BOTHELL - The Becki Ashbaugh vs. Kim Sorenson scoring showdown never materialized. But the two best teams in KingCo sure put on a show for the sellout crowd at Bothell High School last night.
The Bothell and Eastlake stars chose to think pass before shot. So did the rest of their talented teammates. The result was an up-tempo, high-energy game that Ashbaugh and the homestanding Cougars won 71-66.
"It wasn't a Becki Ashbaugh vs. Kim Sorenson thing," Ashbaugh said. "It was a Bothell vs. Eastlake. I wasn't worrying about who got the points. On a team as talented as ours, everybody can score. It doesn't matter who does it."
The Bothell student body, which has avidly supported the boys' team this winter, finally showed up for a girls game. Fashionably late fans found themselves standing next to the stands instead of sitting in them. Instead of the duel between the league's leading scorers, what they saw was a symphony of extra passes and switching defenses.
Bothell Coach Terry Galloway refers to the Cougars' multiple defenses as his "toolbox." The Cougars (9-0, 14-0), who had all week to prepare for the game, threw the wrench, screwdriver and the pliers at the Wolves. Their combination of box-and-one, triangle-and-two, 1-2-2, 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone defenses held Sorenson without a basket until midway through the second quarter and 10 points overall.
"I thought we did a really good job of keeping the ball out of her hands and guarding the three-point shot because she's such a good shooter,"
"They switched around and did a lot of different stuff," Sorenson said. "They played good defense on me. I have to give them credit."
Ashbaugh and junior Jennae Krell spent the most time in Sorenson's face. They also combined for 36 points of their own, 22 by Krell. Another junior, Nicole McCain, the Cougars' fourth option on offense, was Bothell's biggest beneficiary of the unselfish play. The 6-1 forward shot nothing but layups and finished with 17 points.
The threesome combined for 15 of Bothell's first 17 points as the Cougars opened up a 17-2 lead that Eastlake never made up.
"When you concentrate on key players it leaves others open," said McCain, who also had a game-high 14 rebounds. "Becki (Ashbaugh) had some awesome passes. In order to get to state we have to play great team offense and Becki has done a good job leading us."
Sorenson and fellow senior Brooke Ingalls, who scored 13 points, both received scholarships to Division I universities. But, with Bothell focusing on them, Trish Huffman found herself open time and again inside the paint. The 6-0 junior scored a career-high 35 points.
Other KingCo girls games
Redmond 49, Woodinville 38 - Lisa Milne and Bree Barnes picked up the slack as the Mustangs won without Lauren Ashbaugh. Milne scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half. Barnes added 10 points for Redmond.
The Mustangs (8-2, 9-5) hit 11 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Beth Grove of Woodinville led all scores with 18 points. The Falcons (0-10, 0-13) also got 12 points from DeAnna O'Hara.
Issaquah 59, Bellevue 48 - Center Kim Evanger and point Cortney Hellem combined for 31 points to lead Issaquah (5-5, 5-7). Jessica Currie hit three of the Wolverines' seven three-pointers.
Mercer Island 58, Juanita 50 - The Islanders won their second KingCo game by sinking 8 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Lexie Richards led Mercer Island (2-7, 3-7) with 18 points. Senior Maya Jones added 14. Juanita (3-7, 4-8), which was coming off an upset over Inglemoor Wednesday, got a career-high 20 points from point guard Nicole Ulrich. At Lake Washington 43, Interlake 33 - Meghan Geddes, a 5-11 senior, scored 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Kangs, but contributed her biggest role on defense, holding Interlake's Amie Karkainen to seven. LW is 7-3 and 10-4.
Inglemoor 61, Newport 31 - Led by Sara Best's seven steals, the Vikings (6-4, 7-4) caused defensive havoc throughout the game. The sophomore point guard also scored 10 points, while Corey Enghusen led Inglemoor with 14 points. Anna Mickelson scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Knights (2-10, 4-13).