Last year at this time half of its roster was in junior high.
Fast forward 12 months, and the Todd Beamer High School girls basketball team, youth movement and all, is one win away from winning its first Class 4A West Central District championship.
Freshman Nia Alexander scored 23 points, fellow ninth grader Quinessa Caylao-Do added 16 and the Titans knocked off 4A Narrows League champion Yelm, 63-49, in a district semifinal matchup Saturday at Auburn High School.
Beamer (20-4) advances to Monday’s district championship game at the ShoWare Center in Kent where it will face top-ranked Mount Rainier (23-1) in an all-4A South Puget Sound League final.
“I can’t explain it,” said Titans coach Corey Alexander about his team’s postseason run despite having six freshmen on the roster. “They play much older than they are.”
While Beamer heads to the title game, Yelm, which lost for the first time in 16 games, returns to Auburn on Monday where it will play Union (15-6) for the district’s No. 3 seed.
“We still have a lot of basketball left,” Yelm coach Russ Riches said. “It’s disappointing to lose, but I expect the girls will come ready to play on Monday.”
Beamer lost to Mt. Rainier, 57-56, in the SPSL championship earlier this month before advancing to districts for the first time in school history.
The Titans haven’t lost yet.
Beamer led 35-25 at the half and 50-34 after three quarters, taking advantage of Yelm’s poor shooting.