Mount Rainier Takes down Inglemoor, Advances to State Semis
By Colin Caruso
In an unfortunate matchup in the round of eight between two of the state’s best 4A girls programs, the McPhee led Mount Rainier Rams took on the Inglemoor Vikings. The Rams are 24-3 on the year, with big wins over two final eight teams, Kentwood and Skyview. Inglemoor is led by post Deja Strother, and they are 21-3 on the season.
Mount Rainier exploded offensively in the first half. They played quicker and with more poise than their competition, and led by as many as 12 points. The McPhee twins combined for 18 points in the first half, but the team was led by Aqeelah Williams’ 11. Strother and Mackenzie Gardner kept the Vikings in the contest with 12 points each, but only two other players for the Vikings scored in the first half. Mount Rainier led 46-33 at the break.
Mount Rainier continued to play fundamentally sound basketball in the third, pushing their lead to as many as 19. It seemed as if the Rams got their hands on every entry pass to Strother, gathering the loose balls and getting out in transition. After three, Mount Rainier led 52-35.
Inglemoor needed a big run to get back into this game, down 17 entering in the fourth. They picked up their defense and the shots began to fall for the Vikings, who started the quarter on a 13-7 run. But it was too little too late. The Vikings won the quarter 22-12, but lost by seven, 64-57. The win for the Rams avenged an earlier season loss to the Vikings, a game Inglemoor won by 15.
Deja Strother – 25 points (11-15 FG), 18 rebounds (9 offensive), 2 blocks
Mackenzie Gardner – 14 points, 4 assists
Brittany McPhee – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals
Jordan McPhee – 12 points, 4 steals