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Working Overtime for the Win
Hall, Fayson Stand Out in Overtime Period
Dec. 8 – it is usually much more difficult to hit a 3-point shot than a free throw. And that is why Highline’s 90-85 overtime win over Green River seemed so paradoxical. In the first half it was Green River scorching the nets in 3-point shooting (10-18) to take a 44-32 halftime lead. In the second half and in overtime, it was their bad free-throw shooting (7-19) that contributed to Highline catching up and finally coming away with the win. Of course, there was more to it, such as Highline Head Coach Che Dawson deciding to go with a small lineup halfway through the second half to provide more quickness on the defensive perimeter and push the pace on offense. Then in overtime it was Mahlik Hall taking control of the game on offense and Jaylen Fason’s game changing block of Green River’s Pa’Treon Lee layup attempt with 1:07 left in overtime and Highline up by two points. And ironically enough in light of the Gators’ free throw woes, it was Griffin Gardoski hitting two free throws with seven seconds left to clinch the T-Bird win.
For Highline, Micah Jessie (25 points, 9 rebounds) paced a balanced Highline attack, with Hall ( 23 points, 8 rebounds), Nathan Yockey (15 points), and Jalen Fayson (12 points, 12 rebounds) all scoring double figures. Green River was led by Connor Woodward, who came off the bench for 30 points, including 9-13 in 3-point shooting.
With the win Highline goes to 1-0 in league play and 9-6 for the season while Green River falls to 8-8.
Highline’s Mahlik Hall (23 points) late in the second half against Green River.
Micah Jessie (25 points) led Highline in scoring.
Comeback Win Over Green River
“It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over”
Dec. 8 – in a game in which both teams shot atrociously it became a question of who would manage to make shots when it counted most. For Highline, it was Patrea Topp. With three seconds left in the game and Highline trailing 51-48, she hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to force overtime in a game the T-Birds would go on to win 59-53. Topp’s 3-pointer was the first time in the entire game that Highline had not trailed and marked the culmination of a long, slow comeback by the Thunderbirds who were down 29-17 at halftime. The overtime was all Highline, outscoring the Gators 8-2, sparked by the scoring of a noticeably limping Catherine Sunny, who ended with a game-high 21 points. With the win Highline goes to 1-0 in league play and 3-8 for the season while Green River remains winless at 0-14.
In addition to Sunny’s scoring, Patrea Topp had 13 points and Kylie Lunday finished with 10 points and 20 rebounds for Highline. Green River was led by Madison Bosik with 14 points and Nicole Qualls’ 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Regarding that poor shooting, for the game Highline shot 27.4% from the field and 45% (13-29) from the free throw line while Green River hit 26.7% of their shots and 54% (13-24) in free throws. One major factor in eking out the win was the T-Birds with only 11 turnovers while forcing 16 Green River miscues. All in all, what the game lacked in aesthetics during the first 39 minutes was countered by a final frantic last minute and overtime, leaving a bemused crowd wondering how the Thunderbirds managed to pull this one off.
Freshman Patrea Topp with the 3-pointer with three seconds left that sent the game into overtime.
Catherine Sunny, playing through an injury, with 2 of her 21 points.
Big Win Over Big Bend
Dec. 13, 2019 – despite forfeiting at two weights, Highline wrestlers still dominated the Big Bend visitors with Austin Cleland, Jeramias Sandoval, Jeramias Sandoval, and Nico Torres recording pins, John Sowers and Kai Olson with technical falls, and Hayden Henry with an 11-9 win in overtime. The final score was Highline 31 Big Bend 18.
Austin Cleland would go on to pin Roberto Ramirez of Big Bend in the 2nd period.
Highline Defeats Peninsula 1-0 For Title
Sophia Leer Hits Winning Goal in Double Overtime
Hannah Jenkins Named MVP
Hannah Jenkins to an NWAC reporter about the Highline defense: “”We’re filthy, we’re nasty, and we don’t go down without a fight.”
Nov. 17 – you could tell they were tired. They seemed a step slower, moving a little sluggishly, their passes lacked crispness, and their distance kicks didn’t go quite as far. They were having trouble clearing the ball from their end. It came as no surprise; they were in the second overtime in the championship match against Peninsula, and this was their second double-overtime match in less than 48 hours, following a penalty shootout win over Walla Walla in the semi-finals. With a bench of only three players to start both contest, almost half the Thunderbird starters had played every minute of both contests. Peninsula, on the other hand, had been substituting liberally throughout the match. And now in this second overtime, with two starters now out with leg injuries and no fresh players to bring in, Highline was hanging on by its fingernails, saved only by Peninsula near misses and a series of sprawling saves by the preternaturally calm Highline freshman goalkeeper Kate Nelson. And then it changed (Finish reading the story at the Women’s Soccer page).
Highline also takes Playoff and League MVP honors; Coach of the Year; places six players on All-Star team (details)
The 2019 Women’s Soccer Champions
Highline went 2-2 in the NWAA Championship Tournament as its season came to an end. The Thunderbirds finished at 20-7 overall and 10-2 in league play. Three sophomores made the West Division All-Star teams, with Alicia Nguyen and Kiki Troy being named to the First Team and April Talaiga making the Second Team. The playoffs saw the final appearances Nguyen, Troy, and Talaiga along with sophomores Taecia Akana and Misiona Ribeiro,
Kills: Alicia Nguyen 306 (4.86 per set)
Assists: Kiani Troy 462 (8.4 per set)
Digs: April Talaiga 271 (4.37 per set)
Service Aces: Kiani Troy (0.58 per set)
Highline finished the 2019 season 20-7 overall and 10-2 in league play, going 2-2 in the NWAC Championship Playoffs.
One and Done in the Playoffs
Wenatchee Valley 2 Highline 1 (double overtime)
Nov. 6 – For most men’s soccer teams in the Northwest Athletics Conference, a 7-4-1 league record and a trip to the playoffs would be considered a very successful year. But by the high standards the Highline program has set over past years, the 2-1 first round loss to Wenatchee Valley in double-overtime can only seem a disappointment. It was a hard-fought contest that saw Wenatchee Valley take the lead at 46 minutes after a scoreless first half on an unassisted goal by Luis Navarrete. Highline’s Cris Garfias-Lozano tied the score on a penalty kick at 78 minutes. That ended the scoring through the end of regular time and the first overtime. The match ended when with a couple of minutes left in the second overtime midfielder Alex Medina of Wenatchee Valley took advantage of a scramble in front of the Highline goal and scored the game winner. And with that goal Highline’s season was over.
The loss marked the final matches for the sophomores, led by Alex Weaver, Gauoussou Doucoure, Nestor Quijada, and Augie Estrada. Head Coach Steve Mohn will need to replace such standouts but after playing this year with a freshman laden roster gaining valuable experience, Highline should be bringing back an abundance of match-tested players for the 2020 season.
Freshman David Avila will be a key returnee for the Thunderbirds.
A Sunday Morning Reunion
Oct. 20 – this year’s Highline Women’s team (with six new members) got a chance to meet last year’s team to play a few sets and have lunch together as the team hosted its first ever alumni match on Sunday, Oct. 20 at the Boeing Employee Tennis Center. In the process the current team got a chance to pick up some tips, both in tennis and being a college student. With a young team, the T-Birds will be anchored by Mikyla Olsen, who won the #3 Singles Championship at the 2019 NWAC Tournament.
The 2018/19 and 2019/20 teams, with Head Coach Laura Rosa and Asst. Coach Makoa Rosa.