Tumwater blows big lead, then holds on

2A girls: Bergquist, VandenHazel spark Thunderbirds, 59-46

February 26, 2011 

TACOMA - Take that comfortable halftime lead, cruise through the second half, rest the starters, and get ready for an afternoon game today.

Nice scenario for the Tumwater girls basketball team, which led Olympic by 16 at halftime of their regional round of the Class 2A state tournament game Friday night.

But it didn’t play out that way. The Trojans were reading from another script.

A scintillating second quarter earned Tumwater a 31-15 halftime lead. But the T-Birds had to withstand a fierce Olympic comeback before claiming a 59-46 victory at Foss High School.

Tumwater (19-4) lives to play again, and the T-Birds won’t have much time to think about it. They take the court at 1 p.m. today at Tahoma High School against Lynden, a 53-34 winner over Port Angeles on Friday. Today’s winner heads to Yakima’s SunDome for the state round of eight.

The T-Birds scored the first 16 points of the second quarter, and their harassing defense held Olympic (16-11) to five points in the period. The Trojans coughed up 15 turnovers in the first half.

But Olympic brought the energy in the third quarter, outscoring Tumwater 19-4 to cut its deficit to 35-34 and bring the Olympic rooting section to life. But Tumwater’s Katie Bergquist nailed a 3-pointer and added a free throw, and the T-Birds regained a measure of momentum.

“I told the girls, let’s take care of business, play defense and rebound,” Tumwater coach Dave Littleton said. “They just tightened up their shoes and did what they did all year.”

“There’s no give-up in our team,” Olympic coach Laurie Shaw said. “I’m just sorry we got so far behind in the second quarter.”

Tumwater led 13-10 after a frenetic first quarter. In the second quarter, the T-Birds cranked up their harassing D. Senior wing Jordyn Richardson had a pair of 3-pointers as Tumwater built a 29-10 lead, only to see Olympic show signs of life before halftime behind outstanding senior post Shannon Jackson.

Jackson, who led all scorers with 21 points, scored the last four points of the second period and kept up the pace after the break. Her teammates, particularly junior guard Jalyn Halstead, are adept at the entry pass, and Jackson knows what to do when she gets it down low. Jackson had eight points in the third quarter, including a three-point play.

In the fourth quarter, when they needed a steadying hand, the T-Birds got stout play in the low post from Haley VandenHazel, who made a nifty move to score with her left hand and give the T-Birds a 48-40 lead with 3:30 to play. VandenHazel finished with nine points, including five in the last quarter.

Bergquist, who led the T- Birds with 16 points, had 11 points in the final period. Mackenzie Cooper finished with 12 points, and Richardson added 10 and a solid floor game.

Halstead scored eight points for Olympic. Savannah Quitevis added seven.

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