Once the Wilson High Rams passed the big test, they took their shot at the oost-game pop quiz.
When was the last time a Wilson girls’ basketball team played in the state tournament in the Tacoma Dome?
Coach Michelle Birge has the most history. She even played against some of those tough Rams’ teams in the 1990s while at Foss High School.
“Historically?” she said out loud. “I cannot tell you.”
Up next, guard Bethany Montgomery – who at least knew the last decade the Rams were in the big dance.
“It’s been since the 1990s,” Montgomery said, “with the fab five.”
Leave it to the honors student with the 3.7 grade-point average to know the pop quiz was a trick question.
“I don’t think we’ve ever played in the Tacoma Dome,” center Tia Briggs said.
Nope, the last time the Rams were in the state championships, it was 1994 – in the Seattle Center Arena.
After their 56-26 Class 3A regional victory over up-and-coming Bonney Lake at Mount Tahoma High School on Friday night, the fourth-ranked Rams will be making their first state trip to downtown Tacoma – starting with a Class 3A quarterfinal game Thursday.
Wilson jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first 51/2 minutes Friday, then really just grinded out bigger leads behind its pressure defense. The Panthers cut it to 26-16 at the end of the first half, mainly behind standout Makenzie Voellger, who scored 15 points.
“I felt we could do a pretty good job defensively,” Bonney Lake coach Thomas Ostrander said. “But I knew we’d struggle to score points against their athleticism. Their length and speed obviously affected us.”
Montgomery capped a 7-1 run to start the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers – the second coming five behind the line – to push the Rams’ lead to 33-17. Bonney Lake has just one second-half field goal.
Montgomery led Wilson with 16 points. Briggs added 13, and Violet Morrow was very effective inside scoring nine points.