Lake Stevens drops Kentwood in Elite Eight | State Girls Basketball

Kentwood’s quest for its third girls basketball trophy came up short March 1 at the Tacoma Dome.

Kentwood’s quest for its third girls basketball trophy came up short March 1 at the Tacoma Dome.

Gonzaga Prep, behind 30 points by sophomore Otiona Gildon, knocked Kentwood out of the tournament with a 59-44 victory in the consolation bracket of the 4A girls Hardwood Classic.

The Bullpups raced out to a 21-8 lead in the first quarter over the Conquerors. By halftime the Conks closed the gap to nine points, 33-24, but they just weren’t able to recover offensively or stop Gildon in the paint.

Juniors Sarah Toeaina and Kate Kramer led Kentwood in scoring, tallying 20 and 13 points respectively. Toeaina was perfect at the free throw line, going 8-for-8 in the game, while Kramer was 7-for-11 at the charity stripe.

Kentwood out rebounded Gonzaga Prep 36-27 but the Bullpups scored 29 points off turnovers compared to the 10 by the Conks.

In the first game Feb. 28, it seemed like Brooke Pahukoa couldn’t miss in the first half for Lake Stevens.

Pahukoa scored her first two points two minutes and 49 seconds into the game to put Lake Stevens up 6-4 against Kentwood in the quarterfinals.

Lake Stevens never relinquished the lead in a 52-36 victory in which Pahukoa led all scores with 34 points, 22 of which she scored in the first half. She shot 54.1 percent from the field and pulled in eight rebounds.

Kentwood didn’t have an answer for Pahukoa, a senior who has signed to play for Boise State University, and struggled offensively as well as on the glass.

Toeaina led the Conquerors with 16 points against Lake Stevens in the quarterfinals.

It was a tough end to a roller coaster season which started with players battling illness and injury but ultimately Kentwood finished second in the South Puget Sound League North division, qualified for the state regionals then knocked off Lynnwood in double overtime Feb. 22 to earn the trip to the Tacoma Dome.

Kentwood returns almost the entire team next season, losing two seniors: Kylee Ashley and Allison Newcomb.