Inglemoor girls basketball makes history, places sixth at state
By MATT PHELPS
Bothell Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
March 4, 2013 · 3:16 PM
For the first time in school history the Inglemoor girls basketball team finished their season as the sixth best team in Washington state. The Vikings ran out of gas during the fourth-place consolation final game to Gonzaga Prep, losing 67-59, March 2 at the Tacoma Dome.
But despite the final-game loss, the team will reign as the best Inglemoor girls basketball squad to ever walk onto the hardwood.
The season was a huge success for the Kenmore team. The Vikings finished with the best win-loss record in school history at 22-4 and won both the Crest Division regular-season title and the 4A KingCo title for the first time.
The game against Gonzaga Prep was a close battle leaving the Inglemoor girls hoisting the sixth-place trophy into the air. During the game, the Vikings never let the Bullpups get too far ahead.
The first quarter, like many of the state tournament games for Inglemoor, was a low scoring affair. The two teams combined for 13 points.
"The final eight teams don't get there if they can't play defense," said Inglemoor head coach John Augustavo. "The nerves were also a role. It's a pretty big stage with bright lights and a lot of seats."
Both teams got rolling during the second quarter, with Gonzaga taking a slim 25-21 lead. Prep seemed to be just out ahead of Inglemoor during the entire game, extending the lead by just three during the third quarter.
Inglemoor finally outscored the Bullpups during the fourth quarter but it wasn't enough to mount a comeback.
The Vikings stayed in the game by shooting well from beyond the three-point arch. As a team, Inglemoor was 9-for-15, with Alex Hagen hitting 4-of-5. Hagen and Kelly Conroy led the Vikings with 16 points each.
Despite the strong three-point shooting, the Vikings only shot 26 percent from the floor while the Bullpups hit 52 percent of their shots.
"The girls were tired," said Augustavo. "Three games in three days and playing your heart out in each game will definitely wear you down. We also missed a lot of easy shots."
Deja Strother finished with 12 points during just 13 minutes on the floor, while Chalayia Fuller led the team with eight rebounds.
"Deja played well in the tournament in spurts," said Augustavo. "She seemed to be a magnet for any call that was in her area whether it was on her or not and that limited her playing time and really hamstrung us as a team."
Strother was in foul trouble during the games against Prep and Mount Rainier. But she showed what she is capable of against Skyline.
Inglemoor beats Skyline again
Inglemoor guaranteed itself of placing at state on March 1 with a 44-34 victory against Skyline. The win may have been inspired by Fuller's speech.
"Prior to the game against Skyline I simply wrote on the whiteboard: Who wants it more," said Augustavo. "No talk, no plays, just who wants it more. The girls responded. Chay Fuller also gave one of the most incredible talks after the loss to Mount Rainier that I can ever remember. That kept us focused."
Against the Spartans, Inglemoor's Strother dominated with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Strother was 7-of-11 from the floor.
It was the third time this season the Vikings have defeated Skyline. The last time the two teams met, Inglemoor took the 4A KingCo tournament title from the Spartans.
Loss to the Rams
Inglemoor began the tournament with a loss to Mount Rainier, 61-56, late on Feb. 28. The Vikings fell behind early 18-11 at the end of the first quarter but turned a 31-21 halftime deficit into a tie game by scoring 22 third-quarter points.
But the Rams used a 20-12 free-throw advantage to build a slim lead and win the game.
Julia Haining led the Vikings with 19 points.
But Inglemoor could not find an answer for Mount Rainier's Birttany McPhee, who led all scorers with 28 points. McPhee scored half her points from the free-throw line, shooting 14-of-15. She also finished with 14 defensive rebounds.
Despite having the best season in school history, Augustavo thinks that this run is a long way from being over.
"We return nine players for next year," said the coach. "Nine players that have won the KingCo title and played at state. They will be ready to go come November. As far as the seniors go, I couldn't be more proud of them and their efforts. They led a young group of kids into every game and taught them how to win. All three kids are quality players and quality girls."
Contact Bothell Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-483-3732 (ext 5050).