The girls basketball programs at Tumwater and Rainier High Schools capped their exceptional seasons with trips to the state tournament. Both squads saw their seasons end in the first round with the top-ranked Thunderbirds losing, 56-52, to No. 9 West Valley of Spokane in the opening round of the Class 2A state tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome, while the No. 11 Mountaineers dropped their first-round contest, 63-43, to No. 6 Lake Roosevelt in the first round of the 2B state tournament at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
The T-Birds were led by Isabella Lund’s 13 points and Aubrey Amendala’s 11 points, while Natalie Sumrok and Kylie Waltermeyer both added 8 points in the loss.
Tumwater, which finished the season 22-3, marking one of the best records in program history, took a 52-51 lead on a Lund field goal with under 2 minutes to play, but the team would not hit another shot the remainder of the contest as West Valley sank five free throws to post the upset.
Despite holding the state’s top ranking for much of the regular season, the T-Birds found themselves in a first-round loser-out game at the state tournament after losing to No. 8 Burlington-Edison, 52-47, at the regional round.
Trailing by 13 points in the second half, Tumwater rallied, getting consecutive 3 pointers from Waltermeyer and a bucket from Sumrok, which cut the deficit to 49-47 with 78 seconds remaining. However, the T-Birds were unable to score the rest of the way, giving the Tigers the victory and forcing Tumwater into a one-and-done situation in Yakima.
The two season-ending losses should not overshadow an outstanding year for the T-Birds, who entered the state tournament riding a 13-game winning streak with their only regular season setback coming against 4A Mount Si in a non-conference clash on December 30.
Tumwater concluded its lengthy winning streak with a convincing 59-46 win over No. 3 Hudson’s Bay in the 2A District IV tournament championship. Lund led a well-balanced scoring attack, chipping in a game-high 17 points to go with 5 steals. Amendala added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, while Sumrok scored 9 points and Waltermeyer and Regan Brewer each scored 8 points in the district title victory.
Amendala and Sumrok, who both surpassed 1,000 points for their high school careers, were named co-MVPs of the 2A Evergreen Conference, while junior Waltermeyer and senior Lund both received first-team all-conference recognition. The T-Birds also had a second team selection in senior Cassie Kaufman and an honorable mention recipient in sophomore Brewer with Robin Johnson earning Coach of the Year honors.
Rainier punched its ticket to the 2B state tournament for the first time since 2019 after defeating No. 14 Columbia (Burbank), 50-41, in the regional round. Bryn Beckman, a 5-foot-8 freshman, scored a game-high 19 points, senior forward Faith Boesch scored 12 points and freshman point guard Brooklyn Swenson added 8 points to give the Mountaineers the program’s first ever regional victory.
In its first-round loss to Lake Roosevelt, Rainier received 16 points and 9 rebounds from Beckman and 9 points each from Boesch and senior Isabella Holmes.
Boesch and Holmes both were named first-team all-Central 2B League with Beckman being named to the second team.
The No. 11 Bears lost to No. 14 Moses Lake, 52-39, at the 4A regional round. The No. 17 Rams, who were co-champions of the 3A South Sound Conference, fell to No. 16 Eastside Catholic, 59-47, in a 3A regional round play-in game, while the No. 12 Beavers lost, 60-55, to No. 13 Toppenish at the 1A regional tournament.