TJ girls play for seeding

Whether they’ll be playing a game in the first round of the state tournament Wednesday isn’t a question any more for the Jefferson girls basketball team, which clinched a spot last week. Who they’ll be playing is the new challenge.

Jefferson plays Port Angeles — a team the Raiders beat earlier this season — at 4 p.m today at the University of Puget Sound. The game has little meaning except to determine which team gets the higher seed to the state event.

“We’ll be fired up, work together, block out and make our free throws,” said the Raiders’ Shannon Morse. “Against Enumclaw we made lazy passes and had less hustle.”

On Wednesday, Jefferson came up short in attempting to upset Enumclaw for the second time this season.

Enumclaw, the No. 3-ranked team in the state, lost to Jefferson in the first game of the season three months ago. Since then, Enumclaw had won 22 straight games by the time the two teams played Wednesday. Make that 23.

Enumclaw kept its streak alive with a 57-56 win over the Raiders at the University of Puget Sound Wednesday.

With the win, Enumclaw advanced to today’s championship game of the West Central District tournament.

“The last time we played them we played a lot tougher,” said Jefferson senior guard Michelle Morse, who had 21 points in this week’s rematch. “They came at us this time and got us. We tried our best, but we didn’t hustle like we usually do. We’re just excited to still be playing. We’ll come out next game and play harder.”

Jefferson trailed by as many as 13, but was able to tie the game with less than two minutes left.

“It’s great for our kids to come back against the No. 3 team in the state,” said Jefferson coach Mike Grady. “I’m proud of them. How could you not be pleased? We just wanted to be in a position to win it at the end, and we were. How could you complain?”

Enumclaw’s Brittany Osborn, the Hornets’ leading scorer, made her only basket of the second half with 44 seconds left, but it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Hornets as they took a 55-53 lead.

Jefferson had a chance to tie, but turned the ball over and had to foul. Things seemed to look up for the Raiders when Enumclaw missed the front end of a one-and-one foul shot, but the Hornets got the rebound and were fouled again. Enumclaw converted both free throws to take a four point lead with 11 seconds left.

Morse hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left, but time ran out on the Raiders.

“We didn’t play our best today,” Jefferson junior Chelsea Hunt said. “We’d had a couple blowout games we won. After this, I think now it’s like the true playoffs.”

Sports editor Cole Cosgrove can be reached at 925-5565 and

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