The fifth-ranked Jackson girls basketball team is headed to the Class 4A state quarterfinals after a convincing 50-37 victory over Kentwood on Saturday.
KENT — Kristin Stoffell squinted and smiled.
Without her new prescription goggles, everything was a blur.
“I can’t see anything right now,” she said.
But one thing was crystal clear: Her fifth-ranked Jackson girls basketball team is headed to the Class 4A state quarterfinals after a convincing 50-37 victory over Kentwood on Saturday in the regional round at Kent-Meridian High School.
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Stoffel, the steady senior on a young Timberwolves team, wore the goggles for only the second day after contracting an eye infection that prevents her from wearing contacts for 30 days. They certainly didn’t affect her game as she scored a team-high 13 points to lead Jackson (20-4) to the Tacoma Dome for the first time since 2009, her freshman year.
“It feels awesome,” Stoffell said. “I’m so excited to get back there.”
Sophomore Kelli Kingma added 12 points and five others contributed four points or more.
The Timberwolves had some added incentive after seeing top-ranked Lake Stevens go down against No. 6 Skyview in the first game.
“It made us want to represent WesCo a lot,” said Stoffell, who had not yet realized that WesCo 4A’s third representative, Stanwood, also lost Saturday. “We know Lake Stevens is a great team and we wanted to just hold up our end of WesCo and keep going.”
The Timberwolves never trailed, but Kentwood (21-6) trailed just 14-10 at the end of the first quarter. It was 20-13 when freshman Brooke Kingma, Kelli’s sister, sizzled in a pair of three-pointers to end the half.
Kentwood never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Skyview 72, Lake Stevens 56
The Vikings made run after run, but Skyview had an answer for every one of them.
And Lake Stevens had no answer for 6-foot-1 sophomore Jocelyn Adams, who poured in 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds.
Thus the season ends for a team with visions of a state title. It was just the second loss of the year for Lake Stevens, which placed fourth last year.
“It’s disappointing for our seniors, of course,” coach Randy Edens said. “They feel like they should get back there.”
Instead, it’s the Storm going to the Tacoma Dome for the first time since 2008.
“We’ve been denied the last three years,” Skyview coach Jennifer Buscher said. “Rankings and numbers don’t mean anything anymore. I just told them the toughest team would win, and tonight we were the toughest team.”
Twice in the second half the Vikings trimmed big deficits to four points, the last time at 55-51 with six minutes to play. Then, Adams keyed a 10-3 run that all but iced the victory.
The Storm shot better than 50 percent from the field, including 6 of 11 three-pointers, and made 20 of 25 free throws.
“I guarantee you they haven’t shot like that all year,” Edens said, also lamenting that his team had to play such a tough team.