Cheney Free Press -

By PAUL DELANEY
Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake girls return to state 1A tournament

 

February 22, 2018

Paul Delaney

Medical Lake's Ellie Acord flashes a big smile as she cuts down the net following the Cardinals' 54-33 win in the District 7 championship game and a trip to state.

Sometimes when teams play for a third time in a season, and one team has dominated the other, it's the perfect time for a trap game.

But for Medical Lake's girls, who were facing Lakeside yet again, the Cardinal girls knew exactly what they needed to do to cop a second consecutive District 7 1A title. They did so with a 54-33 win over the Eagles and earned a berth at the regional round of the state tournament.

"Having played them twice already, three times last year we kind of knew going in what they were going to try to do," Lundberg said. Medical Lake won earlier 55-50 and 50-37 in regular season.

The 21-0 Cardinals, ranked No. 5 in the 1A RPI, will travel to Yakima this Saturday, Feb. 24 to face No. 4 Zillah at 4 p.m. at Davis High School.

The winner of that game gets an additional day of rest, playing next on March 1 in the Yakima Sun Dome. The loser is still alive for the title, playing Feb. 28 against Bellevue Christian or Cle Elum-Roslyn.

"I think our girls were really focused," head coach Kyle Lundberg said. "They just came out and played really, really good."

After Lakeside had closed the one-time gap of 10 points to six by the midpoint of the second quarter, Medical Lake put together an 11-1 run that pushed the lead back to 16 at 28-12.

Some decent free throw shooting, where the Eagles sunk five of six shots spanning the end of the first half and start of the third quarter, once again closed the gap.

But ML's Jayda Noble canned back-to-back 3s to put her team ahead 34-17 and No. 7 Lakeside, 17-6, had to once again settle for being the No. 2 team out of the Northeast A League. The Eagles meet No. 2 Cashmere Saturday in Wenatchee is the regional round of state tournament play.

Noble scored 12 points to lead Medical Lake with Emily Munson adding 10. Sienna Swannack led all scorers in the game with 15. Once again it was defense that was key to victory.

"We were able to really focus in on their top two players," Lundberg said, referencing Swannack and Hallie Jensen.

The plan was to shut both down, but if that failed, limiting at least one of them was an alternative. Swannack connected for 15 points but Jensen only nine. Close to half Swannack's production came at the free throw line, however, so she was largely held in check.

"They did real good shutting those two girls down," Lundberg said. Limiting Swannack and Jensen on one end and hitting nine 3s on the other were the keys to the game.

The Zillah Leopards are 22-1 and from the South Central Athletic Conference West. They are similar, Lundberg said, to Lakeside with standout 6-foot, 3-inch Samantha Bowman who is headed to Central Washington to play collegiately.

"They have a little more depth than Lakeside so it's one of those games where we're going to have to look at some film," Lundberg said. "At this point in the season, every team will be a tough matchup."

Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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