Knights hang on to defeat Mavs in holiday thriller | Girls basketball

Kamiak outscores Meadowdale 17-0 in the first quarter
By David Pan | Jan 03, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Hunter Beirne attempts a lay-up, while being defended by Meadowdale’s Cassidy Gamble, during a non-conference game Wednesday, Dec. 27, at Mountlake Terrace High School.

Kamiak made the big plays when they mattered the most.

The Knights got off a perfect start, jumping to a 17-0 first quarter lead over Meadowdale, but saw the Mavericks rally to cut the lead to 1 point with 1:41 left in the fourth quarter.

Kamiak’s Hunter Beirne dished the ball to teammate Alex Gallaher for a key basket and Beirne then pulled down a rebound and weaved her way through traffic for a lay-up at the other end of the floor to help the Knights hold on for a 52-44 victory over Meadowdale in a non-conference girls basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, at the Mountlake Terrace High School Holiday Tournament.

After Beirne and Gallaher’s baskets gave Kamiak a 47-42 lead, the Knights sealed the victory by converting on 5 of 6 free throws in the final 31.2 seconds.

Kamiak’s offense was in sync during the first quarter.

“I thought we were pushing the ball really well and passing really well,” said Gallaher, who led the Knights with 14 points. “We got inside to Carolyn (Brunner) and then she would swing it out. We handled the ball really well.”

But the Knights (4-5) appeared to lose some of their edge starting in the second quarter. Meadowdale outscored Kamiak 15-9 and went into halftime down 26-15. The Mavericks (3-7) continued to battle back and cut the Kamiak advantage to 36-30 by the end of the third quarter.

“We lost a little bit of intensity. We got a little complacent,” Kamiak coach Brian Norman said. “I think because you get a big lead you think it’s just going to be easy sailing. Meadowdale, give them credit. They came back. They turned up their energy and they hit a bunch of shots from outside.”

Sophomore guard Lilly Williams made a 3-point shot at the end of the second quarter and then opened the third quarter with another 3-pointer. Sophomore Alicia Morrison followed with another 3-point shot and Kamiak’s 14-point lead late in the third quarter was sliced to 5 points a minute into the third period.

“We lost track of their shooters sometimes and when we lost track of them, they hit shots,” Norman said.

“We didn’t seem to be playing as a team as well as we were in the first quarter,” Gallaher added. “We were kind of playing selfishly, not looking for each other as much.”

While Kamiak made its free throws down the stretch, Meadowdale missed two that could have cut the Kamiak lead to 3 points with just over a minute left in the game.

“It took us probably two and a half quarters to get a little bit of edge back and we never really got back to where we were,” Norman said. “We were just kind of going through the motions after a little bit.”

Key rebounds and defensive stop late in the game helped to secure the victory, Norman said.

“I think the big thing is we kind of composed ourselves a little bit towards the end and did enough to squeak by there,” Norman added. “We didn’t want it to be a close game necessarily. Hopefully we build on and learn from our mistakes. I think the biggest thing to learn is just that we can’t get down on ourselves or each other … We just need to stick together through thick or thin.”

Beirne finished with 10 points and Brunner scored 9 points. Camryn Cassidy came off the bench to lead the Mavericks with 12 points. Williams finished with 11 points.

A day earlier, Beirne scored 18 points and Karsen Alexander added 17 to lead Kamiak to a 63-51 victory over Shorecrest. The Knights outscored the Scots 24-14 in the fourth quarter to extend a 39-27 third quarter lead.

“These two wins were really good for us,” said Gallaher, one of only three Kamiak seniors. “This will give us some confidence, especially with our younger girls. Now that everyone has a couple of wins under their belt, it’ll be easier to go forward and maintain that momentum.”

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