Tim Borchardt just wants the players on his Timberline High School girls basketball team to be themselves.
“That’s kind of what we’ve concentrated on all year — just to be us,” the Timberline coach said. “It’s kind of a motto. … We are trying to limit our mistakes and use our strengths.”
That means limiting turnovers and using quickness and athleticism to get out in transition.
“Just trying to be simple,” Borchardt said.
Those keys made the first round of the Class 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict playoffs simple enough for the Blazers, who cruised to a 54-29 win over Bonney Lake on Thursday night in Lacey.
“They’re athletic and they got after us,” Bonney Lake coach Dan Lisk said. “I told (my team) before the game. I said, ‘If I’m them, I’m going to man press us, and I’m just going to be physical and get up in us.’ That’s pretty much what they did.”
Timberline quickly opened up a double-digit lead in the second quarter, several times scoring off of Bonney Lake turnovers or misses.
The Blazers put up 22 points in the second quarter to take a 29-16 lead into halftime.
Keshara Romain and Kiki Brooks combined for all 22 of those points — mostly in transition. Romain finished with a game-high 18 points, while Brooks had 16.
“We need to push the ball,” Brooks said. “If we don’t need to run an offense, that’s the best thing because you can just push the ball, get layups, get back on defense.”
Timberline’s lead never dipped below 13 points in the second half, and reached as many as 27 late in the fourth quarter.
Cadence Monti and Rayanna Dyas each chipped in eight points for the Blazers.
“Transition offense was big for us today,” Borchardt said. “We got a lot of easy buckets by just running the floor hard.”
Bonney Lake was limited to 10 of 52 (19.2 percent) shooting from the floor and committed 17 turnovers.
Taryn Schelin and Shaya McQueen led the Panthers with eight points apiece.
“We just didn’t have it tonight, which is unfortunate,” Lisk said. “We’re coming off playing really good basketball lately, and to start the playoffs this way is not what we wanted.”
Bonney Lake (8-13) will play North Thurston (8-14) in a loser-out game at 3:15 p.m. Saturday at Capital.
“That’s a good matchup for us,” Lisk said. “I think we’ve just got to regroup and stay positive about it. … We want to win every game, but the way the brackets work, I like the way it stacks up for us. I think we can make a push.”
The Blazers (15-6) move on to a winner-to-state game against fourth-ranked Prairie (18-3) at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Olympia.
“Prairie’s got a great reputation,” Borchardt said. “Historically, they’re always in the top 10. … We’ve just got to play 32 minutes of our own brand of basketball.”
Which means coming out with fire and energy, Borchardt said.
“We’re not a seasoned playoff team,” he said. “We got bounced in two games last year, and most of these kids were freshmen. … We don’t have a lot of playoff experience, so they’re learning how to play in the playoffs.”
Early returns are pleasing, and Brooks said the young team has built up trust in each other this season.
“I think we’re a lot farther than we were last year. … We’re actually becoming real Timberline sisters,” Brooks said. “I know when I help my teammate, someone’s going to help me.”
Bonney Lake 5 11 7 6_29
Timberline 7 22 10 15_54
BL – Schelin 8, Hone 2, Mitchell 7, McQueen 8, Grob 2, Holfstrad 2
T – Romain 18, Dyas 8, Stark 1, Monti 8, Brooks 16, Bush 4