At least Mount Baker could take pride in going out with its best game of the girls’ basketball season.
“I’d say it really was our best effort,” Baker coach Kim Preston said after the Mountaineers (18-8) gave it “everything they had” but lost 62-53 to Cascade Conference titlist and defending Class 1A state champion King’s in a wild loser-out game at the Bi-District Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Mountlake Terrace.
“We spent a lot of time on being underdogs,” said Preston, whose Mounties suffered a 67-29 beating by Kings in the District Tournament. “This proves there’s a lot you can draw from that. We were definitely a team not ready to be done.”
Baker seemed not in the least intimidated by far more experienced Kings (18-5). Fearless freshman point guard Danielle Tyler showed that when she drove full court and scored around a defender at the first-half buzzer, pulling the Mounties in a 19-19 tie.
Tyler led Baker with 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, including two fourth-quarter 3s, and fellow freshman Kylind Powell shot 5 for 8 for 10 points and snatched nine rebounds away from taller and more experienced Kings. Emily Brandland scored 10 and hit her final two shots for the Mounties, a 3 and 2 in the fourth quarter.
Brandland’s 2 pulled Baker within 58-53, but only 26 seconds remained.
Tall and talented King’s seniors Kendall Adams, Daylee Hanson and Anna Parker combined for 47 points.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
… King’s reserve Maddie Nielsen, a junior reserve, made two free throws for 60-53 with 20 seconds left.
“I was very encouraged by our (three regular) freshmen,” Preston said of Tyler, Powell and Helen Malone, who played a smooth floor game off the bench.
BRANDLAND WON’T STOP
Brandland, Baker’s scoring and rebounding leader for the season, has committed to play at Division III Greenville College in Illinois.
“Everyone gave it all they had,” she said through tears. “I loved our freshmen.”
A STUNNING COMEBACK
King’s led 11-3 when Baker showed it would not be intimidated in the least. Tyler began a 9-0 run with a steal and layup, followed by Powell’s score on a rebound, Kylee Engholm’s 3-pointer and Powell’s fast break lay in after the first of Brandland’s four steals. McKenzie Yost, a promising sophomore, continued the trend with 3 for 5 shooting for seven points.
King’s 62, Mount Baker 53
Mount Baker: Emily Brandland 10, Danielle Tyler 18 Kylee Engholm 5, McKenzie Yost 7, Sam Jacoby 0, Kylind Powell 10, Summer Millman 0, Helen Malone 3. Total: 53.
Kings: Daylee Hanson 19, Anna Parker 15, Kendall Adams 13, Hannah Eichelbarger 4, Audrey Friedline 2, Casey Kispert 2, Maddie Nielsen 4, Abbi Eichelbarger 3, Callie Wright 0. Total: 62.