Prep girls basketball: Meadowdale dominates Bonney Lake, advances to state quarterfinals

Maverick Jordan Leith (4) goes in for a layup during the Meadowdale Mavericks-Bonney Lake Panthers Elite Eight State Championship game at the Tacoma Dome on Wednesday. (Photos by Michael Bury)

If the Meadowdale Mavericks came to the Tacoma Dome to put a scare into the other teams competing in the WIAA 3A Girls State Basketball Tournament, then consider it done.

The No.8-seeded Mavericks put on a display of speed, defensive intensity and the shooting ability of junior Gia Powell as they put away the No.9-seeded Bonney Lake Panthers 62-35 in a state tourney loser-out contest on Wednesday.

Audrey Lucas (35) takes contact from a Panthers defender while shooting a layup.

With the win, the Mavs advance to a 3A girls state quarterfinal matchup with Wesco League and District 1 tournament champion Arlington on Thursday, March 2; tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The Mavericks had little trouble getting past the Panthers on Wednesday. Meadowdale utilized a 22-2 first half run — a half in which the team enjoyed a 21-0 advantage in points scored off Bonney Lake turnovers — to build up a big lead they would not relinquish.

Natalie Durbin (10) shoots over the Panthers’ Evin Elias (4).

The Panthers committed 15 turnovers and had the ball stolen another 13 times during the decisive first half. Powell had seven steals on her own in the first 16 minutes, nine for the game..

“Those guards did not like to be rushed, they did not like the pressure,” Powell said of the Panthers’ ball handlers. “I think we definitely capitalized on that and just were able to get some steals and turn them over.”

Meadowdale’s Gia Powell (2) flies for the basket over Bonney Lake’s Ava Rice (1).

Powell not only led the Mav’s defensive effort but paced the team in scoring with 29 points, 18 in the first half.

Some see shooting in the wide-open expanse of the Tacoma Dome as unnerving, but Powell said she wasn’t scared. “I just got my shot going,” she stated. “It’s the same hoop: 10-foot hoop.”

Senior Jordan Leith contributed 11 points in the Mavericks victory. The Panthers were led by junior Jazmyn Shipp, also with 11 points.

Kaiya Dotter (3) shoots over Ava Rice (1).

While Shipp is formidable on the offensive end of the court, it was her ability to control the lane while playing defense that had concerned Meadowdale coming into Wednesday’s contest. 

“She’s a rebounder, she’s tough,” Powell said of Shipp. “So that kind of was our big worry. That’s kind of what he (Coach Kevin Thompson) told us to shut down.”

Shipp pulled down 12 rebounds in the game, but the Mavericks outrebounded the Panthers 43-31 overall.

Mackenzie Tindall (33) shoots a 3-pointer from the right side.

Team 3-point shooting was another big decider of Wednesday’s contest. Bonney Lake converted just one of 12 of its 3-point shot attempts in the game while the Mavs’ sank ten of 31 tries from beyond the 3-point arc. The 30-3 scoring advantage for Meadowdale in 3-point shooting equaled the point differential, 27 points, in the final score.

With Wednesday’s loser-out contest now behind them, the Mavericks are guaranteed to play a game at the Tacoma Dome on Friday no matter if they win or lose in Thursday’s matchup with tourney No.2 seed Arlington. But Powell thinks her squad can come away with a victory over the highly touted Eagles.

Ava Powell (14) eyes the basket from under Panthers junior Evin Elias (4).

“We didn’t play our best the first time we played them (a 64-40 loss on Dec. 15), but I know we can compete and I know we can beat them,” Powell said.

To view the entire WIAA 3A Girls State Basketball Tournament bracket, click

Samantha Medina (24) battles the Panthers’ Kylie Noland (12) under the net.

Prep Girls Basketball: Bonney Lake vs. Meadowdale, Mar. 1 (WIAA 3A Girls State Basketball Tournament round-of-12 loser-out game)

Bonney Lake   6   9 12   8 35

Meadowdale 13 24 17   8 62

Meadowdale scoring: Gia Powell 29, Jordan Leith 11, Ava Powell 8, Audrey Lucas 4, Natalie Durbin 3, Mia Brockmeyer 3, Kaiya Dotter 2, Samantha Medina 2, Payton Fleishman, Mackenzie Tindall

Bonney Lake scoring: Jazmyn Shipp 11, Ava Bailey 7, Ava Bailey 7, Ava Rice 4,Kylie Noland 2, Sophia Mackay 2, Lanie Ashby 2, Evin Ellis, Raylie Karsten, Olivia Amer

Records: Meadowdale 19-7 overall; Bonney Lake 19-5 overall

Meadowdale next game: versus Arlington; Thursday, March 2; 2 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome (WIAA 3A Girls State Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game)

– By Doug Petrowski

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