Raiders hold off Central Kitsap after opening-round loss


Sports Editor

The Jefferson girls bounced back from a devastating loss with a gutty 50-41 win over the Central Kitsap Cougars Thursday at the Class 4A state basketball championships at the Tacoma Dome.

“Every win this season has been a real blessing,” said coach Mike Grady. “These girls have just been great.”

The victory over Central Kitsap came one day after the Raiders endured a 25-0 third-quarter run by the Garfield Bulldogs during a 55-29 loss in the opening round of the state tournament.

Jefferson played yesterday against the Kentlake Falcons in another consolation game at the Tacoma Dome.

Check for results. If the Raiders won yesterday, they will play the winner of a game between Lewis and Clark and Puyallup at 11:30 a.m. today.

Jefferson controlled most of Thursday’s game against its West Central District rival.

The Raiders’ only lapse came in the second quarter when Central Kitsap outscored the Raiders 13-7.

But the second-half problems that plagued Jefferson in their first-round loss to Garfield didn’t materialize on Thursday against Central Kitsap. In fact, the Raiders used a 15-4 run of their own to take a commanding 39-31 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Raiders were led by the inside presence of Kezia Long. The senior six-footer tallied 13 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. She also altered several shots in the lane.

Garfield 55, Jefferson 29

The ninth-ranked Garfield Bulldogs used an astounding 25-0 run in the third quarter to bury the Raiders on the opening day of the tournament Wednesday.

“For the most part, they jumped all over us,” said Grady. “We had difficulties collecting ourselves and we got frustrated and it obviously showed.”

During the 25-0 run, which consumed the final six minutes of the third quarter, Garfield hit five 3-pointers and turned a 25-21 lead into a 50-21 blowout.

“We really felt we could beat them,” Grady said. “We played five playoff games against some of the best teams in the state and we felt like those games prepared us. We had a good game plan coming in. We just did some dumb things.”

“It was just kind of overwhelming for some of us,” said senior Chelsea Hunt.

Hunt is the lone returning starter from last year’s state tournament team, the first in the school’s history, and she is headed to the University of San Francisco in the fall on a soccer scholarship.

“Our run has been wonderful,” said Grady. “No one thought that we would do anything this year. Every win this season has been a real blessing.”

Jefferson shot 19.5 percent on eight of 41 from the field, including 0 for 10 from behind the 3-point line. In contrast, Garfield hit seven 3-pointers.

Hunt led the Raiders with nine points. Senior Kristin Woller added eight and Long added five points and five rebounds.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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