Photos by Kurt Howard
Jordan McPhee of Mt Rainier keeps her eye on the ball as Edmonds-Woodway's Samone Jackson dribbles.

SLIDESHOW: Ram girls pave way to Tacoma

By Gerardo Bolong

KENT - And the trek continues.
Stanford-commit senior Brittany McPhee worked the court for 28 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots to lead the West Central/Southwest 4A girls basketball Bi-district champion Mount Rainier Rams (23-3) to a 76-46 blow-out of Northwest District fifth-seed Edmonds-Woodway (17-9) to drive on the path to the Elite Eight after a Hardwood Classic state regional win on the court of Kent-Meridian High School on Sat., March 1.

"It was a complete effort, tonight," said Ram head coach Bob Bolam.
Following a scrappy first quarter, the Rams held a 24-15 lead and just kept pulling away despite some uncharacteristic miscues.

By the 2:53 mark of the fourth quarter, the lead had ballooned to 37 points at 74-37 as Mount Rainier showed its preparedness to engage in battle with the other top teams that survived winner-to-Tacoma, loser-out games.

"We made it," said Brittany McPhee. "Now we are fine and just have to focus and play efficiently."

Twin sister, Jordan, played a fine floor game while contributing 13 points, 11 caroms off the glass and tabulating three steals.

With Brittany and Jordan McPhee in their final season for Mount Rainier, in what has become a four-year trek, the picture still shows the Rams boldly going where no Mount Rainier girls team has ever gone: the state championship. Improvement on a pair of third-place finishes the past two seasons is the ultimate goal.

"It feels good," said senior Kaiti Freeberg. "We've worked the whole year for this and are well-prepared."

Also showing robust readiness is junior Emily Fiso who worked hard for 17 points.

"We're ready to move on," she added.

Other Mount Rainier scorers included Aqeelah Williams (8), Simone Johnson (4) and the trio of Kaiti Freeberg, Kenzie Gandy and Jenna Shamseldin with two apiece.

The WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington/Les Schwab Tires Hardwood Classic begins of Thursday, March 6.

Mount Rainier opens state action at 2 p.m. Thursday against Inglemoor.

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