An outright Trico League girls basketball title was within reach for Seton Catholic on Tuesday. That was until rival King’s Way Christian played the role of spoiler.
King’s Way sophomore Bridget Quinn flipped in a contested layup between multiple defenders with five seconds left, Seton Catholic’s long-range shot at the buzzer fell off the mark and the visiting Knights walked away with a 41-40 win to force a two-way tie for first place in the league with one game left.
Seton Catholic (17-2, 8-1) will face Stevenson on the road, while King’s Way (10-7, 8-1) plays host to Columbia White-Salmon on Thursday.
“Getting that ‘dub was super important for our season,” said Quinn, “and going into our last league game, it gets us ready for that, especially going into districts. Maybe we’ll get to play them again.”
Quinn scored nine of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, which the Knights trailed in for more than seven minutes until the sophomore knocked down a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left to give her team a 39-38 lead.
The Cougars responded with a go-ahead basket with 32 seconds left from senior Anna Mooney, who had a team-high 13 points.
King’s Way burned more than 20 seconds on its next possession before the team called timeout. The ensuing inbounds pass from the sideline went to Quinn while being fronted by two Cougars defenders. She dribbled around both of them, drove baseline and got off the go-ahead basket in traffic.
“I was just trying to get to the basket,” Quinn said. “We made a play to get me open and then it was just a lucky shot. I was just happy for it to go in and get that angle on the basket.”
Behind Quinn’s 17 points, seniors Ella Zimmerman and Izzy Hill each chipped in nine points for King’s Way. Seton Catholic senior Hannah Jo Hammerstrom added 11 points.
“We were trying to get the ball out of Bridget’s hand, she hurt us that way all night (when) she got in the paint. She’s a good ballplayer,” Seton Catholic coach Joe Potter added. “It didn’t end the way we wanted to. I was hoping we’d get one more stop. But they played a good game.”
The Knights jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter by limiting the Cougars to just four points on two field goals and maintained an eight-point halftime advantage.
But Seton Catholic quickly turned the tide by capitalizing on four straight King’s Way turnovers to open the third quarter. A 3-pointer from junior Kasey Clifton and a Hammerstrom layup trimmed the Knights’ lead to 24-22, before two more unanswered baskets from Clifton and Mooney gave the Cougars their first lead of the game.
Seton Catholic’s 15-0 run was capped by a 3 from senior Keira Williams to give the Cougars their largest lead, 32-24, with 55 seconds left in the quarter.
“I thought they came out wanting the game more,” Potter said. “At halftime we just talked about how important this is and the way we need to play ball a little more aggressive. The girls certainly showed it in the third quarter. Got it back to even and that’s all you can ask for. We had our chances.”
The Knights chipped away at the deficit with two baskets from Hill to end the third quarter. Zimmerman hit a 3 to get King’s Way within 35-32 with four minutes left.
Then the team turned to Quinn. The sophomore scored the team’s final nine points of the game.
“Just resetting, knowing that we had the energy and the skills to win. We just had to put it out on the floor and give it everything we had,” Quinn said.
The loss for Seton Catholic snapped a 16-game winning streak that dated back to Dec. 1 when the Cougars had their only other loss of the season to Class 3A Mountain View. The team, currently ranked No. 12 in 1A of the WIAA’s RPI system, hasn’t been in that position much this season. Potter said the team will turn to its group of seniors to lead them forward.
“We haven’t had a loss in a long time,” he said. “But we’re senior-dominated, got great leadership. … We’re going to come out tomorrow in practice and get dialed back in. I don’t see it lingering with my upperclassmen.”
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN 41, SETON CATHOLIC 40
KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN — Avery Tindol 0, Hannah Erwin 0, Bridget Quinn 17, Kennady Broadbent 5, Ella Zimmerman 9, Maranatha Fusco 1, Izzy Hill 9. Totals 16 (4) 5-8 41.
SETON CATHOLIC — Keira Williams 5, Anna Mooney 13, Hannah Jo Hammerstrom 11, Alyssa Mancuso 2, Remy Jenniges 2, Annie Marichalar 0, Kasey Clifton 5, Hailey Hammerstrom 2. Totals 16 (5) 1-4 40.
King’s Way 16 8 4 13—41
Seton 4 12 16 8—40
JV — 48-16 Seton Catholic