Gabi Harrington’s performance in the district semifinals didn’t live up to her expectations.
The Bishop Kelly senior spent the past two days stewing, then took it out on Kuna in the 4A District Three girls basketball championship at Kuna High on Thursday night.
The Montana signee poured in 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds and added four steals to carry Bishop Kelly to a 54-43 victory, earning the Knights (18-5) their second straight district title. Both teams have qualified for next week’s state tournament in Boise.
“I was lazy. I wasn’t running down the floor. I wasn’t getting any boards,” Harrington said of her Tuesday effort against Caldwell. “Versus this game, I was everywhere around the court.”
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Harrington finished Tuesday’s game with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, so coach Derek McCormick isn’t sure where the four-year starter got the idea she played a bad game. He only mentioned a few defensive aspects for Harrington to work on.
“She has a lot of pressure on herself,” McCormick said. “I only get mad at her on defense, usually. I don’t care about her shooting, because I know it’s going to come. Today, she played the complete game. That’s the best I’ve seen Gabi play defense, collectively, in four years.”
The win caps a dominant year for Harrington against Kuna. She scored 35 in the first regular-season meeting at Bishop Kelly and 28 in the second meeting.
“We can’t stop her,” Kuna coach Alex Jensen said. “I told her after the game I really enjoy playing her, and I look forward to the challenge. But we’ve got to find somebody who wants to step up and guard (her).”
ON TO STATE
With Bishop Kelly and Kuna already in the 4A field, Thursday’s district title game only determined seeding.
Bishop Kelly will take on Rigby (11-13), the second-place finisher from eastern Idaho, at 6:15 p.m. Thursday.
Kuna (16-5), which was searching for its first district title since 1995, faces reigning state champion Century (18-4) at 1:15 p.m.
The 4A tournament is at Timberline High.
Recent 4A District Three champions
2015: Bishop Kelly 51, Kuna 46
2014: Skyview 42, Middleton 35
2013: Middleton 49, Bishop Kelly 44
2012: Middleton 38, Skyview 34
2011: Middleton 64, Bishop Kelly 36
2010: Middleton 50, Bishop Kelly 41
2009: Middleton 40, Nampa 34
2008: Skyview 63, Bishop Kelly 44
2007: Bishop Kelly 48, Middleton 43
2006: Vallivue 50, Skyview 38
2005: Skyview 55, Emmett 33
2004: Vallivue 36, Bishop Kelly 35
2003: Bishop Kelly 48, Vallivue 46
2002: Mountain Home 59, Nampa 53
2001: Mountain Home 59, Caldwell 53