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Kentwood defeats Lynnwood in double overtime for a trip to the Hardwood Classic at the Tacoma Dome | Prep Girls Basketball
Kentwood wasn’t ready for its season to end.
In a wild finish in double overtime Kentwood came away with the 61-60 win over Lynnwood in the regional round of the 4A girls state basketball tournament Friday night at Jackson High in Mill Creek.
Kentwood senior Kylee Ashley said a close loss to top-ranked Mount Rainier late in the regular season prepared the Conquerors for the atmosphere and competition level of the state playoffs.
“I think that’s one of the first times we stuck together and played as a team,” Ashley said. “I think that really helped us through all of these (playoff) games.”
Ashley said that throughout the game the Conks ability to avoid negativity on the court helped them stay poised throughout the tight contest with the third ranked Royals.
It was a back and forth contest between the Royals and the Conquerors from midway in the first quarter to the final buzzer.
Kentwood had a narrow lead at the end of the first quarter but Lynnwood took a three point lead on a Jasmin Edwards three pointer with 52.7 seconds left in the second period. Jasmin Edwards led all scorers at halftime with 10 points for Lynnwood while Kate Kramer and Sarah Toeaina had six each at the end of the second quarter.
Lynnwood held onto that three point edge at the end of the third quarter thanks to a baseline drive by Jasmin Edwards to make it 40-37 with 18 seconds on the clock.
Kentwood briefly had a lead when Jenny Johnson drove baseline and scored to make it 43-42 with 4:21 left in the game.
Down the stretch Johnson, Toeaina and Kate Kramer, pushed Kentwood to the victory.
Toeaina made a free throw with 13.9 seconds in regulation to tie it at 49-49. She scored five points in the first overtime period. She finished with 13 points as did Krame.
With 15.6 seconds left in the second overtime, Johnson drained a pair of free throws to make it a 61-58 lead. Johnson led the Conks with 18 points.
Mikayla Pivec took it to the hoop at the other end of the court with 3.6 seconds left on the clock to cut it 61-60 for Lynnwood but the Royals just ran out of time. Pivec chipped in 13 points for Lynwood while Jasmin Edwards led all scorers with 23.
Kentwood celebrated the victory which knocked Lynnwood out and ensured the Conks a trip to the Tacoma Dome.
The key, Ashley explained, to Kentwood’s ability to manage the emotion of the frenetic game was the team’s attitude.
“Just staying together and being strong,” Ashley said. “I didn’t hear a single negative thing. Keeping each other positive … I think that really helped us. There might have been little spurts where we got out a little out of hand, but, we did a good job of calming ourselves down.”
That approach should serve the team well now that it has reached the final eight.
“We need to stick together as a team and really make sure we stay positive on the court,” Ashley said.
A year ago Kentwood suffered a crushing loss to Jackson in the regional round of the state tournament. That was a feeling Ashley didn’t want to suffer again as a senior.
“It’s amazing honestly,” Ashley said of the double overtime win. “We went to state when I was a freshman. I’m so glad we get to go again. I’m so glad this wasn’t our last game. I’m so glad we get to finish it at the (Tacoma) Dome.”