SNOHOMISH - Ashley Wright expects to have a few bruises this morning. That's what you get when you challenge every shot and every cut Sehome's 6-foot-3 Sarah Onion makes for 32 minutes.
But after Bothell's 53-43 victory over sixth-ranked Sehome last night in the semifinal of the Wes-Sea-King bi-district tournament at Snohomish, Wright knew the punishment was worth it.
The Cougars are going to the state tournament.
"I think I maybe have a few (bruises) on my arms and a few on my head because she's a little taller than me," said the 6-foot forward, who finished with four points and six rebounds.
"But we had great help and I think we did a good job. I think everyone is starting to feel it. I think we're ready for the rest of the season."
Seventh-ranked Bothell (21-3) will play Inglemoor in Friday's tournament final because of its defense. The Cougars led Sehome 11-2 after the first quarter, outrebounded the Mariners 40-28 and held them to 24-percent shooting.
Onion (10 points) and fellow senior Stacey Miller (17) were a combined two of 20 from the field through three quarters against Bothell's collapsing defense. By the time they started making shots, it was too late.
Sehome (20-3) must win consecutive loser-out games - starting Wednesday against Cascade - to qualify for state.
"They came out aggressive on us and it got to us," said Miller, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter. "We were scared. We backed off."
Bothell Coach Dennis Olson has made it clear his players won't play if they don't defend, which is why Jenny Maag found herself on the bench in the third quarter.
Maag, a second-team KingCo 4A selection, has been steady all season. But she struggled - until the fourth quarter. She scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the final quarter as Bothell withstood a Sehome rally that cut the lead to 39-35 with five minutes remaining.
"The fourth quarter came around and it really hit me that this was a chance to qualify for state," said Maag, who also had six rebounds and four steals. "I wanted to be out there, so I came back out with a little more intensity and desire."
"We have the mentality of defenders now," Bothell senior Jennae Krell said.
Senior Becki Ashbaugh backed Maag up with six of her 13 points in the final quarter.
Inglemoor 52, Roosevelt 36 - Three was the magic number for Inglemoor as the Vikings earned their first state-tournament berth in 10 years by beating KingCo champion Roosevelt.
Inglemoor (16-8) will play Bothell Friday at 6:45 at Edmundson Pavilion for the district championship. Both teams will go to state. Roosevelt will play Snohomish Wednesday at Edmundson Pavilion.
The Vikings and Roughriders (20-4) met for the third time this season. Inglemoor won in January by 12 points. Roosevelt won in February by 16.
The game had been billed as a matchup between Stanford-bound Cori Enghusen of Inglemoor and Enjoli Izidor of Roosevelt. Izidor finished with 14 points and Enghusen scored eight before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Brina Chaney's two free throws put Inglemoor ahead for good, 26-25. She finished the game by making 11 consecutive free throws. Inglemoor scored 10 of its last 12 points from the free-throw line.
"I knew I had to step in and pick up my game when Cori got into foul trouble," Chaney said. "Cori is our inspiration and we needed to win this game for her."
Junior Sara Best, who led all scorers with 17 points, helped secure the Vikings' lead in the fourth quarter with a layup followed by a steal, which was followed by an assist.
Cascade 63, Redmond 56 (loser out) - Cascade survived a fourth-quarter by the Mustangs, who led 21-12 in the first quarter. Ciara Papac scored six of her 14 points in the final quarter for the Bruins (18-7).
Trisha Huffman scored 18 points and Emily Tarr 17 for Redmond (17-8). Ann McColl scored 18 and had 10 rebounds for Cascade.
Tarr's final three-pointer, with 1:46 left, cut Cascade's lead to 58-56. But the Bruins scored the final five points.
Snohomish 72, Franklin 60 (loser out) - Kirsten Brockman scored 14 points in the first half and the Panthers limited the Earthquake to 17 points in the half. Mary Etter scored 20 points and had nine rebounds, Brockman added 17 points and Julie Yates 14 points for Snohomish.
Sirelle Wilkerson led Franklin (12-11) with 19 points.
Snohomish (13-11) will play Roosevelt Wednesday in a loser-out game.