TACOMA – The Inglemoor Vikings got back to what they do best on Friday morning at the 4A girls state tournament.
Inglemoor used its length inside, led by a monster performance from 6-foot-4 post De’ja Strother, to intimidate, alter and bother the Arlington Eagles in a loser-out game at the Tacoma Dome.
The third-ranked Vikings held Arlington without a first-quarter field goal, and cruised to a 46-26 victory. Inglemoor (22-4) will play No. 5 Skyview of Vancouver (25-3) at 8 a.m. on Saturday for fourth and sixth places.
“We want that bad,” Inglemoor coach John Augustavo said of fourth. “Skyview is a good team, though. It’s no gimme.”
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A victory would give Inglemoor its highest finish ever at state. The Vikings were sixth a year ago.
Strother almost single-handedly made sure they would get to Saturday. She scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 12 shots.
The 12 blocks tied the 4A state tournament single-game record set in 2007 by Mount Tahoma’s Shauneice Simms.
“That’s pretty cool,” Strother said. “I was just thinking, ‘I wasn’t going to let a shot in.’ I was still frustrated from yesterday, so I just didn’t want to let anything in.”
Inglemoor lost its quarterfinal game on Thursday to Mount Rainier.
On Friday morning, Arlington missed all 11 of its shots in the first quarter as Inglemoor rushed to a 17-1 lead. The Eagles (20-6) didn’t make a shot until Gracie Castaneda drained a three-pointer with 5:14 to go in the second quarter.
Even a 14-7 scoring advantage in the period left Arlington down 24-15 at the half and that’s as close as it got.
“They came out and just put it on us in the first,” coach Joe Marsh said as the Eagles went 0-2 in the tournament after reaching the championship game last year. “We were just, ‘We’re not going out this way.’ ”
Skyview 57, Kentwood 37
This wasn’t the way Sarah Toeaina wanted to end her basketball career, but the classy senior put a positive spin on it.
“It was a great season, one of the funnest seasons I’ve ever had,” the University of Hawaii recruit said after delivering 17 points and nine rebounds. “I really love my team. To have the season end this way is sad, but we made it to the Elite Eight and proved a lot of people wrong.”
Kentwood (20-8) led 15-11 early in the second quarter on a pair of Toeaina free throws, but made just 1 of 12 field goals as Skyview raced to a 24-17 halftime lead. The Conquerors, who have now lost five in a row in the Tacoma Dome, never got closer than six the rest of the way and shot just 26.9 percent for the game.
“This team is built around defense,” Skyview coach Jennifer Buscher said.
Staff writer Sandy Ringer
contributed to this report.