Fiso fires up Mt. Rainier
By Gerardo Bolong
PUYALLUP - Six-foot junior Emily Fiso found her southpaw outside shooting quite beneficial in relieving some of the inside pressure defense of third-ranked Skyview of Vancouver by scoring her game total of 19 points in the first three quarters which secured openings for the often doubled and tripled teamed Stanford-bound Brittany McPhee as the the fifth-ranked Mount Rainier Rams of Des Moines (21-3) cleared the Storm for a 65-61 semifinal game of the West Central III/Southwest IV Bi-District girls basketball tournament held at Puyallup High School on Thurs., Feb. 21.
Besides qualifying for a fourth consecutive regional berth, the running Rams also set themselves up for a third consecutive Bi-District title and a third match up this season against No. 6 Todd Beamer, a 60-53 overtime winner against Bellarmine Prep, at noon on Sat., Feb. 22, on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University.
Despite drawing her second foul late in the first quarter, Fiso had her good shooting touch.
"They don't know that I can make those (outside shots and three-pointers," said Fiso. " I was just being open. Then, they had to start guarding me, which opened up the inside. I just knew it was a big game and I had to step up."
Among her 19 points were a trio of three-point bombs.
With Fiso nailing down outside shots, Brittany McPhee was able to get the ball inside for a game-high 23 points.
Although Skyview led 15-14 after the first quarter, Fiso kept Mount Rainier close by scoring her team's final nine points of the quarter, including a consecutive pair of baskets beyond the arc to close out her scoring.
Brittany McPhee joined the scoring with eight second quarter points in a tight battle to a halftime 27-27 draw.
In the third quarter, Aqeelah Williams drained some key outside shots to match Fiso's seven third quarter points. Jordan McPhee swished home two free throws to give the Rams a 47-42 margin after three quarters.
Williams and the McPhee twins combined to increase the Ram lead to 56-47 as 4:28 remained in regulation
From the corner with 3:06 left, Brittany McPhee showcased one of her many talents with a three-pointer that that zoomed the Rams ahead, 61-51. Stephanie McDonaugh downed a three-pointer that cut the Storm deficit to 63-58, but later missed a lay up that set up a foul on Jordan McPhee who dropped home two free throws with 26 seconds left.
Aubrey Ward-El scored a three-pointer with half of a second left for the final scoring of the match up..
Brittany McPhee scored a game-high 23 points-including nine in the fourth quarter - was appreciative of Fiso's contributions from the outside.
"Emily was great," said McPhee. "It took off the pressure on me. She definitely had her three-point shot. Every time the defense is sagging on me and she can attack and get her own shots, it just relieves all the pressure."
Head coach Bob Bolam also gave Fiso credit.
"She definitely stepped up," Bolam said. "We've just gotten tougher while playing these tough teams."
Williams added to Ram point tabulations with 12 while Jordan McPhee added nine. Kaiti Freeberg notched two points.
For the persistent Skyview squad,, Jocelyn Adams had 22 points, while Ward-El added 19.