YAKIMA -- For a while, you had to wonder whether the Connell girls had some more magic up their sleeves.
After all, the Eagles have become well known for their thrilling comeback victories at state.
Twice last season, they erased double-digit deficits in their run to a sixth-place state trophy.
"It's kind of a running joke on this team. We would be down by 10 last year and say, 'We've got them right where we want them,' " said senior post Maci Whitby.
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But Connell's 43-29 1A state quarterfinal loss Thursday to Lynden Christian at the Yakima Valley SunDome showed why you can't dip into that well too many times.
The Eagles (19-7) will play Seattle Christian (21-6) at 9 a.m. today in the SunDome in a loser-out contest.
The winner will play for fourth and sixth place.
Connell recorded a 33-27 upset of the Warriors in the first round last season despite trailing 10-4 in the first quarter.
Against the Lyncs, the Eagles mounted an 11-3 second-quarter run that would put them in front during most games.
But the Lyncs' 16-2 second-quarter head start proved too heavy a burden to overcome.
"We played good defense, but we've got to find ways to score," said Connell coach Dan Colby after the Eagles shot just 23 percent (11-for-48). "One thing about this team is they never give up."
The game started ominously for the Eagles, who lost starting post Laryn Wells to a torn ACL just 1:43 into the game.
Her replacement, Nikoal Withers, helped spark Connell's second-quarter run with four points.
Withers' return to the floor this season was a triumph in itself.
The 5-foot-10 senior battled through a swollen spleen, missing all of December before returning in January.
Without Wells, Brooke Gibbons was left to defend Lynden Christian post Jasmine Hommes, who averaged over 20 points a game this season.
Hommes scored 18 points in a win over Connell last season in the third/sixth-place game at state.
This time, Gibbons was ready for Hommes, who scored just six points.
"Brooke did a really good job on her," Whitby said.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Lyncs picked up the scoring slack.
Guard Demi Luna scored a game-high 11 points, hitting 2 of 4 from 3-point range, and Coryn Bajema added nine points and three assists.
Whitby and Gibbons led Connell with nine points apiece.