Sports

BASKETBALL: Beamer girls and boys lose in SPSL Championship; Districts up next

Beamer sophomore Nia Alexander takes the ball to the basket during the Titans
Beamer sophomore Nia Alexander takes the ball to the basket during the Titans' first loss of the season to Mount Rainier in the SPSL Championship game Tuesday at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

It wasn't a good night for Todd Beamer High School Tuesday inside Kent's ShoWare Center. Both the boys and girls basketball teams lost in their respective South Puget Sound League Championship games.

The third-ranked Titan girls (20-1) suffered their first defeat of the season Tuesday to the Mount Rainier Rams, 70-58. Mount Rainier won the SPSL North Division with a perfect 16-0 record and the Titans were also 16-0 to win the SPSL South.

It was the second meeting of the season between Beamer and Mount Rainier and fifth in the last two years, with the Rams winning four. The Titans downed the Rams earlier this season in a non-league contest, 64-59. Mount Rainier beat the Titans three times during the 2012-13 season, including in the SPSL and West Central District title games.

Tuesday night, Beamer couldn't handle Stanford-bound senior Brittany McPhee. The 6-foot guard finished with 32 points, including 10 down the stretch, to lead Mount Rainer to the SPSL title.

McPhee led the Rams out to a 38-28 lead at halftime. But, following the break, Beamer outscored Mount Rainier 24-13 to take a 52-51 lead with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter on a basket from sophomore Nia Alexander.

But it was too much McPhee late in the game. Aqeelah Williams was the only other Ram in double figures, finishing with 11 points.

Beamer got 24 points from senior Megan Huff and Alexander finished with 17.

As the SPSL's second seed, Beamer will host Olympia, the fourth-place team from the Narrows League, in their West Central/Southwest District Tournament opener at 7:45 p.m. Thursday. The top-seven placers at the 16-team tournament will advance to regionals.

Mount Rainier (18-3) finished third in the state last year. The Rams will begin their quest for a repeat trip to the Tacoma Dome when they host Union, the No. 3 seed from the Greater St. Helens League, on Thursday.

Boys

Kentridge 69, Beamer 58

The unbeaten and fourth-ranked Chargers were just too much down the stretch for ninth-ranked Beamer Tuesday in the SPSL Championship at the ShoWare Center.

The Chargers (21-0) had an amazing six players score in double figures during the game and outscored the Titans 18-8 during the fourth quarter to walk away with the impressive win. All six of the Kentridge players are seniors.

But Beamer (17-4) did have its chances Tuesday night and proved they could play with the best teams in the state. Beamer used an 11-0 run in the third quarter to take a 50-49 lead, thanks to four-straight turnovers by the Chargers.

But the senior-ladened Kentridge team figured things out and outscored Beamer, 20-8, during the last nine minutes of the game.

Beamer was led by the 21 points of senior Bogdon Bliznyuk, Trey Burch-Manning ended up with 15 and Charles Frazier chipped in 13. It was the Titans' second loss in a row. They also lost their SPSL South finale last week to Federal Way.

Beamer will host Gig Harbor in the West Central District Tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday. Gig Harbor finished fourth in the Narrows League.

Kentridge will open the WCD tournament at home, hosting Evergreen, the third seed from the Greater St. Helens League, on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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