BOTHELL — Sometimes a loss truly isn’t all bad.
Take the Lake Washington Kangaroos, who more than put a disappointing performance in the 2A district championship game against Lynden behind them on Saturday night at Bothell High.
Lake Washington erupted with 26 first-quarter points and never let off the accelerator until it had an 87-60 regional round victory over outmanned Bremerton well in hand.
“We came out, just started rolling and making out shots,” senior Kelly Guy said.
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The Kangaroos (15-9) converted on their first five field goals, and 10 of the first 14. They led it 26-13 after the second of five 3-pointers from point guard Jeffrey Staudacher with 1 minute, 19 seconds to go in the first quarter and never led by less than nine points the rest of the way.
“I think our guys have been looking forward to this for a really long time,” Kangs coach Ryan Staudacher said. “We had a team meeting, refocused after that disappointing loss at Lynden, and felt really good about our game plan.”
Lake Washington returns to state two years after finishing fourth at the 3A tournament in the Tacoma Dome. As a 2A school this year, the Kangs head to Yakima’s SunDome for a quarterfinal game on Thursday.
“It’ll be pretty exciting and fun,” said Guy, who filled up the stat sheet on Saturday with a career-high 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds. “Any of us can do it on any given night. I’m happy it could be me tonight. It’s a team thing, though. Everybody was moving the ball tonight.”
Guy wasn’t the only Kangaroo to have a big night.
Staudacher finished with 19 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field. Drew Heimdahl added 21 points and seven rebounds. But Guy was the guy the Kangaroos seemed to find.
“He’s kind of the heart and soul of our team,” Ryan Staudacher said. “And defensively, he’s our guy.”
The Lake Washington performances made nice game’s from Deonte Dixon (18 points, six rebounds) and Tarez Tyree Mason (16 points, six rebounds) seem insignificant for Bremerton (18-6).
Lake Washington, which led it by 14 at the half, opened the third quarter with a 16-3 run to take complete control at 60-33.
Hockinson 64, Foster 53
In a 2A boys game at Kent Meridian High School, the senior guard tandem Jack Klodt (24 points) and Alan Haagen (22) powered the Hawks to the round of eight teams on Thursday at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
The Hawks (19-5) converted 33 of 39 free throws in the regional game with Klodt sinking all 15 of his attempts and Haagen making 13 of 14 foul shots.
Foster, led by Cory Covarrubia’s 12 points, finished the season 13-15. The Bulldogs made 20 of 26 free throws.
Foster closed with 53-49 with 1:51 to play on Ben Mitchell’s three-pointer, but sank 13 of 16 free throws in the final 1:18 to seal the win. Mitchell finished with 10 points.
White River 70, River Ridge 50
Senior Brandon Dove scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter as the eighth-ranked Hornets (20-7) pulled away for good in a 2A boys game at Puyallup High School.
Spencer Swigart hit 14 of his 20 in the first half – including seven during a decisive 10-3 spurt that put them up by 15.. Brandon Garvin added 17 points.
White River, which tied for second in the SPSL, has won seven straight. The team lost a one-point heartbreaker to Burlington-Edison in last year’s regional round after placing second at state the season before. River Ridge (14-11) was led by LaBrandon Price with 13 points. Kobe Key added 11 and Austin Parker 10.
White River 71, Black Hills 63
In a 2A girls game at Puyallup High School, Kendall Bird, a 6-foot freshman, continued her torrid postseason pace with 25 points – nine in the final quarter – to lead the fifth-ranked Hornets (22-5). It was their seventh straight victory. Juniors Amanda Lance and Kristin Sturdivan added 19 and 14 points, respectively.
No. 4 Black Hills (19-6) trailed just 55-52 early in the fourth before a Bird putback sparked an 8-2 run. Sarah McGee, a 5-11 senior headed to Southern Utah, scored 16 of her 18 points in the opening quarter. She added 15 rebounds while Bird had 13 rebounds. Nicole Nurmi also hit for 18, while Taylor Sauls had 12 points.
