MIDLAND —With the reality of a season-ending loss staring them in the face, the Timberline High School girls basketball team chose to fight.
After laying nearly dormant for three quarters of the Class 3A West Central District tournament first-round game, Timberline’s offense finally showed signs of life in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers eventually came up short in the final minute, losing to Bonney Lake, 33-31, on Tuesday night at Franklin Pierce High School.
“We just didn’t have much team chemistry in the first half,” said Timberline senior Becky Clayton, who finished with four points. “We played hard the second half. I’m glad we didn’t just roll over.”
After trailing 21-17 through three quarters, Timberline (10-11) took a 28-27 lead after Callan Russell converted on a three-point play with 2 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the game. Bonney Lake (13-9) answered, going on a quick 5-0 run to grab a 32-28 lead with 1:02 left. The Blazers weren’t done as Sarah McKee banked in a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one point with 53 seconds on the clock.
After the Panthers split a pair of free throws, Timberline had two chances to tie the score in the final 10 seconds, but Clayton’s layup in traffic came up short and Russell’s jumper to beat the final buzzer missed long.
“There could have been a foul called,” Timberline coach Zandrea Edenstrom said of Clayton’s shot attempt while sandwiched between two defenders.
The 14 fourth-quarter points nearly bailed the Blazers out of the deep hole they made early.
“We played great on defense,” Edenstrom said. “We just couldn’t get the offense going.”
Timberline scored nine points in the first half, which including three points in the first quarter.
“No playoff team is going to be successful scoring nine points in the first half,” Edenstrom said. “I think a lot of it was nerves.”
McKee led the Blazers with nine points — all in the second half. Kiera Allen added six and Russell finished with five.
“It was an exciting finish ... it just didn’t work out for us,” Clayton said.
MeKenzie Voellger led the Panthers with 14 points. Bonney Lake will take on Prairie at 6 p.m. Friday at Columbia River High.