As the regular season of basketball came to an end, the season featured both highs and lows for the Yelm girls and boys teams. Both teams played with grit throughout the season as they each earned a …
As the regular season of basketball came to an end, the season featured both highs and lows for the Yelm girls and boys teams. Both teams played with grit throughout the season as they each earned a playoff game.
The boys wrapped up at 6-8 in the South Sound Conference, which earned them the fifth seed in their league. The ladies finished at 8-6 in the SSC, which earned them the fourth seed in the league.
In the final week of the regular season, each team ran into some of the toughest competition in the 3A classification.
Starting off last week, the ladies played the North Thurston Rams in their second to last SSC matchup of the season. In the Tuesday, Feb. 1 contest, the ladies came out firing, as they found themselves leading at the end of the first quarter. The first half battle continued, and after several score changes, the Tornados found themselves trailing 20-19 at halftime.
The ladies kept up the fight to the SSC leading Rams through three quarters, but they ultimately came up short. North Thurston was able to run away with the game in the fourth quarter with a burst of offense.
The Rams capped off their 2022 senior night with a victory over the Tornados, 60-40.
Scoring for the ladies was Lilli Williams with 11, while Angelica Askey added 10 points and seven rebounds. Defensively, Sadie Tanner came away with five steals, and Morgan Whited grabbed eight rebounds.
“This week was mentally tough to prepare for, but I am very proud of how my girls fought in both games,” said coach Jennifer Sleeman.
In their next game, things did not get any easier for Yelm, as they took on Gig Harbor, who is tied for first with North Thurston.
The game occurred on Thursday, Feb. 3 at Yelm High School. In the final game of the regular season, Gig Harbor clinched the No. 1 SSC seed heading into districts.
“Gig was a big game for us. We were focused on playing it quarter by quarter. We lost by 11, but that doesn’t reflect our effort. I was very proud of our fight,” said Sleeman.
After a tough week of competition, the Lady Tornados reset their focus on the upcoming matchup at districts.
“This week has prepared us going into our first game on Friday, Feb. 11,” said Sleeman.
The Tornados are set to host Mount Tahoma in their first district playoff game.
On the flip side, the boys were able to walk out of the regular season with the No. 5 seed in the playoffs. To get to that point, they needed to pick up a victory against either North Thurston or Gig Harbor.
In their first game of the week on Thursday, Feb. 1, the boys hosted North Thurston in front of a lively student section.
The Tornados went into the game riding a three game winning streak they hoped to keep alive.
Yelm led the entire game over North Thurston and wound up with the victory, 68-59.
Scoring for the Tornados was Trevontay Smith with 27 points and Jeshua Hardie added 24 as well.
The boys handled their business by defeating the Rams, who sit ahead of River Ridge in the standings, to punch their ticket into the district tournament.
The Tornados then faced second place Gig Harbor (12-1 SCC).
Gig Harbor flexed their muscles early on and began building a lead that was tough for the Tornados to overcome. The opposing team had their way on offense and played tough defense, making shots hard for Yelm.
Ultimately, Gig Harbor came up with the win in the season finale, 69-40.
Marius Aalona scored 20 for the Tornados in the contest with the Tides.
The boys will travel for an away district playoff matchup with Mountainview on Saturday, Feb. 12.
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