TACOMA — The Skyview Storm made it to a trophy game, but they also had to play that game at 8 in the morning.
They will take the trophy, but they probably never want to play basketball at that hour ever again.
Inglemoor outlasted Skyview 39-36 in for fourth place at the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament Saturday in the Tacoma Dome. The Storm (25-4) finished the season with a sixth-place trophy.
“I’m going to tell them how much I love them,” Skyview coach Jennifer Buscher said before going into the locker for one final post-game meeting with this group. “They are some of the best kids I know. I just couldn’t be more proud of this group.”
Still, the Storm will probably be wondering what happened Saturday. Having a rough morning from the floor was one thing — playing three days in a row and going up against Inglemoor’s 6-foot-4 post Deja Strother will bother most teams — but the Storm also struggled at the free-throw line.
“It’s just not a time to be in a shooting slump,” Buscher said.
Skyview was 11 for 48 from the floor and 10 of 27 from the free-throw line.
“State tournament. Anything can happen,” Buscher said. “Missing 17 free throws isn’t going to cut it.”
Buscher, looking at the stat sheet, asked again, “Did we really miss 17 free throws?”
Strother, who had a triple-double in Friday’s consolation victory for Inglemoor, had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots against the Storm. In foul trouble in the third quarter, she returned in the fourth and scored five quick points to give the Vikings a nine-point lead at 32-23.
Skyview’s Big Three — Jocelyn Adams, Stephanie McDonagh, and Aubrey Ward-El — responded, each scoring in an 8-0 run to make it a one-point contest.
Skyview would never take the lead, though.
A three-point game with 1:21 to play, Strother threw a perfect 60-foot inbound pass that led to a lay-up for Hannah McCausland to make it 38-33.
McDonagh would bank in a long 3-pointer with 2 seconds left. A free throw by Inglemoor and a loose ball killed the clock.
Adams and Ward-El each scored 11 points for the Storm. McDonagh added 10 points.
The three senior starters, who won a state championship as sophomores, said it has been a joy to play for Skyview, for the coaches. They took extra time to take photos after the game, wearing Skyview basketball colors one more time together.
“They care more about us as people than as basketball players,” McDonagh said of Buscher and her staff. “Their whole goal is to make us better people before basketball players.”
“It makes us a family,” Adams added.
“It wasn’t all about just winning basketball games,” Ward-El said. “It was so much more. Trust, love, and genuinely caring about one another.”
At the end of the day, the end of the season, the Storm picked up a trophy at the state tournament.
“Our ultimate goal was to send these seniors out with one more trip to the Dome, and we are taking home some hardware,” Buscher said.
INGLEMOOR 39, SKYVIEW 36
SKYVIEW — Hannahjoy Adams 2, Stephanie McDonagh 10, Jocelyn Adams 11, Aubrey Ward-El 11, Genevieve Lo 1, Sydney Friauf 0, Kirsten Johnson 0, Ashlee Comastro 0, Georgia Romine-Black 1. Totals 11-48 (4-21) 10-27 36.
INGLEMOOR — Mackenzie Gardner 0, Brooklyn Walker 3, Ifeoma Emeka 3, Alex Hagen 3, Sammi Williams 0, Jordana Price 5, Hannah McCausland 2, Chijioke Emeka 3, Kennedy Nicholas 2, Deja Strother 18. Totals 13-39 (2-15) 11-20 39.
Skyview 3 12 8 13–36
Inglemoor 3 12 12 12–39