Only 8 minutes stood between the Issaquah girls and a fourth-place trophy on Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the fourth quarter was about 2 1/2 minutes too long.
Issaquah, which led Auburn Riverside by 10 points headed into the final quarter, fell 56-48 to the Ravens and finished in seventh place at the class 4A state tournament.
“Before every game our coach writes up all of our keys to the victory,” senior Alexa Smith said. “We did just about every single thing she put up on the board, we just didn’t finish.”
The Eagles, who carried their largest lead of 14 points with 43 seconds left in the third quarter, were outscored 25-5 in the fourth. Issaquah was just 2-for-9 from the field and had nine of its 16 turnovers in the final quarter.
“It’s not that they didn’t want it, it’s just that they didn’t execute to get it,” Issaquah head coach Kathy Gibson said.
Auburn Riverside turned up its press in the final quarter, going 5-for-11 from the field and 11-for-16 from the free throw line to close the game.
Nicohle Jackson gave the Ravens their first lead, 49-47, at the 2:34 mark of the fourth via her third three-pointer.
Issaquah controlled the game through the first three quarters, leading 12-4 after one, 29-21 at halftime and 43-33 after three. The Eagles hit 42 percent of their shots through the first three quarters. They hit just 22 percent in the fourth, and only had two free-throw attempts. They had 18 attempts in the first three quarters.
Erin Nicol led the Eagles with 15 points. Smith had 11 and Maddey Pflaumer had 10. Mercedes Wetmore led the Ravens with a game-high 23.
Saturday’s loss was difficult, but Gibson said she was pleased to place in state — especially with 10 underclassmen on the roster.
“We’re really excited about the way that we finished the season,” she said. “For those young kids to be here, it’s just going to make them want to come back.”
The Eagles, who finished 19-8, graduate three seniors including Heather Morris, Nicol and Smith.
“These girls are amazing and I wouldn’t take anything back,” Smith said. “We’re not in the championship game and we didn’t get the fourth place trophy tonight, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I had so much fun getting to know these girls and it just sucks that it’s over.”