For every threat Olympia made, Curtis answered in bunches.
The Vikings poured in bucket after bucket at Mount Tahoma High School on Thursday to secure a second consecutive trip to the Class 4A state regionals.
“We knew that we just had to get stops and get buckets, get stops and get buckets,” Curtis guard Kaelin Williams-Kennedy said. “Our determination was just to keep on pushing.”
Curtis kept pushing, turning an early lead into a 55-30 rout to knock Olympia out of the 4A West Central District tournament.
“We wanted to keep our season going, we didn’t want this to be our last game,” Williams-Kennedy said.
But the continuation of Curtis’ season meant the end of Olympia’s.
And the lead started to build before the game reached halftime.
CeDrice Howard snagged a rebound off of a missed free throw and put it back up to give Curtis a 10-point advantage at the break.
“I talked to the girls in the locker room — you can’t dig yourself into a 10-point lead in a game like this,” Olympia coach Jackie Robinson said. “Because then you’re desperate to get back in the game.”
The Bears were, and it showed.
Olympia shot 5 of 24 (20.8 percent) in the second half, and missed nine of its last 10 as the clock dwindled.
Curtis eclipsed that by shooting 11 of 28 (39.3 percent) in the second half, including a 12-3 run to close the third quarter.
“I knew that 10-point lead in the first half, what that does is grow to 20 before you know it,” Robinson said.
And it did. Anna Matz’s free throw with 3:37 to play extended Curtis’ lead to 20. And Williams-Kennedy only added to it from there, running down the baseline to bank in a reverse layup 20 seconds later.
Olympia never cut the lead below 20.
Williams-Kennedy scored a game-high 18 for the Vikings. Jenna Randich led Olympia with 15.
Randich was one of only three returning starters — the other two were Moriah Luthy and Sophie Wood — to play for Olympia this season.
“I think they’ve left the program in a really good place,” Robinson said of the three seniors. “Even down to the last play, they played it out and took it to the end of the game.
“To have come this far has been an outstanding season.”
Curtis (18-7) moves on to play Rogers (16-10) for fifth or sixth place at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma.
River Ridge 45, Renton 38: Makenna Schultz led the Hawks with 14 points. Lauryn Gray recorded a double-double, scoring 10 points and snagging 14 rebounds. River Ridge outscored the Indians 18-9 in the final quarter to seal a seven-point victory.
After this win, River Ridge is qualified for state play. They move on to face North Kitsap in a battle for fifth place at 1:45 Saturday at Curtis High School.
Centralia 59, Black Hills 49: Different year, same story.
The Tigers knocked Black Hills out of the 2A Southwest District 4 tournament for the second consecutive season.
Centralia went on a scoring drought that lasted more than four minutes in the fourth quarter, but the Wolves couldn’t close the gap.
Christian Peters scored a game-high 20 points for Centralia, while Deter Voetberg had 14.
TJ Mickelson led Black Hills with 16 points, and Jewell Day added another 15.
Centralia (11-12) plays Woodland (15-8) for the second straight year in a third-place, winner-to-state game on Saturday. The loser is out. Centralia won last year’s contest, 55-50.