Avalanche hoops team takes third

The Olympic Avalanche select basketball team took third place out of 12 teams in the eighth-grade girls division last weekend in the 17th-annual Tulip Festival Basketball Tournament in Mount Vernon.

In 10 tournaments this season, the Avalanche squad is 26-13. The team has won 14 of its past 15 games.

In the tourney opener, the Avalanche dominated the boards to edge past the Bellingham Flash, 37-28. Krista Johnson scored 17 points and Rylleigh Zbaraschuk added 10 while teammate Mariah Frazier snagged 19 of the Avalanche's 45 rebounds.

In game two, the Avalanche torched the Shorecrest Highlanders, 34-10. Johnson led a balanced scoring attack with nine points. Olympic held the Shoreline squad to 3-of-34 shooting and forced 22 turnovers.

In the semifinal on March 29, Seattle's Lady Blues ended the Avalanche run with a 49-33 win. Lizzie Lawrence led Olympic with 12 points but it wasn't nearly enough.

"This game was very disappointing to all of us because we felt we could beat the Lady Blues and get to the championship," coach Joe Marvelle said. "The bottom line is that we got beat in transition. Lady Blues played an excellent all-around on both ends of the floor."

While the Lady Blues went on to win the tourney, the Avalanche had to settle for third place after edging Ferndale 37-31. Frazier scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Johnson added 11 points.

Lexi Besand hit a key shot and Anna Mittmann snagged five rebounds off the bench to key the win.

"It would have been very easy for the girls to come in this game disappointed at not being in the championship game but every one of them was fired up and ready to play with perfect attitudes," Marvelle said. "I was very proud of the way they approached this game."

The Avalanche team plays at the April Fool's Extravaganza in Port Angeles April 4-5.

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