Stanwood girls outlast Bellevue 51-45

BELLEVUE — Out of necessity, Kaitlyn Larson plays post for the Stanwood girls basketball team. But the junior’s natural position is guard, and her experience on the perimeter proved beneficial Saturday.

The versatile Larson hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 16 points as the No. 5-seeded Spartans earned a bye into the Class 3A state quarterfinals with a 51-45 win over No. 4 seed Bellevue in a non-elimination state regional at Bellevue College.

“I’ve had to play her out of position,” Stanwood coach Dennis Kloke said. “She’s a wing, but we don’t have a post. She’s our most physical individual inside, so I have to.”

Stanwood juniors Ashley Alter and Jillian Heichel added 12 points apiece to complement Larson, but it was the Spartans’ defense that paved the way to victory.

Despite facing a height disadvantage against the taller Wolverines, Stanwood (20-4) held Bellevue to its third-lowest point total of the season. Kloke praised players like senior Ashley Bierer, Larson, Heichel and Alter for their work on the defensive end.

“We had an excellent scouting report and we thought we matched up defensively pretty well, even though they were a lot bigger,” Kloke said. “I was really pleased with the defense.”

By virtue of its top-eight seed, Stanwood entered the game already assured of the program’s first trip to the Tacoma Dome since 1998. The regional win means the Spartans will bypass Wednesday’s loser-out first-round games and face either No. 3 seed Lincoln or No. 11 seed West Seattle in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

“We feel the program is taking the steps forward,” said Kloke, whose Stanwood teams have twice fallen one win short of the Tacoma Dome with regional losses in 2012 and 2013. “This is huge to get to the dome, because that’s what people consider the state tournament.”

After Bellevue (21-4) jumped to an early 5-0 lead, Stanwood answered with 13 straight points while holding the Wolverines scoreless for more than five minutes. Alter helped key the run with eight first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers.

Bellevue countered with 12 straight points to retake the lead, but Larson ended the Stanwood scoring drought with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Spartans a two-point edge midway through the second quarter. Stanwood sophomore Madison Chisman later made a buzzer-beating lay-in as the first half expired to tie the game at 24.

Stanwood trailed by four points midway through the third quarter, but Larson swished a go-ahead 3-pointer and Alter came up with a steal and layup in the closing seconds of the period to cap a 9-2 run and give the Spartans a 38-35 lead.

Shortly after Bellevue rallied from a five-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter, Heichel swished a pivotal 3-pointer to give Stanwood a 45-42 lead with three minutes left to play.

Then after Bellevue trimmed the margin to a point, Larson hit her fourth 3-pointer of the night to extend the Spartans’ lead to four. Stanwood held Bellevue without a field goal for the final two minutes and salted the game away with free throws.

Seniors Kate Parrish and Ann-Marie Jacobs each scored 11 points for Bellevue.

Talk to us

More in Sports

FILE - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda autographs a baseball in the Dodgertown locker-room in Vero Beach, Fla., in this Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1990, file photo. Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, has died. He was 93. The Dodgers said Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, that he had a heart attack at his home in Fullerton, California. Resuscitation attempts were made on the way to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Former Cascade baseball coach remembers time with MLB legend

Bob Smithson spent time in the minor leagues playing against up-and-coming manager Tommy Lasorda.

Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Poona Ford turns away from the field as he stands at the bench late in the second half of Seattle’s playoff loss to the Los Angels Rams last Saturday at Lumen Field. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
POLL RESULTS: Seahawks’ season was not a success

Despite Seattle going 12-4, more than double the voters considered the season a failure than a success.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) gets instruction from quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. The most recognizable trend in hiring NFL head coaches has been to target young, innovative offensive teachers with a track record of developing quarterbacks. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)
Who will become Seahawks’ next offensive coordinator?

A look at some candidates who may be able to step in for the recently ousted Brian Schottenheimer.

Washington forward Hameir Wright (13) shoots between Southern California forward Isaiah Mobley (3) and forward Evan Mobley (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
UW men lose to USC, fall to 1-10 on season

The Huskies remain winless in Pac-12 play after a 95-68 road loss to the Trojans.

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) shoots while pressured by Pepperdine forward Kene Chukwuka (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
No. 1 Gonzaga overcomes poor 1st half, rolls past Pepperdine

The Bulldogs were up just four at halftime, but cruise down the stretch to win 95-70.

Lakewood's Landen Pruitt runs the ball during the 2A State playoff game against Sequim on Friday, Nov. 15, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
WIAA announces another change to prep sports schedule

The announcement comes after new plans from the governor. Wesco is still submitting its own proposal.

United States goalie Dustin Wolf (32) makes a save on Russia's Yegor Chinakhov (21) during the third period of an IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship game in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Silvertips notebook: Wolf earns gold with U.S. at world juniors

Everett’s goalie serves as a backup, but appears in two of seven games and stops all 21 shots he faces.

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider walks on the field during warmups before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Seattle. The Seahawks have agreed to a contract extension with general manager John Schneider that will keep him tied to the franchise through the 2027 draft. The Seahawks announced Schneider’s extension on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, three days after their season ended in a 30-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card playoff game. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seahawks agree to contract extension with Schneider

The well-regarded general manager is now tied to the team through the 2027 draft.

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, right, talks with head coach Pete Carroll, left, following an organized team activity, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at the team's NFL football training facility in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seahawks part ways with offensive coordinator Schottenheimer

The team cites ‘philosophical differences’ as the reason for moving on from the 47-year-old play-caller.

Most Read