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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Arlington awaits seventh-ranked Beamer at the Regional Tournament | PHOTOS
The youth of the Todd Beamer girls basketball team is becoming an old story. Despite starting four freshmen, the Titans have proven that inexperience matters very little.
Beamer earned the program's first-ever trip to the 16-team Class 4A Regional Tournament by finishing second at the West Central/Southwest District Tournament.
The seventh-ranked Titans (20-5) will take on the Arlington Eagles at 6 p.m. at Puyallup High School on Friday night in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest. The final eight 4A teams will play at the Class 4A Girls Hardwood Classic Feb. 28-March 2 inside the Tacoma Dome.
The sixth-ranked Eagles (19-4) finished second at the Northwest 4A District Tournament, losing to Lynnwood in the title game, 61-49. Arlington started the season 14-0 before losing four of their final nine games, including twice to Lynwood.
The Eagles feature seven players averaging at least five points. Lindsay Brown, a 6-foot-1 senior, is leading the way at 12.6 points a game and is the only player in double figures.
Beamer, on the other hand, has four players averaging in double figures, led by 14.3 points from junior Megan Huff. Freshmen Quinessa Caylao-Do (13.5), Bria Rice (10.7) and Nia Alexander (10.4) are also solid offensive options for the Titans.
Beamer lost in the district title game to the top-ranked Mount Rainier Rams, 51-33. It was a rematch of the South Puget Sound League Championship game, which Mount Rainier won 57-56. (SEE PHOTOS)
The Titans seemed a little shell-shocked Monday against the top-ranked Mount Rainier Rams in the district title game. The Rams raced out to a 14-0 lead during the first quarter and cruised from there.
Beamer didn't score its first points until there were 15 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Titans attempted to comeback during the third quarter when they cut the Mount Rainier lead to eight points. But the Rams went on a 14-2 run to put the game away.
Beamer had only three players put the ball in the basket Monday night at the ShoWare Center. Freshman Quinessa Caylao-Do led the way with 15 and fellow ninth-grader Nia Alexander had 13. Junior Megan Huff finished with five. The 6-foot-3 Huff torched the Rams for 28 points in their first meeting in the SPSL title game.
The Titans are hoping to have their freshman point guard, Bria Rice, back for the game against Arlington. Rice has missed the last three games for Beamer with a sprained ankle.
Despite the loss to Mount Rainier, the Titans were impressive during the district tournament. Beamer earned a berth into the championship game with a 63-49 win over a talented Yelm team Saturday night and beat Kentwood Friday, 54-45.
Alexander scored 23 points and Caylao-Do added 16 to help the Titans knock off the Narrows League champion Tornadoes (19-4) at Auburn High School.
Beamer used an impressive second quarter to take a 35-25 lead at halftime. The Titans extended the lead to 50-34 after three quarters and hung on during the fourth to get the win.
Against Kentwood Friday, the Titans clinched an automatic berth into the 4A Regional Tournament.
Caylao-Do tallied a career-high 24 points and Alexander finished with 13 to lead a second-half comeback.
Kentwood (16-6) jumped out to a quick 16-6 lead after the first quarter, but the Titans rallied in the second quarter to lead 23-19 at halftime.
But the Conquerors fought back to take a 39-37 lead halfway through the fourth quarter before Beamer went on a 17-5 run to end the game.
Huff also had a huge game for the Titans. The forward finished with 12 points and 22 rebounds.
The Eagles were only able to score seven points during the first half Saturday night against the Kentridge Chargers and were beaten 41-30 in a loser-out, winner-to-regionals district contest at Rogers High.
The loss ends Federal Way's season with a 17-7 overall record. The Eagles were dropped into the loser's bracket Friday night with a 77-70 loss to Yelm in the district quarterfinals.
Against Kentridge, Federal Way really couldn't get anything going on the offensive end. The Chargers (14-10) jumped out to a 9-2 lead after the first quarter and led 18-7 at halftime.
Kayla Smith and Raven Benton combined to score 24 of the Eagles' 30 points during the game. Both finished with 12 points a piece. Benton came into the game averaging more than 26 points a game.
Against Yelm, the Tornadoes outscored the Eagles, 26-17, during the fourth quarter to steal the 77-70 victory at Rogers. Federal Way led by two entering the final eight minutes.
Benton finished with 21 points, Smith had 14 and Zaedrea Robinson chipped in 12 points for Federal Way.
This will be the first year the Eagles haven't played at the Class 4A state tournament since 2008.
Check out a slideshow from the game below or click here.