Foul trouble and hot Glacier Peak Grizzlies shooting handed the Mercer Island Girls Basketball a 69-64 loss and a loser-out game Saturday against Auburn Mountainside at the WIAA 3A State Tournament Regionals in Marysville.
Glacier Peak grabbed the momentum early with 3-pointers falling like rain (37.5% 3-pt shooting) and while the Islanders often came back to nip at their heels, tying the game five times, Glacier Peak had an answer every time. Mercer Island's foul trouble early in the 2nd quarter gave the Grizzlies plenty of opportunities from the foul-line, making 20 of 26. The Islanders, in comparison, only got to the line 10 times, converting seven for points.
In the fourth quarter, Hailey Gullstad's looked like she'd get it done all by herself if needed, with several drives through traffic, fouls and free throws made—keeping the score mostly within one possession. But as time wound down to the final minute, Mercer Island's foul trouble finally caught up with them as seniors Hailey Gullstad, Jae Shin and Sarah Taylor all fouled out in the final minute of the game.
Gullstad led all scorers, finishing with 21 points, Shin with 17, and Kris Brackmann had 12 for the Islanders. Glacier Peak was led by Katie Hawkins with 20, Taylor Rasmussen with 14 and Becca Smith with 13 points.
Coach Jamie Prescott said the team got rattled when early calls did not go their way. "They started flat, and allowed Peak to be aggressive."
For tomorrow's game against Auburn Mountainside, Prescott said her girls need to "bounce back" and bring some energy because they'll be facing a team that has managed to win two loser-out games to get this far.
Tonight's win earned Glacier Peak a trip to the Tacoma Dome, continuing their unlikely winning streak---on their way to State they won their Distict Tournament despite being seeded 5th going in.
The Mercer Island Animal Band and a modest crowd helped counter the large home crowd supporting Peak.
For another perspective of the game, check out MIHS's The Islander Sports Editor Ryan Rouillard's report.