The Bullpups from Spokane used free throw shooting down the stretch to hold off a young Vikings team, 67-59.
TACOMA — Alex Hagen did everything in her power to keep Inglemoor’s girls basketball team from ending a memorable season on a losing note.
Hagen drilled four of five three-point attempts, making two in the final 2 minutes, 37 seconds, but it wasn’t enough in a 67-59 loss to fourth-ranked Gonzaga Prep of Spokane in a game for fourth and sixth place on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
“I think this is just our first milestone, a steppingstone to build on to for the next year and the year after,” said a tearful Hagen, a 6-foot-1 sophomore who finished with 16 points. “A lot of us have been playing together since fifth grade. I just wanted to win really bad today.”
Five sophomores and two freshmen are among the group that will return for Vikings coach John Augustavo. Their state trophy is the first for the school’s girls team.
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“Our future is very bright, and I think we’ll be better next year,” said Augustavo, whose towering front line of 6-4 Deja Strother, 6-2 Julia Hainig and 6-foot Chalayia Fuller caused problems for opponents.
“Our goal is to get back down here (to state) and do better than we did.”
Junior guard Kayla Leland came off the bench to score 19 points as the Bullpups (24-4) shot down the taller, fifth-ranked Vikings (22-4) with three-pointers and free-throw shooting.
The Bullpups salted away the win by sinking 10 of 12 free throws in the final 3:21 on the way to a school-best fourth-place finish. Leland sank a pair of foul shots with 26 seconds left for a 63-59 cushion. After a Vikings turnover, sophomore guard Laura Stockton then nailed two more free throws at the 23.2-second mark.
Stockton delivered 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Bullpups. Kelly Conroy scored 16 for Inglemoor.