Bonney Lake High’s dream of reaching the Class 3A state basketball tournament came crashing down Saturday when the Panther girls fell to Auburn Mountainview 59-52 in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at Auburn High.
The Lions will go to state as the No. 7 seed from the Class 3A West Central District Tournament.
In the first period, the Panthers took a 12-9 lead, but Auburn Mountainview outscored the Panthers 23-17 in the second period to take a 32-29 advantage at halftime.
Rani Wiegand led Bonney Lake with 16 points and Marcel Pounds had 15.
Less than 17 hours earlier, the Panthers dropped a nail-biter to Hazen that would have ensured them a berth in the state tournament.
Airishay Rogers hit a last second 3-pointer as the Highlanders pulled out a 46-44 win at Clover Park High.
“I knew she (Rogers) would take the shot, but not that shot,” Bonney Lake head coach Tom Ostrander said. “I just thought she would drive to the hoop.”
Hazen took control of the game early with a 14-4 margin, but the Panthers went on a 10-4 run and closed the gap to 18-14 on Cheyann Clark’s layup.
Bonney Lake had a chance to tie the game, but missed four consecutive free throws in the final five seconds of the first half.
Hazen scored seven unanswered points to start the third. After a Panther timeout, Pounds found Wiegand in the lane for a layup.
Down 30-17 midway in the period, Ostrander called his second timeout within a 2-minute span.
The Panthers responded with a 3-point basket to start a 15-3 run. Brittany Kennedy hit two 3-pointers to help Bonney Lake trim the Hazen margin by one, 33-32, with 53 seconds to go in the period.
“Brittany hit some big baskets for us to keep us in the game,” Ostrander said.
After a Hazen basket, Natosha Lyonais went inside for a layup to keep the Panthers within a point as the third quarter ended.
Bonney Lake took its first lead of the game on Kennedy’s third 3-point bucket of the night, 39-37, with 5:12 remaining in the game.
Lyonais and Wiegand each added a free throw for a 41-37 margin, but Rogers weaved inside the Panthers for a layup and was fouled. She hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play.
Hazen then tied the scored at 41 on a free throw.
Pounds, who was held below her season average of 20 points per game, scored inside to give Bonney Lake a two-point lead and Lyonais added another free throw for a three-point lead with 59 seconds to go.
Hazen added a field goal and, after Bonney Lake missed a shot, called a timeout with 9.2 seconds left to play. The Panthers tried to double-team Rogers who delivered the game winner.
“I told the girls after the game, I was proud how they came back,” Ostrander said.
Kennedy led the Panthers with 11 points.
Bonney Lake could have helped itself at the free-throw line, but went 8-of-19 from the stripe.
Reach Dannie Oliveaux at email@example.com or 360-820-8209.