Highland Christian falls one game short of state

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The Highland Christian prep girls lived to play another day. With a 47-39 win Feb. 20 over Tulalip Heritage, the Knights drew a loser-out, winner-to-state game against Lummi.

Lummi had a decided advantage in the teams’ regular season series and showed it was no fluke, eliminating the Lady Knights 59-21 a day later.

Against Heritage, Highland Christian looked like they were in trouble when senior post and leading scorer Chelsey Graber got in foul trouble early in the game. However, the Knights showed how much they had evolved as a team — from one that earned a sizable majority of its points from Graber, to one with multiple significant contributors. Against the Knights, sophomore Jade Olin was the hero. With 12 points and 17 rebounds, she had one of her first career double-doubles and helped with the transition game that proved ultimately to be the Hawks’ undoing.

“To the credit of Tulalip, they had an awesome three-point attack,” said Highland Christian coach Steve Brown. Heritage was led by five three-pointers from Shawnee Enick, three of those treys coming in the fourth quarter to force overtime. “The game was won in the transition. They couldn’t keep up.”

Also, by overtime, Tulalip was facing foul trouble of its own.

“We had lured them into foul trouble by that point too, so I think we were facing a weaker squad,” Brown added.

Highland Christian shut Tulalip down completely in overtime, scoring eight unanswered points.

Lummi joins North Sound Christian and Neah Bay in the state tournament in Yakima, Feb. 25-28.

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