TJ girls win loser-out contest Thursday at state tournament

Jefferson senior Jessiye Clark made a state tournament record seven 3-pointers as the Raiders stayed alive with a 62-43 win over Oak Harbor Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.

Jefferson (19-8) plays Roosevelt (23-2) at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Tacoma Dome.

Jefferson’s win against Oak Harbor was the first state tournament win in school history.

Clark tied the state tournament record of six 3-pointers to give Jefferson a 29-16 lead at halftime. She made her seventh 3-pointer of the game with 7:06 left in the third quarter.

“We gotta find out what she had for breakfast,” said Jefferson coach Mike Grady.

The magic breakfast: Clark’s mom made eggs — sunnyside up — and toast. “She better make that again tomorrow,” Clark said.

Clark was 7-17 from behind the 3-point line after going just 1-10 — including eight air balls — in the loss to Richland Wednesday.

“We were so pumped (to play the first-round game), then we came out and stunk up the court,” Clark said. “We hadn’t played that bad all season. I thought, ‘People are going to think I can’t shoot, I better put the ball in the hoop.’ ”

That’s exactly what she did against Oak Harbor, and it couldn’t have come at a better time in the loser-out game.

“Streak shooters gotta shoot,” Grady said. “We’d never tell Jessiye not to shoot.”

Jefferson’s usual leading scorer, Michelle Morse, didn’t make a field goal in the first half, but Clark picked up the slack. Morse picked up her game, too, in the second half and finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

“We stepped up our defense,” Morse said. “When we play defense, our offense comes around. Roosevelt will be tough, but we’ll come out and play with our hearts and get a win.”

Clark had 21 points — all 3-pointers — and five assists. Chelsea Hunt finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and three steals for Jefferson. Kezia Long had six points and eight rebounds.

Jefferson had nine steals in the game and forced Oak Harbor into 26 turnovers. Jefferson scored 22 points off turnovers.

Jefferson out-rebounded Oak Harbor 50-39 despite having a height disadvantage. Oak Harbor’s 6-foot-2 freshman Heidi McNeill was held to just six points and seven rebounds.

“Our big girls did a good job on their big girl,” Grady said.

Jefferson will have its hands full against Roosevelt, which has lost only two games all season.

“We’re looking forward to playing them, but it’ll be tough,” Clark said. “It’ll be a good game.”

Jefferson 62, Oak Harbor 43

Jefferson: Jessiye Clark 21, Michelle Morse 20, Chelsea Hunt 8, Kezia Long 6, Amanda Foster 4, Jessica Allen 3.

Oak Harbor: Marcella Manibusan 15, Valerie Hartman 11, Heidi McNeill 6, Shirley Spears 4, Kaylea Kingma 3, Sarah Bratt 2, Sarah Brundidge 2.

Scouting Roosevelt

The Roosevelt Roughriders enter Friday’s game with a 23-2 record, having lost just once in the regular season — 52-51 to Garfield. Roosevelt was upset in the first round of the state tournament by Kentlake 48-42, then beat Skyview 61-55 on Thursday to advance to Friday’s game.

Roosevelt is led by Darnellia Russell, a 5-foot-6 junior guard who averages 15.3 points per game. It also gets scoring from 6-foot-1 senior forward Leyla Khastou, who averages 8.4 points per game. The Roughriders get scoring from all angles, as seven players on the Roosevelt roster average more than five points per game. Comparatively, only three players for Jefferson average more than five points per game.

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