In a game that ended after midnight, the Tides outlasted the Bulldogs 51-48 for their first Class 3A state girls title. Brynna Maxwell’s 31 points for Gig Harbor breaks the 3A tournament scoring record.
TACOMA — In the end, it was just too much Brynna Maxwell.
The Garfield High School girls basketball team had no answer for the Gig Harbor junior guard and that spoiled their evening.
In a duel to the finish, Maxwell provided 31 points, seven rebounds and three steals as the Tides denied a double celebration in the Central District with a gutty 51-48 victory in the Class 3A state championship game that stretched into Sunday morning.
The Bulldogs girls (23-8) hoped to join the fun after the boys team collected a state title earlier and make history, but the couldn’t make the plays down the stretch.
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“This is the first time all these kids have been here and to get second, the messaging out of it was, ‘Yes, it hurts, and it’s almost better to get third than second, because you go out on a win,’ ” said Garfield coach Lee Adams, who led Holy Names to a Class 3A title in 2011. “But don’t let this color what your season was. You have to understand that it was a success, and this may hurt, but we fought and fought and sometimes in life, fighting isn’t enough.”
Garfield, led by the 20 points and 15 rebounds from sophomore Dalayah Daniels, came up just short and that allowed Gig Harbor (22-6) to bring home its first state title in the sport.
“I can’t even believe it,” said Maxwell, who broke the Class 3A scoring record for a single tournament with 83 points, eclipsing the 77 of Omou Toure of Kamiakin of Kennewick last year. “I’m stunned. We knew it all along that that was the goal all along. No one believed us, everyone doubted us but we’re the only team to be able to get this far. I’m just so proud of our team.”
The Tides sank 21 of 21 free throws, including all eight in the fourth quarter. Maxwell was 12 of 12 from the line.
The Bulldogs led 46-45 on two free throws from Samaiyah Tolliver with 1:16 to play in the game, but a foul was called on the block out for the second free throw. That put Maxwell on the line and she hit two foul shots for a 47-46 lead.
Maxwell added two more at the 18-second mark for a 49-46 lead. Garfield got the ball back, but senior Emani Turner was called for double dribble with 9.5 seconds left. It will be two different endings in the Turner household as Emani’s brother, Eddie, played a big role in the boys’ title.
“Those kids are together, got a really supportive family and they’re going to be happy for each other,” Adams said. “Emani has the wherewithal to know it does hurt, but it was a successful season.”
Garfield was looking to join the boys, who bested Metro rival Rainier Beach 72-63 in overtime, to become first duo to sweep championships in 3A in 40 years of title games being played concurrently. They remain the only school do so in the big school classifications — 3A and 4A — as the Bulldog squads pulled off the double titles in 1980 and 1987 in 4A. Lynden Christian pulled off the feat Saturday in the Class 1A tourney.
Only nine other times schools have had boys and girls teams go for a pair of titles on the same night in the big-school category.
Maxwell, who came in averaging 26 points in two tournament games, started hot with 17 points at halftime as the Tides led 28-27 in a back-and-forth half. Daniels answered with 14 points before the break as the Bulldogs climbed out of an early 9-2 hole.
“She made some tough shots,” Adams said of Maxwell.
Garfield has won three state crowns, with the last coming in 2005 with a 63-58 decision over Snohomish in the Class 4A final. The Bulldogs won state titles in 1980 and 1987, both in 4A.
• First team: MVP, Brynna Maxwelll, Gig Harbor; Dalayah Daniels, Garfield; Oumou Toure, Kamiakin; Jasmine Gayles, West Seattle; Maddie Willett, Gig Harbor.
• Second team: Bea Franklin, Seattle Prep; Ashley Alter, Stanwood; Jullian Heichel, Stanwood; Alexa Hazel, Kamiakin; Meghan Fiso, West Seattle.