Brooke Pahukoa scored 22 of her 34 points before halftime as the Vikings advanced to a semifinal showdown with WesCo North rival Arlington.
TACOMA — Many shooters struggle with the open spaces and distant backdrop of the Tacoma Dome at the state tournament.
Do not count Brooke Pahukoa among those.
Pahukoa was seeing clearly Thursday as she dropped in 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds as ninth-ranked Lake Stevens dunked Kentwood 52-36 in the Class 4A girls basketball quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome.
The Vikings (20-7) reached the semifinals for the first time with a dominating victory over the Conquerors (19-7). Pahukoa scored 22 while the Vikings built a 34-18 halftime lead, and the rout was on.
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“It was just one of those days where the rims looked and felt huge,” Pahukoa said. “Luckily, I was making them. Tomorrow, if I need to just step up and play defense for my team, I will, and I hope I can do that. I’m not making a huge deal of the shooting.
“That’s what we needed today, and we got it done.”
Pahukoa’s shooting was lights-out. The 5-foot-9 senior, who will play for Boise State next season with her teammate and twin Brittney, sank 13 of 24 shots and 7 of 8 free throws in almost 30 minutes of action.
“If that’s another day at the office for Brooke, then we’re in great shape,” Lake Stevens coach Randall Edens said. “She was spectacular. Those kind of sequences, you just let her go and let her go do her thing. It’s one of those zones, you ride it as long as you possibly can.”
Pahukoa was eight points short of her career high of 42, set earlier this season, and nine short of the 4A tournament record by Jackson’s Kristi Kingma in 2008 against Skyview.
Lake Stevens faces Arlington in the semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Friday. It will be the third meeting of the season between the WesCo North rivals. Arlington won 77-51 at home on Dec. 8 and Lake Stevens won 55-41 on the Vikings’ floor on Jan. 25.
“It’s going to be a war,” Edens said. “It’s such a special thing for both programs, because one of us is going to end up in the title game.”
Kentwood, led by Sarah Toeaina’s 16 points, faces Gonzaga Prep in a loser-out game at 12:15 p.m. Friday.
Gonzaga Prep 40
The sixth-ranked Eagles (21-4) earned their first trip to the semifinals since the 1982 state-title team, thanks to a big three-pointer from Lindsay Brown with 1:56 to play for a 41-37 lead. Arlington survived a last-second shot by the Bullpups (22-4) that could have tied it.
The 6-1 Brown finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Gonzaga Prep sophomore Laura Stockton’s misfired short and right on a three-point attempt just before the final buzzer. Stockton finished with 12 points, but the Bullpups couldn’t overcome an 11-point second-half deficit or 25 percent shooting (14 of 54).
Mead 53, Skyline 33
Skyline scored the first two points, then it was all Mead.
The second-ranked Panthers (23-1) from Spokane poured in 16 straight and led 22-3 at the end of the first quarter. It was 34-12 by halftime.
No. 8 Skyline (20-6) of Sammamish made only 5 of 34 shots in the half, 14.7 percent. The Spartans shot 21 percent overall.
Skyline senior Haley Smith was 2 of 15 en route to six points, less than half her average. The 6-1 Smith, who has signed with Colorado, had a game-high 11 rebounds. Teammate Rachel Shim led all scorers with 16 points.
Mount Rainier 61,
With the top-ranked Rams (26-1) trailing 56-53 in the final 2 ½ minutes, Brittany McPhee scored six straight points — including a hanging, double-clutch bucket in the key, to lead her team back to the semifinals. She finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds.
“There was that moment (of doubt), but we’ve pulled it out before,” McPhee said. “We’ve been in that situation before, so let’s get down and get to it.”
Her two free throws with 44.4 seconds left put Mount Rainier up 59-56. The fifth-ranked Vikings (21-3), who trailed by 13 in the second quarter, had two chances to tie, but couldn’t convert. Emily Fiso sealed the victory by making two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining.
Mount Rainier led by 10 early in the third period, then Julia Haining came to life with 12 of her team-high 19 points for Inglemoor.
Times staff reporter Sandy Ringer
contributed to this report.