King’s West shoots to ‘trophy’

The King’s West Warriors couldn’t have lost a closer game in their first round Class B State tournament game Wednesday against Sprague Harrington, 50-51.

“I think we were the most dominant team for most of the game,” King’s West co-coach Jenny Kuske said. “We played our hearts out. Just a couple turnovers and not being able to finish on some shots didn’t give us the win.”

They are the only King’s West sports program to head to the state tournament.

The King’s West boys basketball team narrowly missed a state berth after losing to Chief Leschi at Tri-Districts, 51-50.

On Tuesday at King’s West, the student body gathered in a circle in the gym to cheer the girls team off, before they hopped in vans and drove east of the mountains.

“Man, we better trophy,” said point guard Taryn Hanley, who leads all West Sound-scorers, averaging about 15 points per game. “No one at King’s West has ever trophied.”

Hanley set a goal when she got to high school to get at least third place at the state tournament before she graduated. The top eight teams receive trophies.

Last year, King’s West (22-2, 9-1 Sea-Tac League South Division) won its first game at state, but was knocked out in the second round.

“We’ve all been there so we know what it feels like,” King’s West forward Betsie Parker said. “I’m coming in more focused about playing.”

A week before the tournament, the girls lost to their top league rivals, Evergreen Lutheran, 62-52.

The Warriors’ two season losses both were against the Eagles. But they defeated Evergreen Lutheran in the Sea-Tac League playoff (60-48) and during the last week of the regular season (64-55) to even the season record at 2-2.

The Tri-District game reminded the Warriors how much they hated losing, especially during tournament time.

“It was the worst feeling,” Hanley said. “I hope we don’t have to feel like that again this season. There were some tears but a lot of people just want to keep their heads up.”

At about 10 a.m. Tuesday the girls got into six minivans and Suburbans —replete with cases of water, Gatorade, popcorn and other snacks for the six-hour drive — and pulled out of the school’s parking lot.

Many members of the boys basketball team were at the cheer assembly before they left, and had mixed feelings about the girls’ trip to state.

“It was cool and all but it was sad for us,” said Cody Cole, forward on the Warriors team and student-body president. “It was the second year in a row we just had to watch them go. We were close.”

Cole spent Monday afternoon making large banners for the girls team that said “Win! King’s West State Champs ’04.”

“I think we are really ready to go,” said Kuske on Tuesday. “I think we had our wake up call on Saturday (against Evergreen Lutheran). We moved away from our foundation base. We were turning over the ball, our shots didn’t fall, we were just cold. I think it will help us by reminding us that we can’t play sloppy and win. The mediocre teams are not going to be at the state tournament.”

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