Playing on the big stage for the first time in recent memory, the Parma girls’ basketball team picked up a huge win Thursday in the 3A state opener.
But the Panthers ran into a buzz saw Friday night. Defending champion Timberlake put up 31 points in the first quarter on its way to a 79-42 victory at Middleton High.
“Timberlake is phenomenal,” Parma coach Michael Calkins said. “They are so talented from top to bottom. None of our girls have been to state before, so this is great experience for them. We didn’t quit, we finished strong and we held our heads high.”
Timberlake (22-2) will defend its title at 3:50 p.m. Saturday against Sugar-Salem (22-4) at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Parma (15-7) faces Kimberly (14-8) for third place at 11 a.m. at Middleton.
Senior guards Allison Kirby (17 points, six assists) and Keelie Lawler (15 points, seven rebounds) led a balanced attack as 10 Timberlake players scored. With 146 points through two tournament games, the Tigers are on pace to break the 3A record for most points in a tournament (211, set by Emmett in 1993).
“We knew we had to come out and play our absolute best to have a chance,” said Parma sophomore Madison Jackson, who led the Panthers with 17 points. “But when they hit four 3s right off the bat, I think it fazed us a little bit.”
Added Timberlake coach Matt Miller: “I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort the kids are giving on both ends of the floor. Plus, we are shooting the ball really well, which makes everything look better.”
Parma played much better in the second half. Jackson helped steady the offense as the Panthers battled Timberlake to a virtual stalemate in the third quarter and outscored the Tigers 19-12 in the final period.
“I feel like we relaxed,” Jackson said. “We didn’t have anything to lose. We wanted to show that we’re a team that will keep fighting until the final buzzer.”
Senior post Kassity Forsberg had 10 rebounds for Parma, and freshman Adyson Harris added six points and seven rebounds. Parma won the rebounding battle 38-33, but coughed up 30 turnovers.
Peyton Kronenberg chipped in 10 points for Timberlake, which shot 44 percent (13-for-29) from 3-point territory.