Coast-to-coast bucket sours River Ridge's season

mwochnick@theolympian.comMarch 3, 2013 

YAKIMA — There are no do-overs in basketball, but if River Ridge coach Jackie Robinson had a second chance at the final play in the Hawks’ third/fifth-place game of the 2A girls state tournament against Renton on Saturday afternoon, he would make a change: press the Indians.

“I probably would’ve kept it on for the last one,” Robinson said.

With the Hawks leading by one point with 9.4 seconds to play, Renton junior Taylor Farris took the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast to hit the winning bucket on a floater that got a friendly roll with 2.2 seconds to go to give the Indians a 34-33 win over River Ridge at the Yakima SunDome.

Farris torched the Hawks for a game-high 18 points and 15 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

The victory gave Renton the third-place trophy, its highest finish in school history; the Hawks (20-7) earned fifth place, the program’s seventh trophy in nine state appearances.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Hawks were part of late-game drama. On Friday, River Ridge held a six-point lead

in the fourth quarter against top-ranked Mark Morris in the semifinals, only to have the Monarchs force overtime in the final seconds, then triumph in overtime.

Robinson said his players were devastated after the loss, and senior Catriece Baker said the semifinal loss was partly to blame for a sluggish first half against Renton, in which the Hawks had more turnovers (16) than points (14). The Indians ended the first half on a 7-0 run for a 22-14 lead.

“We let (Friday’s loss) have an effect on what we did,” said Baker, one of five seniors who played their final high school game. “We might not have played our best game today, but fifth place isn’t bad.”

Neither team was hot offensively. The Hawks (20-7) didn’t make a run until the final quarter, when Jazzlynn Brewster jump-started a 10-0 spurt that turned a seven-point Renton lead into a 31-29 River Ridge advantage with 1 minute, 24 seconds remaining.

A free throw by Farris put the Indians back on top, 32-31, but Brewster, who finished with 17 points, hit two free throws with 9.4 seconds to go to give River Ridge its last lead at 33-32.

Renton called time to set up the final play for Farris, which started under the Hawks’ basket. She took the inbounds pass from Jordan Armstrong, who also finished with 11 points for Renton, and then stuck a dagger in the Hawks’ heart.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 @megwochnick

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