and play good teams, so we know what we have to work on,” Hill said.

“It was great to come away with a win. But more important than that, we were able to find some weaknesses in ourselves and try to grow as a team so we can continue to get better.”

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