When the Kamiakin girls basketball team needed someone to step up late in their elimination game Tuesday, senior Kelsea Crandall answered the bell.
The backup guard had a huge blocked shot and rebound, then made two free throws to seal Kamiakins 52-43 victory over a pesky Mt. Spokane squad in a Class 3A District 5/8 tournament elimination game in Kennewick.
Crandall was in the game because Kamiakin star Sira Toure fouled out with 90 seconds remaining, thrusting Crandall into the spotlight.
Im pretty confident, because my team is confident in me, she said. I went in and just played like anyone else on my team.
Toure fouled out with Kamiakin clinging to a 42-39 lead, and the Wildcats pulled within 42-41 with 1:12 left. Holly Ellison then made two free throws to extend the lead to 44-41, setting up Crandalls defensive stand.
She recovered after Mt. Spokanes Dallas Flager slipped by her in the corner. The 5-foot-6 Kamiakin guard got the last laugh, blocking the shot from behind and grabbing the rebound.
She then stepped up and sank the free throws, something that had been a struggle for the Braves throughout the night.
I wasnt really expecting to block her shot, I just went for it, she said. (At the line) I wasnt nervous. That was like one of those things you prepare for as a kid. You got to seal the game.
The Braves (15-6) will play at University High in Spokane at a time to be determined on Friday in a semifinal game. The winner clinches a berth to the state regionals and moves within a game of the state tournament.
We have a number of players on our bench that are capable of doing anything, Crandall said. And I think that is what people underestimate about us. So we showed them.
Toure, the teams leading scorer, struggled from the floor and managed just six points. Ellison, Kamiakins No. 2 scorer, finished with 12 points but made only one field goal.
With those two having problems getting going, Amanda Miller, Lindsey Schauble and Crandall stepped forward to fill the void.
I have faith in everyone on the team, Miller said. We are not just a one-player team. I feel like everybody is a threat out there. If someone is struggling, we have someone that can help out and score more points for us.
Miller finished with 10 points, six rebounds and five steals, while Schauble had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Crandall had five points and the key blocked shot.
If they stop some of our main threats like Sira and Ellison, other people can step up and make baskets, Kamiakin coach Lane Schumacher said. It shows our depth, which is nice.
MOUNT SPOKANE Lyman 1 0-0 2, Pedersen 3 2-5 8, Dallas Flager 5 5-6 15, Nilsson 4 0-2 8, Dotson 3 0-2 6, Allard 0 2-2 2, Newcomb 1 0-0 2, McKernan 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 9-17 43.
KAMIAKIN Miller 4 2-2 10, Toure 2 2-3 6, Schauble 3 5-9 11, M. Wellsandt 1 0-0 2, Holly Ellison 1 9-14 12, T. Wellsandt 1 3-4 5, Crandall 1 2-2 5, Oord 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 24-36 52.
Mount Spokane 10 10 11 12 43
Kamiakin 13 12 8 19 52
3-point goalsMS 0, Kamiakin 2 (Ellison, Crandall). ReboundsMS 49 (Flager 10), Kamiakin 36 (Schauble 11). AssistsMS 7, Kamiakin 7 (Toure 4). StealsMS 6, Kamiakin 14 (Miller, Ellison 5). TurnoversMS 31, kamiakin 17. FoulsMS 26, Kamiakin 17. Fouled outDotson, Nilsson, Toure