Nailbiter victory for West Seattle High School girls over Eastside Catholic

(UPDATED 11:59 PM with full story – lead paragraph was original, brief 8:34 pm report)

(Final seconds of the game – WSB Instagram video)
Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Lights flickered in the gym but stayed on and so did the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball team, pulling out a nailbiter postseason win 34-33 over visiting Eastside Catholic.

The Wildcats’ #12 Lydia Giomi scored West Seattle’s first two points while singlehandedly racking up almost half the team’s total, finishing with 15 points before fouling out with about seven seconds left in the game.

It might not have been quite so close if not for Eastside’s three 3-pointers, two in the first quarter. Being able to shoot from the outside was a necessity because of the Wildcats’ tough defense – so tough, the first half ended with Eastside unable to get a shot off in 28 seconds of possession.

In the second half, the momentum shifted multiple times, with each team running up a five-point lead at one point – but nothing wider. EC led 16-14 at halftime; WSHS opened with seven unanswered points to lead 21-16; then EC scored 10 unanswered points until ahead 26-21.

WSHS #30 Lexi Ioane tied it up with a basket in the first minute of the second half (she had five points on the night, second-highest for the home team). Fouled in the process, she added a third point from the foul line, giving WSHS the lead. Giomi got the next four points, two foul shots and a basket.

Two steals by Wildcats #10 Charli Elliott figured mightily into the momentum.

But Westside fans’ nerves were rattled when EC went into its big run starting with a three-pointer with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter. Turnovers facilitated the rest of EC’s run – which ended just about the time that quarter did.

Starting with a basket by Elliott around 7:22 to go, the Westside comeback roared on – next, a layup by Giomi, and then a steal by #21 Gabby Sarver, who subsequently scored for 2 and put WSHS back on top, 27-26 at about 5:20 to go in the game.

Elliott followed with a steal and basket. The resulting three-point lead was closed quickly by five unanswered EC points, bringing them to a 31-29 lead. The Wildcats’ #15 Sarah Cooper was fouled and missed the first of two shots, meaning WSHS still trailed, by just one with a minute and a half to go.

Giomi scored next, putting West Seattle ahead again, for good, 32-31 with just over a minute to go, and was fouled in the process, so again a third point ensued.

The game remained tense with less than 10 seconds to go – with Cooper fouled and getting West Seattle’s final point on the front half of a one-and-one, missing the second shot; EC answered with two, but that one point made the difference and WSHS was victorious.

The Wildcats will play Mercer Island HS next in the district tournament, 3 pm Tuesday (February 18th) at Ingraham High School in North Seattle (map).

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