Deer Park Girls vs Bellevue Christian

Olivia Gannon launches one from deep against Bellevue Christian. Photo by: Campea Photography.

Albeit in a different fashion, the Deer Park Lady Stags took another step towards making history on Saturday with a first-round (regional) win over Bellevue Christian 41-35 at their postseason home away from home West Valley High School. With the victory, Deer Park advances to the Thursday 9:00 pm quarterfinal game against the winner of the Wednesday matchup between eighth-seeded Toppenish and number nine Cashmere needing one more win for the program’s first-ever state trophy.

Nearly half the opening quarter elapsed before an Ashlan Bryant three-pointer got Deer Park on the board. Only the early season game against Timberlake saw a more lengthy scoreless stretch to open a game. A bucket with just over a minute to play in the first by Kaitlyn Scott gave the Lady Stags a lead they would never relinquish. While the offense began slowly, the defense limited the seventh-seeded Nisqually District champions to only four points.

An Olivia Gannon triple, followed by an Ashlan Bryants bucket, pushed the lead to 15-8 and forced the Vikings to regroup with a time-out. Bellevue Christian scored out of the time out to break a 4:22 scoring drought. The Lady Stags would close the first half on a 7-2 run, capped by a Brooklyn Coe corner three from Ashlan Bryant as the horn sounded, as the second-seeded Lady Stags led going to the locker room 24-12.

The Vikings scored the opening nine points of the second half as Deer Park was held scoreless until Berlyn Zimmerer connected from downtown at the 1:47 mark. Coe and Ashlan Bryant added scores prior to the end of the third for a 32-26 advantage.

As the clock turned under six minutes to play, the back-to-back Northeast District champions clung to only a six-point lead. Ashlan Bryant would force a pair of Bellevue Christian turnovers, with sister Emma drawing a charge in between as the Lady Stags’ defense stymied the Vikings’ comeback bid.

Inside of two minutes to play, the Vikings had to foul as the Lady Stags bled the clock with two Ashlan Bryant free throws providing the final margin.

Ashlan Bryant, with 16 led in scoring and added seven rebounds and five assists as well as five steals. Emma Bryant had five rebounds, while Zimmerer contributed four assists and three steals.

Olivia Gannon launches one from deep against Bellevue Christian. Photo by: Campea Photography.
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