TACOMA — There would be no repeat of last year’s two-and-out state performance for Meadowdale’s girls basketball team.
Senior center Caitlyn Rohrbach made sure of it.
Rohrbach scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Mavericks to a 57-39 victory over Bellarmine Prep in a loser-out game March 9 at the Tacoma Dome.
Teammate Marelle Moehrle added 10 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Unlike its sluggish first-half performance in a first-round loss to Kentwood, Meadowdale played much sharper early on against the Lions. The Mavericks shot 47 percent from the field in the first half.
Junior guard Makayla Beucherie’s basket gave Meadowdale a 12-11 lead at the 1:18 mark of the first period. Junior forward Kanisha Draper then scored a putback basket at the buzzer and also was fouled. She made the free throw to complete the 3-point play and gave the Mavericks a 15-11 first quarter lead.
Meadowdale never again trailed in the game, though Bellarmine Prep kept the deficit to six points through the start of the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks then outscored the Lions 16-8 in the final period to set up an eagerly anticipated rematch with Western Conference South Division rival Jackson.
Meadowdale coach Dan Taylor didn’t feel the Mavericks’ first-half play was as sharp as it could have been.
“But we’ll take what we have right now,” he said. “We’re playing second-half basketball and I want it to be a full four quarters. If we can get that we’ll be fine the rest of the weekend.”
Taylor was pleased with Meadowdale’s aggressiveness on offense.
“We told them if you want it, you’ve got to go after it,” he said. “They wanted the ball and they went after it, so that was great.”
Meadowdale ended up with a significant edge in free throws, scoring 22 points to Bellarmine Prep’s 11.
“We were in double bonus early in both halves,” Taylor said. “So that helped. You’ve got to go hard to the hoop. That’s our game plan for all these games.”
The memory of losing both games at state last year provided some extra motivation for the Mavericks.
“We needed to come out here wanting it,” Moehrle said. “We don’t want to do what we did last year — two and out. It’s Caitlyn’s senior year and my junior year. We want to place. We’ve had more experience at state than these other teams. We knew that we needed to come out and dominate. So today we had a different focus. We focused on dominating on everything and controlling the game.”
Meadowdale’s strong second-half play in its first-round game against Kentwood seemed to carry over to Thursday’s contest against Bellarmine Prep.
“We wanted to keep on that roll of finishing our shots, rebounding and getting to the line,” Moehrle said.