Sports -- March 20, 2003

Published on Thu, Mar 20, 2003
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By Red Goodwin

Blaine girls third in state
�Nooooo-iiiiiice shot!� So it was the sound from coach Pat Green as time was running out in the opening round of the Blaine Girls basketball game at the Sundome in Yakima last weekend.

After a timeout to set up a designed play for Jessica Summers to take the ball to the baseline for the final shot, the six-foot center looked baseline, did a crossover dribble and pulled up for the game winning basket.Summers hit the shot with one second remaining to win the game against a stubborn Hoquaim team, 44-43.

Summers finished with team highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Shela Robertson added 10 points and 6 rebounds. The No. 1 Borderites now had No.2 Chelan in their sights for Thursday night.

No.1 vs No. 2
Two title contenders going toe to toe�.Trading punches right to the end�.Trading the lead five times in the final 10 minutes.

The first quarter ended with Chelan landing the first blow, taking a 17-11 lead. The Borderites began counter punching and outscored the Lady Goats in the second quarter 13-12 to trail at halftime, 29-24. They continued to battle back and by the end of the third quarter it was a three point margin with Chelan leading, 37-35, setting the stage for the final round.

The game seesawed back and forth, neither team able to build on a lead, until with 3:41 to go in the game, Jessica Summers banked a short shot home in the lane to give the Borderites the lead for good, 41-40. Guard Kimberly Harmening followed that with a jumper from the wing to extend the lead to 43-40, and freshman Jennifer Kramer hit the knockout blow to give the Borderites a fivepoint lead, 45-40, with under two minutes to play. The Borderites held the Goats to one point in the last five minutes of the game, and won, 48-41. It was time to take on the Defending Champion.

Champion vs. Challenger
The Lady Borderites were ready for the challenge. East Valley (Yakima), the 2-A Girls defending State Champions, now stood between Blaine and their goal, the Gold Ball.

The excitement and the Red Devils made the girls a little jittery to start the game and they immediately fell behind, 13-4. But, these Borderites are battle tested tough, and ran off six straight points to cut the lead to 13-10. Through the second and third quarters, it was a game of runs by both teams until the Borderites gained a five-point advantage, 38-33 with just over two minutes to play in the game, setting up a championship atmosphere and finish.

East Valley came right back and scored five straight points to tie the game. Blaine�s Shela Robertson grabbed a rebound and was fouled. She coolly sank both free throws to give the Borderites a two-point lead with 32 seconds left to play. East Valley drove the ball up court and Jami Sharp fired up a three-point attempt for the win. The shot was off the mark, but Angie Ibach got the rebound and scored on a layup to tie the score, 40-40, and send the game into overtime.

In overtime, East Valley dominated Blaine on the boards. Those rebounds on the offensive end led to foul shots, where they were eight for 10 at the Charity stripe. Blaine was held to three points in the overtime, and East Valley handed the Lady Borderites their first loss of the season, 50-43.

Going for 3rd Place
They could have thrown in the towel. Twenty-four consecutive wins before Friday night�s crushing overtime defeat by defending and eventual 2003 Champion, East Valley. But, they showed their desire and pride by soundly defeating Connell, 51-33, to take third place in the 2-A Girls State Tournament.

It wasn�t until the 3rd quarter that they really began to dominate the Eagles. Leading after the first half, 21-15, the Lady Borderites came out with the type of intensity that they�ve displayed all year. They opened the 3rd quarter with a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 35-23, and they never looked back. They were led by Jessica Summer�s 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Shela Robertson�s 12.

The Future
The future�s so bright, I�ve gotta wear shades. This old song was written for this Borderite Girls team. Senior Linsey Taylor was the catalyst on this year�s team and will be missed. But, with the rest of this team returning, the expectations and hopes for next year are as high as they were to start this year.

Neil's Notes
By Neil MacDonald
Newells to Calgary
Blaine�s Newell family will be affiliated with Calgary this summer. Brandon Newell has been named manager of the Calgary Dawgs of Canada�s Western Major Baseball (WMBL) League and Anthony Newell, head coach. Jesse Newell will play outfield for Calgary. All three were with the Bellingham Bells of the Pacific International League in �01 and �02. Willamette University�s Dave Wong will manage the Bells in �03, replacing Dan Newell, who retired after managing the Bells to the playoffs in �01 and �02.

The WMBL is a summer wood bat loop for top college players and pro prospects. Other teams in the league include Alberta teams from Lethbridge and Medicine Hat and Saskatchewan Nines from Swift Current, Melville, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Yorkton, Regina and Saskatoon. Calgary will play in exhibiwith the Bellingham Bells on June 27-28 at Joe Martin Stadium.

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