Bear Creek 51, Wahkiakum 48
Already without their two-time MVP, the Bear Creek Grizzlies also arrived at Bothell High for their 2B girls regional game at Bothell High School without their free throw shooting.
Despite making only eight of 28 from the line, and missing 20 of their final 24, the Grizzlies still managed to hold on for a 51-48 win over game Wahkiakum and advance to the state tournament that begins next Thursday at Spokane Arena.
“We might have some free throw practice Monday,” Bear Creek coach Greg Cheever said. “We’ve had some free throw issues this year.”
What should have been a bigger issue for the Grizzlies (21-1) was the absence of Kristina Englestone, their two-time league MVP. But Bear Creek got a huge game from Catherine Fernandez to mitigate that loss.
The Washington University-bound (St. Louis) Englestone tore her right ACL halfway through the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies previous game – the district title contest against LaConner. That left Englestone, who did dress but was on crutches, only a cheerleader on the bench.
Fernandez was a lot more. The senior dominated inside, pulling down 20 rebounds (10 each on the offensive and defensive ends) and scoring a game-high 23 points.
Two of Fernandez’s field goals came off offensive rebounds of her own free throw misses.
“She got two of those,” Cheever said. “She played a great game, just phenomenal.”
Even as Bear Creek failed to convert at the line, the Grizzlies steadily built a lead over the Mules (15-7). Bear Creek ended the first quarter on a 13-0 run, led 24-16 at the half and 37-28 after three quarters.
But Sam Boyce and Tori Wegdahl weren’t done for Wahkiakum. Boyce scored 11 of her 16 points in the fourth, including two 3-pointers, and Wegdahl added nine of her 16 as the Mules closed to within a single point, 49-48, with 10 seconds left.
And even though Bear Creek missed two more free throws in four attempts, the Mules never got a real chance again, thanks to a final offensive rebound from Fernandez with six seconds to play.
“The girls like to test me,” Cheever said, smiling. “They don’t like me to sit down. We like to keep the crowd engaged, want them to get their monies worth.”
Onalaska 76, Auburn Adventist 58
At Kent Meridian High School, senior Travis McMillion scored 23 of his game-high 40 points in the first half as the Loggers (20-6) turned up the heat in the second quarter to advance to the 2B state quarterfinals.
Onalaska used an 18-0 second-quarter spurt to open a 40-19 advantage late in the second quarter. The Loggers led 42-22 at halftime.
The Falcons (17-6) have only been eligible for postseason for two years and have never made this far in the playoffs after being eliminated from Tri-District last season.
Gabe Chaikin led Auburn Adventist with 18 points.
The Loggers, who led by as many as 33 points, advance to the 2B round of eight state teams starting Thursday at Spokane Arena.
Seattle Academy 73, La Salle 53
After two straight losses bounced Seattle Academy from the state tournament a year ago, the Cardinals will get another chance to find success at the Yakima Valley SunDome after punching their ticket to the 1A boys tournament with a resounding win over La Salle at Bellevue College.
Daniel Davydov hit four three-pointers en route to a game-high 30 points for Seattle Academy (19-4), which never trailed. Gus Bonny led La Salle (18-6) with 12 points, while Austin Gasseling and Bret Oldham each added 10, but the Lightning struggled with 15 turnovers.
Granger 37, University Prep 20
In a 1A girls game at Bellevue College, University Prep saw its season come to a close after it couldn’t overcome a dreadful shooting performance against Granger. The Pumas (17-4) shot just 16.7 percent from the field (8 for 48), made no three-pointers in four attempts and hit half of their free-throw attempts.
Granger struggled from the field, as well, shooting just 26.2 percent, but University Prep did not score more than seven points in a quarter, managing just two in the third. Anja Beard had eight points for the Pumas, which also lost in the round of 16 last season.