Come tournament time, it doesn’t matter if you draw a team that you beat by 50 in the regular season. Everyone still plays to win.
While there wasn’t an upset victory, Edinburgh gave Trinity Lutheran’s girls basketball team all it could handle Friday night.
The Cougars, ranked No. 9 in Class A, used a big run in the fourth quarter to defeat Lancers 50-33 and advance to the final of the West Washington Sectional.
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The Cougars (20-5) will play the host school tonight, shooting for their first sectional title since the 2013-14 season and third in school history.
Back-to-back baskets by Sydney Jaynes and Savannah Harweger and another score from Abby Hackman gave the Cougars a 14-6 advantage at the end of eight minutes of play. The Lancers were aggressive in the opening quarter, drawing four Trinity fouls, but hit just 4 of 8 free-throw attempts.
Edinburgh went on a 5-0 run to start the second quarter, capped by a 3-pointer from Destiney Ramey, to cut the deficit to 14-11 with 5:49 left in the half. The teams exchanged baskets down the stretch, and the Cougars still had a 22-17 lead at halftime.
Lancers coach Amy Schilling was pleased with her team’s defensive effort in the first half.
“We have really been working on blocking out, and on different zones,” she said. “They had us on the height advantage in the post. We were just trying to body them up. I think my girls did a great job at that. Trinity did get some second shots, but I don’t think it was nearly as bad as the first time.”
Out of intermission, the Cougars scored five unanswered points before a pair of scores by Ramey cut the deficit to 27-21 with 4:36 left in the third.
In the final two minutes of the third quarter the Cougars went on a 6-0 run, and they then strung together 13 unanswered points in the fourth to build their lead to an insurmountable 50-29.
With the double-digit lead in hand, the Cougars worked the clock in its final ticks.
“In the fourth quarter, we couldn’t find the basket,” Schilling said. “We didn’t have great shooting tonight and we stuck with them through three quarters. I think we tried rushing things too fast and pressing, which they broke. They’re a great, disciplined team. My girls played hard, and I can’t fault anything they did.”
Hackman led the Cougars with 24 points. Ramey, Taylor Tatlock and Sidney Beier led the Lancers with seven points each.
The Lancers return 10 players from the roster next season, with seniors Vanessa McManaway and Mary Franklin graduating from the program.
“We will miss the seniors; they were good leaders,” Schilling said. “We have a lot of young players. Sometimes we had two or three sophomores and juniors on the floor. It’s encouraging. I think it will give them confidence for next year.”