Snohomish senior Catherine Greene puts up a layup against Garfield during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish senior Catherine Greene puts up a layup against Garfield during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish girls’ rally falls short against Garfield

Katie Fiso and the Bulldogs send the Panthers to the round of 12 with a 46-40 loss.

ARLINGTON — Fresh off a district title win over Arlington last weekend, the Snohomish High School girls basketball team got all it could bargain for in three-time defending state champion Garfield.

The Panthers fought back in the second half, but ultimately came up short against the Bulldogs in a 46-40 loss in a Class 3A state regional game on Friday at Arlington High School. Both teams had already advanced to the Tacoma Dome.

Third-seeded Snohomish (17-6) rallied back from a 13-point deficit and cut the lead to three late in the fourth, but costly miscues and a rock-solid scoring effort from Garfield’s star guard Katie Fiso sealed the deal.

“Katie Fiso is tough,” Snohomish coach Ken Roberts said. “She’s been here before and obviously she didn’t want to lose tonight. But we need some kids with that same mentality at this time of a year.”

Fiso paced the sixth-seeded Bulldogs (18-3) with a game-high 22 points and added three steals as Garfield withstood the Panthers’ late surge.

Six-foot junior forward Tyler Gildersleeve-Stiles amassed 12 points and 10 boards and senior Addyson Gallatin chipped in 12 points on four 3-pointers for the Panthers, who will square off with 11th-seeded Kennewick in the round of 12 at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome. Garfield received a bye to the Thursday’s quarterfinals.

“Hopefully our kids will just go play, have fun together and not be nervous,” Roberts said. “We’ve been in a lot of big games over the years, but not a lot of these kids have. We have to get back to focusing on what we do and not let other teams rattle us.”

After falling behind 17-7 going into the second quarter, Snohomish couldn’t quite make the run it needed to obtain the lead. A string of Panthers turnovers and fall-away jumpers from Fiso in the third quarter helped lift the Bulldogs ahead 37-24 entering the fourth.

“We’ve got to handle pressure better,” Roberts said. “We got some baskets that were just ugly possessions. (Garfield) makes you do that, and you’ll take them when you get them, but we’ve got to be stronger with the ball and get into our sets better.”

Snohomish made a last-ditch effort in the final frame. Gallatin hit two 3s before Catherine Greene converted a layup with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 42-36. Gildersleeve-Stiles got a bucket in the paint plus a foul and hit the free throw to make it 42-39 with 40 seconds remaining, but the Panthers didn’t draw any closer as the Bulldogs closed with late-game free throws.

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