The Bulldogs beat Stanwood in the Class 3A state semifinals and will play Gig Harbor for the girls title. Her dad was part of Garfield winning a state title in 1974.
TACOMA — Dalayah Daniels doesn’t want to be left out in the state-championship department. And, it’s showing in her play.
The 6-foot-4 sophomore at Garfield hopes to join her father, Dale, who helped guide the Bulldogs’ boys basketball team to a AAA state title in 1974.
Daniels proved a matchup nightmare, scoring 21 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking two shots as Garfield wore down a tired Stanwood team 46-40 in a Class 3A state semifinal on Friday night in the Tacoma Dome.
“My mind is focused on tomorrow and we still have business to do,” said Daniels, who hit 10 of 17 shots from the floor and helped the Bulldogs to their first championship appearance since winning Class4A in 2005. “We still have 32 more minutes of this season. We’ve got to keep going. I’ve got help my team in all aspects, scoring, assists, rebounding and be there for my team.”
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Garfield, seeded third, got back to the title game under second-year coach Lee Adams, who guided Holy Names to a crown in 2011.
Garfield (23-7) faces the Gig Harbor (20-6) winner in the title game on Saturday at 9 p.m.
The storybook ride ended on dead legs for No. 10 Stanwood (19-7), as it couldn’t finish shots, especially late in the game. The Spartans made just 12 of 44 field goals for 27.3 percent accuracy.
Spartans coach Dennis Kloke, who has been coaching girls and boys basketball at the high-school level for 53 years, remembers Dale Daniels years ago. Kloke likes the offspring’s varied skill set a bit better.
“She’s way better, and you can tell him I said that,’ ” Kloke said.
Said Daniels: “(Hearing that) means a lot. I learned a lot from my dad. I just try to learn all I can and put it all out there on the court.”
Ashley Alter and Larson led Stanwood (19-7) with 11 points apiece.
“Our biggest goal was we wanted to play on Saturday,” Adams said. “They came together, held together and went through some tough times this season and some tough spots here.”
West Seattle falls
Neither team had won a state quarterfinal game in school history until Thursday.
The No. 2 Tides (21-6) took the next step Friday night and are one win away from an elusive state title, thanks to the Brynna Maxwell’s 24 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks. She led the Tides to a 55-46 win over No. 6 West Seattle.
The Wildcats (23-6) never got in a rhythm, but battled. The Wildcats closed within 47-44 on Kelsey Lenzie’s three-pointer with 2:09 left in the game, but Gig Harbor finished on an 8-2 run.
West Seattle, led by Grace Sarver’s 13 points, will still post its best finish in school history – either third or fifth – to eclipse the sixth-place finish in 2015. The Wildcats play Stanwood at 1 p.m.