OLYMPIA -- Prior to the game Black Hills girls basketball coach Tanya Greenfield pulled Sarah McGee aside, telling her if the Wolves were going to continue their season she needed to have a big game.
The senior post delivered.
McGee dominated the paint, scoring 23 points and pulling down 19 rebounds, to power Black Hills to a 72-56 victory over River Ridge in the 2A District IV tournament Saturday at Capital High School.
"I put a lot on her," Greenfield said about McGee. "I told her she needed to put us on her back and carry us tonight. She did that. I've never had a player work as hard as she has."
The Wolves, which split it's two regular season games with the Hawks, earn the district's third and final seed to the regional tournament.
"This just feels amazing. We have lost to River Ridge so many times over the years," McGee said. "It starts to become a mental thing, but tonight we played through it. It's the best feeling."
The Wolves needed a late buzzer beater to put away River Ridge during the regular season.
In the loser-out postseason battle, it never got that close after Black Hills opened up a double-digit early in the fourth quarter.
"Everyone was so poised tonight," Greenfield said. "We had a lot of quick runs and they just added up for us."
River Ridge 74, Tumwater 62: Jason Kananin scored a game-high 23 points, Austin Parker added 13 and the Hawks parlayed a quick start to a convincing victory over the Thunderbirds in District IV tournament play.
With the win River Ridge earns the district's No. 3 seed, while Tumwater's season comes to an end.
"We got off to a slow start this season, but the team just kept improving," River Ridge coach John Barbee said. "They have earned everything through hard work this year."
LaBrandon Price and Israel Williams added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Hawks.
Zach DeLucco paced Tumwater with 20 points, while teammate David Cooper scored 16.
The Hawks raced out to a quick advantage, opening the game on an 18-4 run, and never looked back.
A Parker dunk early in the second quarter pushed the River Ridge lead to 24-6.
Kananin scored scored 14 points in the first half, sinking a trio of 3s, to help the Hawks to a comfortable 38-20 cushion at the intermission.