San Antonio Stars forward Alex Montgomery's sister Kondalia wants to turn the Abes' first Class 3A state semifinals appearance in four decades into a 2018 championship.

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TACOMA – There won’t be any excuses this basketball offseason.

If Kondalia Montgomery’s older sister returns home next fall, the Lincoln shooting guard plans to be right by her side. Back-to-back losses at the Class 3A girls basketball state tournament last week was a painful way to learn there are few better advantages to success than having a WNBA standout train you — especially when she’s also your sister in San Antonio forward Alex Montgomery.

Alex, a WNBA first-round draft pick in 2011, didn’t play overseas due to the sisters’ mother suffering an undisclosed illness. In addition to caring for the family, Alex also was a first-year coach at Steilacoom and pestered Kondalia to join her WNBA offseason workouts. Alex averaged 14.3 minutes per game as a reserve for the Stars last year.

“Every single time I say, ‘Come workout,” she always had excuses,” said Alex, whose Sentinels finished the season at 8-15 overall, placing fourth in South Puget Sound League 2A standings. “I’ve only been to the gym with her one time. And she dominated, not me, a group workout.”

Teary-eyed after a loss to top-seed Bishop Blanchet for a chance to take the Abes to their first state championship game, Kondalia admitted she should’ve listened to her sister. Lincoln (21-8) was scoreless for the final four minutes of the Blanchet loss.

Lincoln also lost the third-place game to Snohomish. The Abes, known for their offense and aggressive defense, shot 28.6 percent from the field on Saturday. Kondalia, a 5-foot-7 junior, averaged 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds during the four-day tournament run.

“Working out with (Alex) is very, very, very intense and hard,” said Kondalia, the youngest of five siblings. “I liked it, but she pushes you to do things you don’t want to do and be uncomfortable. I guess that’s what I gotta do now. I have to workout with her if I want to get us to the No. 1 spot.”

Alex, a 6-1 wing, played at Georgia Tech were she was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team.

“She’s just like me,” Alex said of her little sister. “She hustles, she works hard. She’s just got to create her own shot though, that’s all that she’s gotta do. I love watching her play and talking to her after the game, giving her feedback and stuff like that.”

Lincoln’s girls state semifinal appearance was the program’s first since 1980. The Abes expect to return eight players from the squad, but graduate star Morticia Mc’Call. The 5-10 forward averaged 16.5 points and 8 rebounds per game at the Tacoma Dome.

“When you lose anybody like Money, it’s a big deal,” Lincoln coach Jamila Jones said. “I love my younger players. And we’re playing without some players who could really help us out…This is a program they can be proud of and we can do something if we just all stick together.”