Gonzaga Prep Comes Back from 12 down to Win State Title
By Colin Caruso
The Tacoma Dome was rocking for the 4A girls state final between the one loss Gonzaga Prep Bullpups and the Mount Rainier Rams. Mount Rainier is led by Brittany McPhee, a former Gatorade state player of the year and one of the states finest players.
The first half showed a lot of McPhee, who worked hard to get her shots and scored a half high 17 points. Hannah Caudill for the Bullpups led her team with 11 points in the first, and kept them within striking distance for the second half. Mount Rainier took a seven point lead, 34-27 into the locker room.
McPhee kept up her scoring in the third quarter. She added nine more in the frame and Mount Rainier began to pull away from the Bullpups, ahead by ten points with three minutes remaining. But Gonzaga Prep put together a much needed 6-0 run to cut the lead back down to four. The Rams led by five, 47-42 going into the fourth.
Early in the fourth belonged to the Bullpups. Otiona Gildon converted on back to back pick and roll layups, trimming the lead to just one with four minutes remaining. With two minutes of no scoring, Gildon converted on two more layups, going on a personal 8-0 run and putting the Bullpups up by three with under a minute to play.
Kaiti Freeberg finally ended the Rams drought, converting on a layup with 17.5 seconds on the clock. Still trailing by one, the Rams were forced to foul to put the Bullpups on the line. Unfortunately they only committed three team fouls and there was less than one minute remaining. So when they finally got to a bonus situation, there were just three seconds on the clock. Caudill converted on one of two from the line for the Pups and Mount Rainier was unable to get a good shot off before the buzzer. Congratulations to the Bullpups in a 53-51 win!
Otiona Gildon – 18 points, 15 rebounds
Laura Stockton – 11 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks
Brittany McPhee – 28 points, 19 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 steals