TACOMA —Two teams with plenty of history going toe-to-toe in the state tournament projects to be a tight matchup.
Unfortunately for Glacier Peak, the fifth-seeded Grizzlies couldn’t solve senior forward Jacinta Buckley or overcome a first-half deficit in a 48-38 loss to the Lewis and Clark Tigers in the quarterfinals of the 4A girls state tournament at the Tacoma Dome on Friday.
“There’s a lot of familiarity,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said. “It’s one of those things where you don’t want to play each other today. You’d like to see each other a little farther down the line.”
Glacier Peak and Lewis and Clark have linked up three times in the last two seasons despite being located on opposite ends of the state. The Tigers ended the Grizzlies’ season last year by toppling GP in the state regional round, but the Grizzlies exacted revenge at the Top of the Peak Holiday Tournament earlier this year with a 49-40 win.
In the trilogy of matchups between the two schools, the Grizzlies struggled in an area they usually excel and allowed the Tigers to shoot 60 percent from the field in the first half. It resulted in a 28-20 deficit at half.
“The shots that they got were us miscuing on some of our trapping, where they’re able to get up the floor and finish at their bucket,” Hill said. “Part of that was us, their 60 percent shooting.”
Lewis and Clark only increased its lead with a 14-9 third quarter and nursed the advantage from there.
Buckley, a UNLV signee, was a force for the Tigers, with 17 points and nine rebounds.
“We came in there with a gameplan to try to slow down Buckley and try to take (senior center Anna) Reeves away, but Buckley is going to get hers,” Hill said. “She’s a good player. She’s going to UNLV for a reason.”
While the Tigers were solid around the cup, the Grizzlies struggled around the basket, shooting just 32 percent from the field.
“We missed our bunnies,” Hill said. “Those were free for the taking and it’s kind of a momentum thing. When you score you get a little excited and when you play good defense we get excited, and we didn’t finish and that was part of the excitement we were lacking today.”
Dominique Arquette chipped in 11 points and Andie Zylak finished with 10 points and seven boards for the Tigers.
Maya Erling led the Grizzlies with 14 points and Aaliyah Collins added 13.
Lewis and Clark will play second-seeded Kentridge in the state semifinals. Glacier Peak will take on top-seeded Woodinville in a consolation game at 2 p.m. Friday.
The Grizzlies only lose two players — Sydney Guffey and Haley Grambo — to graduation after the season and will return a considerable chunk of their roster. Extra games at state provide valuable experience for a team seemingly with a bright future.
“I think it’s great,” Hill said. “For all these underclassmen to get a little bit of time is good. Because they’ll see what this is about and be hungry for next year. But it’s not over, we’re going to play (Woodinville) … and hopefully get one of those games and play on Saturday.”