It was a tough loss to swallow, blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. But coach Marisa Craine figures games like last night's against Foss of Tacoma eventually will pay...

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It was a tough loss to swallow, blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter.

But coach Marisa Craine figures games like last night’s against Foss of Tacoma eventually will pay dividends for her Lake Washington girls basketball team.

“This was a good game for us,” Craine said after a 59-56 loss in the Roosevelt Holiday Classic at the old Lincoln High School gym in Wallingford. “This will prepare us for the Garfields and Redmonds and Franklins.”

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The Kangaroos fell to 4-3, but all three losses have been to quality teams — including Redmond, ranked No. 10 in 4A, and Bellevue, No. 8 in 3A. Foss is 5-1, with only a one-point loss at Olympia. The Falcons return four starters from a team that reached the 4A state tournament last season.

Lake Washington was hampered in the fourth quarter by the loss of its two primary ball-handlers, Megan Sanders and Anne Phippard. Sanders, who scored a game-high 20 points in the first three quarters, jammed two fingers on her right hand early in the fourth and Craine would not allow her to return. Phippard fouled out with 4:56 to play, leaving with seven points. The Kangs were also without starter Courtney Rondel, who is in California.

Foss opened the fourth quarter with a 14-2 run that included a three-pointer by Melissa Knittel. Knittel had missed her first seven three-point tries, but came up with an even bigger one that gave the Falcons a 57-56 lead with 21.6 seconds to play.

“One of my coaches said, ‘Keep shooting! Maybe you’ll make the game-winning shot,’ and I tried,” said Knittel, who finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Lake Washington called time out to try to set up a final shot, but Shant’e Nance poked the ball away and Shavon Tate passed it up-court to Courtney Wortham-Ragland, who tacked on a layin with six seconds to play.

Latifa Ward led the Falcons with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Tate had a monster all-around game with 12 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Nance added 10 points and four steals.

Megan Ferguson of Lake Washington scored 14 points.

Lake Washington and Foss played last night because Mayfield, Calif., failed to show for the tournament and the Falcons wound up with no game Monday. Lake Washington was supposed to play Mayfair tonight. Host Roosevelt was scheduled against the California team last night, but wound up giving up a game so that Foss and LW could play. The Roughriders play Gonzaga Prep tonight at 6:30.

Other game

Newport 67, Juanita 43

The Knights used a second-half surge to extend their winning streak to five.

After trailing 27-24, Newport opened the third quarter with four consecutive three-pointers, two each by Tricia Dixon and Brittany Duerr, and outscored Juanita 24-12 in the period.

“This was our fourth game in five days,” Newport coach Travis Whitaker said. “I think the girls were dragging a little bit for this one. But they turned it around.”

It’s been quite a turnaround overall for the Knights (7-3), who started the season 2-3. Two of those losses were to Class 4A teams (including Redmond) and the other was to Bellevue. But Newport wasn’t making excuses.

“At the beginning of the season, we weren’t playing as much as a team,” said junior guard Courteney Meehan, who had 13 points, six steals and five rebounds for Newport. “We finally started playing for each other.”

Meehan was one of four Newport players in double figures last night. Dixon and Duerr also finished with 13 apiece, while Dani Quinn added 12. Kalla Vavra had a solid all-around game with nine points, nine rebounds and six assists.

It was the third straight loss for Juanita (2-5), which got 15 rebounds from Jolayna Jacobsen, 13 points each from Aly Howisey and Tara Park and 10 from Syd Uebelacker.

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