TACOMA — The Glacier Peak girls basketball team took momentum into the locker room after closing the gap and hitting a halftime buzzer-beater.
But Woodinville seized it right back with a massive third quarter and turned the latest showdown between these bi-district rivals into a rout.
Top-seeded Woodinville remained unbeaten and ended the sixth-seeded Grizzlies’ championship dreams, pulling away in the second half for a 63-41 win in a Class 4A state semifinal Friday in the Tacoma Dome.
“They’re a very well-rounded, strong, physical team,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said. “They wore us out. We usually wear people out, but they wore us out. … They were better than us tonight.”
This was the fourth meeting in the past 13 months between these bi-district rivals.
They split a pair of matchups last year and met again two weeks ago in the 4A Wes-King Bi-District Tournament title game. Woodinville (28-0) won that matchup in a tightly contested overtime battle.
The Falcons turned the rematch into a one-sided affair.
After the Grizzlies (22-5) cut the deficit to three points by halftime, Woodinville outscored Glacier Peak 27-7 in a dominant third quarter. The Falcons took a 23-point lead into the final period and extended the margin to 60-33 early in the fourth.
“In the third quarter, it was anybody’s game,” Woodinville coach Scott Bullock said. “And we came out and probably played our best basketball of the year. … Everything was dropping, the girls were pushing the ball, finishing lay-ins, hitting threes. Everything went right.”
The Grizzlies struggled to push the tempo and get their fast-paced attack going against Woodinville’s long and physical defense.
The Falcons held Glacier Peak to a season-low 41 points and limited the Grizzlies to just 14-of-49 (28.6%) from the field. Glacier Peak also committed 18 turnovers.
“They’re so strong (that) if we go through there, we bump (and) we bounce off,” Hill said. “They’re in good position and they’re long, so there’s not a lot of gaps and there’s not a lot of holes. They close out quick, so it’s tough to get threes off. They’re great defensively.”
Woodinville sophomore guard Tatum Thompson scored 10 of her 17 points in the third quarter, including a jumper and 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions that stretched the Falcons’ lead to double digits.
Standout junior forward Mia Hughes made 13 free throws and led Woodinville with 23 points and nine rebounds. Brooke Beresford, a freshman, added nine points and eight rebounds for the Falcons.
The Grizzlies limited Veronica Sheffey to seven points after yielding 21 points to Woodinville’s point guard in the bi-district championship. But this time, it was Thompson who stepped up with a big game.
“We were trying to speed up the tempo and trying to take Veronica out because she killed us last time, but then Tatum steps up and has a knockout day,” Hill said. “So they’ve got a lot of weapons.”
Aaliyah Collins and Maya Erling led Glacier Peak with 13 points apiece.
Woodinville opened the second quarter with a 13-2 run to build an 11-point lead, but the Grizzlies closed the half strong. Glacier Peak’s Kailyn Allison swished a long jumper at the buzzer, cutting the Falcons’ advantage to 27-24.
But it was all Woodinville in the second half.
The Falcons advanced to the state championship game for the second time in three seasons and will face third-seeded Central Valley at 5 p.m. Saturday. It will be a rematch of the 2018 state title game, which the Bears won before capping their undefeated season with a national championship.
Glacier Peak will play seventh-seeded Union in the third/fifth-place game at 11:15 a.m. Saturday. The Grizzlies, who placed fourth in last year’s 4A state tournament, are guaranteed their third state trophy in four seasons.
“It’s really hard first of all to get to the Tacoma Dome,” Hill said. “And then it’s harder to get to a trophy game. And we did that.
“So now it’s our choice. Do we want to try and bring home the three or the five? … Last year was a four, so we can go a step down or a step up. And so that’s the message going forward: What do we want to bring home?”