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Sehome eliminated by Archbishop Murphy in winner-to-state game

7 seniors play their final game for the Mariners

By Mathew Callaghan Sports Intern

MOUNT VERNON — Seven Sehome seniors played their final high school basketball game as the Mariners lost to Archbishop Murphy, 57-42, during the 2A District 1 consolation final Saturday, Feb. 17 at Mount Vernon High School.

Sehome’s seniors scored 41 of the team’s 42 points on the night. Madi Cooper, Macie Aven, Emmy Hart, Kylie Watson, Elyse Krout, Natalie Brewer and Hazel Gaston all hugged each other and their families after the game.

Most of them have been playing together since fifth grade and have developed strong bonds over their shared love for the game, they said.

“It’s definitely bittersweet to end on a loss,” Watson said. “But doing it with girls who I’ve spent so much time and energy with these last couple of years makes it special no matter how it ends.”

Sehome’s bench cheers after the Mariners score. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

Cooper finished with a team-high 13 points for Sehome (14-8), while Brewer with 10 and Watson chipped in nine. Archbishop Murphy’s Ava Marr had a game-high 18 points to help the Wildcats (19-5) advance to the regional round of state with the district’s second and final berth.

It was Sehome who stole momentum early Saturday, however, as the Mariners took an early seven-point lead just four minutes in. The opening bucket was Watson’s 25-foot bomb from downtown as the shot clock expired. Sehome held a 14-11 lead after the first quarter.

The second was a back-and-forth battle as each team fought in turn to regain the lead. Archbishop accumulated transition points and took advantage of trips to the charity line, while Sehome seemed to live on the 3-point line. The Mariners struggled to find the basket and trailed Archbishop Murphy 34-24 heading into the locker room.

Sehome senior guard Madi Cooper puts up a jump shot. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

The third quarter saw Sehome readjust its offensive approach when facing Archbishop’s full-court pressure, limiting turnovers they were plagued by in the first half. But miscommunication and an Archbishop team firing on all cylinders kept the lead out of reach for the Mariners as they fell behind 45-33.

Sehome’s shooting woes continued into the fourth quarter, even with Madi Cooper attacking the rim. The Mariners cut the lead to 10 at one point but would get no closer in a 57-42 elimination loss.

Sehome head coach Kim Stensgar described her seniors as gritty, fierce competitors that are willing to take on anyone. She said they never dwelled on each other’s mistakes or weaknesses. Instead, they aimed to build each other up.

“We coach for a couple of reasons,” Stensgar said. “One is we love the game. We love how it helps kids grow, and helps them learn real-life lessons and develop into the people that they’re going to be. And so, when you have seven seniors and you get to see where they’re at at the end of that journey, they leave a pretty special mark on your heart.”

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