FIRST REPORT, 8:31 PM: Just over at Sammamish HS in Bellevue, an overtime heartbreaker for the West Seattle High School girls, losing to Garfield in the district semifinals, 65-59. They play Lake Washington for third place at 10 am Monday, same location but in the lower gym. Full story and photos to come.
ADDED 11:55 PM: This one was intensely fought all the way. Garfield was the tournament’s top seed, West Seattle fourth, but the Wildcats had the Bulldogs in check for a good long time.
West Seattle looked coolly in control much of the way, with tight defense and strong rebounding. They held a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, 29-26 at halftime, with wider leads along the way.
After the first few minutes of the second half, WSHS had piled up a 10-point lead, and the players and fans were exuberant. The energy stayed high after a consultation with head coach Darnell Taylor during a time out at that 39-29 point. Nobody gave up the ball without a struggle to maintain control.
But the Wildcats might have peaked too soon. Garfield chipped away at the lead, in no small part thanks to a few three-pointers, and in the final minute of the third-quarter, the Bulldogs pulled even at 43-43. The tie was up to 45-45 as the quarter ended.
The early going of the fourth quarter got a little sloppy on both sides, briefly, before everybody ratcheted things up again, with the buzzer in sight. The Wildcats were up by five, 55-50, with three minutes to go, but Garfield took that edge away in the ensuing minute via a three-pointer and a basket following a steal. Then with a minute to go, West Seattle’s ferocious #11 Jasmine Gayles was on the floor with a leg problem. Eventually she was carried to the sidelines, smiling through the pain.
West Seattle was ahead by two with less than half a minute to go in regulation. But two foul shots enabled Garfield to get to 57-57, and that sent the tense game into OT.
As overtime began, Gayles was back in the game. The two teams stayed even for the first minute. Garfield’s shooting even grew a bit cold. But then came a foul shot … and then a three-pointer that suddenly turned the Garfield lead into four points. An intentional foul brought in two more points, and in the final seconds, an insurmountable 65-59 deficit, which is where things ended.
SCORING: Six Wildcats contributed: Grace Sarver with 22, Jasmine Gayles with 17, Kelsey Lenzie with 14, two each for Anissa Babitu, Julianna Horn, and Jayla Wilson.