Hawks advance; nail-biter keeps team on edge until final buzzer

mwochnick@theolympian.comMarch 1, 2013 

YAKIMA — Normally calm and collected at the free-throw line, Jazzlynn Brewster was nervous.

It was a one-point game with 7.3 seconds left in River Ridge’s 2A girls state quarterfinal game Thursday night against Burlington-Edison at the Yakima Valley SunDome. She was nervous all game and it was understandable; this is the junior’s first state tournament game.

So when she had a one-and-one opportunity at the line after being fouled with two free throws likely sealing the victory, with the Hawks up by one, the butterflies began to flutter more.

“I was at the free-throw line, and I was like, ‘Dang it,’ ” Brewster said. “My free throws weren’t on all game.”

First one, good.

Timeout, Burlington-Edison.

Second one, good, giving the Hawks an eventual 46-44 victory over the Tigers, who got a free throw from Ellary Torset with 6 seconds left.

River Ridge heads to the semifinals at 9 p.m. today against a familiar foe – District IV rival and top-ranked Mark Morris, which defeated West Valley of Spokane in its state quarterfinal game. The team is also guaranteed a state trophy for the first time since 2011.

There are few players Hawks coach Jackie Robinson would want more at the free-throw line

than Brewster when the game is on the line.

“I trust her,” Robinson said.

In a back-and-forth game that featured 10 ties and seven lead changes, it was Burlington-Edison that took the lead at 43-42 with a put-back by Torset, who finished with 11 points. That didn’t deter the Hawks, who despite turning it over on the next possession because of the Tigers’ press, got a much-needed bucket when Brewster’s lay-in with 28.2 seconds put the Hawks in front again at 44-43. Brewster scored the team’s final four points, as she, along with freshman Makenna Schultz, finished with 12 points apiece. Savannah McGill did her usual damage on the glass, collecting 10 rebounds along with eight points, and Catriece Baker came off the bench and had seven points.

The Hawks got 15 of their points from five 3-pointers and a momentum-shifting 3-pointer from Morgan Bernethy inside 3 minutes left in the game put River Ridge (20-5) up 42-39.

With W.F. West’s 36-18 victory over Cedarcrest in Thursday’s earlier state quarterfinal game, that means half of today’s semifinal field is made up of 2A Evergreen Conference teams.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick

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