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Class 2A girls semifinals: Who will be top-ranked Ellensburg's title-game foe? It is Burlington-Edison

The Tigers from Whatcom County know they are the underdogs, but feel they have the 'turbo transition' game to keep up with the state's best 2A program.

YAKIMA - Folks will see Burlington-Edison as the underdog Saturday night in the Class 2A girls basketball championship game.

So instead of picking at the things the Tigers don't have that heavy favorite Ellensburg will - let's point out the one thing this Skagit County product has that nobody has.

A holler-at-you celebration song.

Right now, Burlington-Edison is simply "dynamite" - and advanced to the state championship for the first time since 2017 after a 55-46 victory Friday over Halle Wright and Prosser in the SunDome.

And it was the Tigers' high-motor, heavy-pressure guards who stormed the semifinals. Sydney Reisner scored a game-high 24 points, including four 3-pointers. Amey Rainaud added 15 points - eight coming in the third quarter.

That pair, along with the host of other guards, played at a speed atypical of a team deep in a state tournament.

"We look at them as athletes before we look at them as basketball players," Burlington-Edison girls coach Brett McLeod said. "We've got soccer players. We've got volleyball players. We've got people who are used to the competitive atmosphere."

Rainaud sank two early 3-pointers to start the second half that fueled a 10-2 Tigers' run, extending the lead to 34-23 at the 3:31 mark of the third quarter.

"They shot incredibly well from behind the (3-point) arc," Prosser coach Kyler Bachofner said. "Credit tot hem, they got those open looks. They were hard to defend."

But Prosser just wouldn't go away, especially behind ninth grader Laylee Dixon, who tallied nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge 3-pointer.

And after Wright converted two free throws to cut it to 46-44 with 2:20 remaining, those "turbo transition" guards struck gold one more time as Reisner calmly rattled in another shot from long range.

Then, the playoff-only locker room celebration was on as players excitedly waited for McLeod to walk in so they could all sing "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz

It's a song that McLeod remarked that he really liked during on the bus going to a game - and the player adopted it as their battle-cry tune. It's even plastered on the back of their state-tournament T-shirts.

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"We jam out to it before every game," Rainaud said.

And how is the coach progressing learning the song?

"Better than I thought he would," Reisner said.


Ellensburg-WF West girls basketball 2A semifinal

Jamison Philip's steal and three-point play got Ellensburg rolling in the third quarter of a 42-25 win over W.F. West.

The defense was great - from both sides.

The offense? Not so much.

But all it took for the run-you-ragged Bulldogs to build a comfortable lead was one third-quarter push after Ellensburg held a 16-8 halftime advantage.

"In the first half, we did not do things well offensively. Defensively, I still went in and said, 'Eight points, we will take that against a team like that.'

"We started spreading them out, and that was the difference (because) now we have some speed."

Jamison Philip's steal and subsequent three-point play was the trigger on a 16-3 run just 90 seconds into the second half.

Katie Blume followed with a 3-pointer. Dylan Philip added another one from the corner, then capped the scoring burst with a three-point play following a Bearcats' turnover - and Ellensburg's lead was 32-13.

Now, the Bulldogs are in the 2A title game for the first time since 2008.

"This team has been playing together since fifth and sixth grade, and now they’ve earned the right," Whitney said. "We’ll see what happens tomorrow."