The Black Hills High School girls basketball team has admittedly had a tough time stringing four quality quarters together.
But once the sixth-ranked Wolves get going, they can be tough to stop as Liberty discovered Friday night at Tumwater High School. Black Hills used a 12-0 third-period run to overcome a Patriots’ lead and win a loser-out game in the 2A state regionals, 59-41.
Black Hills (19-5) will meet the loser of Saturday’s game between White River and East Valley of Spokane at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Liberty (14-12) was eliminated.
“The good thing about this team is that everybody believes we can do it,” said forward Maisy Williams, who kept the Wolves in the game during the first half, with 11 of her eventual 14 points. “It’s never a matter of if, but when and how.”
A week ago, in their 2A Southwest District championship loss to top-ranked W.F. West, Black Hills played well in the first half, but faltered in the second.
Against Liberty, they fell behind by as many as six points in the first quarter and trailed, 30-29, midway through the third before catching fire.
“I can’t guess if it’s going to be the first half or the second half,” said Wolves coach Tanya Greenfield, whose team did manage to be in the Patriots’ passing lanes from start to finish.
“We knew at halftime it would be a defensive battle in the second half. We’ve been working on some new defensive rotations.”
Williams scored the game’s first basket on a short hook shot in the lane, but Black Hills wouldn’t lead again until Kennedi Greenfield scored underneath three minutes into the second quarter to put the Wolves up, 18-16.
After Alexa Bovenkamp hit a short jumper from the right baseline to stretch the lead to five, it looked like Black Hills might take control, but Sydney Argosino, who led the Patriots with 14 points, connected on a 3-point basket at the halftime buzzer.
Three minutes into the third quarter, a 3-pointer by freshman guard Devynn Warns gave the Patriots their final lead. Megan River, held to a single first-half point, hit her second 3-pointer to regain the lead for the Wolves and spark the decisive run.
In the span of a minute, the Wolves capped the rally on a fast break layup by River, who finished with 11 points, on a long bounce pass from Williams and back-to-back 3-pointers from Saleen Lee and Lauren Sayahod.
The lead was 44-30 and most doubt as to the outcome had been erased.
“You could feel the momentum change,” said Tanya Greenfield, who also praised Lee for her defense on Warns, who finished with five fewer points than her season average.
The pass by Williams was another sign that the 6-foot junior has become fully reintegrated into the flow of the Wolves offense after missing most of the season with a broken jaw.
“I still need to get my wind back,” she said. “But I’m not afraid to do anything or to take any shot.”
While Williams was the only Black Hills player in double figures before halftime, senior guard Lindsey Nurmi finished with 15. In addition to Argosino, Warns had 10 for the Patriots.
NO. 6 BLACK HILLS
L – Argosino 14, Moawad 5, Baker 6, Warns 10, Pedersen, Oman, Altunyan, Tappan, Manning-Bruce 6
BH – Williams 14, River 11, Bender 2, S. Lee 3, Carson 4, Zeldenrust 1, M. Lee, Nurmi 15, Sayahod 3, Greenfield 2, Serhan, Bovenkamp 4