It looked like the Kamiakin High School girls basketball team had scrapped its way back from despair on Thursday in the 3A state quarterfinals, with an overtime period on the way.
But a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Garfield’s Jayla Howard dashed those hopes in an instant, making the Bulldogs 47-44 winners and sending the Braves into the consolation bracket of the tournament for the third straight year.
Kamiakin trailed by as many as eight points throughout the first half, but increased defensive pressure allowed them to chip away at the deficit after halftime.
Rylie Clark put the Braves up 42-40 with 1:30 to play, but a couple of made free throws and a stolen in-bounds pass by Howard put the Bulldogs back up by two with 20 seconds left. Kamiakin’s Alexa Hazel made what looked like it would be the play of the game when she got a contested layup to go with just a few seconds remaining, but Garfield scrambled back down the floor to create Howard’s game-winner.
Hazel tied teammate Oumou Toure with the game-high of 15 points. Toure added 14 rebounds and five steals to her final line.
Howard only attempted two shots in the game, and hit just the one, but sure made it count. Sophomore sensation Dalayah Daniels, Samaiyah Tolliver and Tamia Mobley each scored 10 points for Garfield, and Daniels pulled down 13 boards.
Kamiakin will face top-ranked Lincoln at 12:15 p.m. Friday in the consolation bracket, while Garfield will square off with Stanwood in the semifinals. The Braves finished fifth in the 2016 state tournament and fourth last year, which is now as high as they can finish at this tourney.
This story will be updated later tonight