Washington advances to section final 

It was the type of possession that seems destined to completely turn the momentum of a game.

The players on the Lincoln girls’ basketball team had dived all over the floor, saved the ball from going out of bounds and grabbed five offensive rebounds before Monica Washisu finally made a layup while being fouled in the process. After the sophomore converted the free throw, the young Mustangs had drawn to within 37-34 of favored Washington with 6:02 remaining in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s San Francisco Section semifinal game at Kezar Pavilion.

But rather than reeling, the second-seeded Eagles got rolling.

Laura Ishii nailed a 3-pointer with 4:22 left in the game, sparking 19-0 game-ending run as Washington (15-14) knocked off third-seeded Lincoln 56-34 to advance to Friday’s final. The Eagles will face No. 1 Lowell (28-2) at 5 p.m. back at Kezar.

"We knew they would come after us — they’ve been a fourth quarter team all year," Washington coach Vince Wong said. "But my girls have been in those situations before and I knew they’d come through."

Following Washisu’s three-point play, Washington (which had committed eight turnovers in the third quarter) tightened up, forcing six Mustangs turnovers while committing none. The Eagles also knocked down 13 of 14 free-throw attempts down the stretch, including senior Shannon Yen’s 7-of-8 performance.

"We always work on free throws at the end of practice when we just have done a hard drill, so we know we can make them when we’re tired," Yen said. "And the experience we have on this team helps a lot [in close games]."

Yen and fellow senior Kelsey Lam led Washington with 14 points, while junior Tierney Jones added seven points and 10 rebounds. Lam scored the first five points of the game for the Eagles and Washington’s lead hovered mostly between six and 10 points throughout.

Freshman Hallie Meneses led Lincoln with 17 points, including a 3-pointer to cut the lead to four early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Monique Thomas added nine points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs (19-12), who appear to have a bright future, with just one player graduating.

melliser@examiner.com

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