Seniors Jade Redmon and Mackenzie McPhee will get their chance at state-title redemption after losing in the 2010 championship game as freshmen on varsity, squelching a monster comeback bid by the top-ranked Rams (26-2). The second-ranked Panthers (24-1) survived a 34-point, 14-rebound, seven-block performance from Mount Rainier junior Brittany McPhee.
The Panthers also dodged losing a 14-point second-half lead, but the Rams never led in the game. They got within 49-48 on Aqueelah Williams long two-point shot with about two minutes to play, but Redmon scored with 1:46 to play for a 51-48 cushion.
Jordan McPhee, Brittany’s twin sister, rimmed off a desperate 15-foot heave under pressure as time expired. Jordan McPhee took a pass from Brittany, who was double-teamed on the baseline on the game’s final possession. Brittany scored 19 points in the second half.
Redmon missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation with 12.6 seconds left to give the Rams hope.
Mead meets sixth-ranked Arlington (22-4) in the final on Saturday at 7 p.m. Mount Rainier plays ninth-ranked Lake Stevens (20-8) in the third-fifth place game at 1 p.m.
Delany Junkermier led the Panthers with 15 points, including 3 of 5 from three-point range. Ashlyn Lewey chipped in 14 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
Mead has won three state titles, winning it all in in 4A in 1990, 1992 and 1996. The Panthers lost their title bid in 2010 to Auburn Riverside 56-52 in overtime. The loss still stings for Redmon.