The girls basketball team trailed Bellevue Christian for three quarters of a loser-out game in the first round of the tri-district tournament, but in the final few minutes the Borderites made it clear they weren’t ready to end their season.
Blaine won the February 18 matchup at Bellevue Christian 44–41, and will next face Eatonville at Lynnwood High School on Thursday, February 20.
“It was a huge win for us,” said head coach Ryan Pike. “We were down most of the game, but the girls never gave up.”
The Borderites fell behind early, as they were outscored 14–6 in the first quarter. Pike said the rowdy tournament atmosphere on their opponents’ home court may have been a factor in the early deficit.
“It was loud there. Our shots weren’t falling, and we knew as soon as we could gain the lead the crowd would quiet down. It took us a lot longer to do that than we would’ve liked, but the girls kept fighting and clawed their way back into the game,” Pike said.
In the fourth quarter, a surge led by Alexis McElwain put the Borderites in the lead.
“It was a three- or four-point game with eight minutes to go, and I asked the girls, ‘who wants it more?’” Pike recalled. “[McElwain] started scoring points, Breanna [Chau] had two big steals that she scored lay-ins off of, and the whole team started making shots.”
McElwain scored 17 points and hauled in 12 rebounds.
The Borderites will face Eatonville with the winner sealing fifth place and a bid to the regional round of the state tournament and the loser heading to a sixth-place match.
“We played them in the exact same game last year and won, but they’re a different team now,” Pike said. “They have a really strong scoring guard and they’ve had some big wins. We need to play how we can, and hopefully come out with a win.”
The game begins at 6:15 p.m. at Lynnwood High School.