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Mead fends off Lakeside of Seattle in girls basketball thriller, 62-60, at Puget Sound Holiday Classic

Panthers make 13 3-pointers to offset the game-high 35 points of Lions' senior Mia Broom

TACOMA, Wash. - For the hundreds of high-level basketball games NCAA Division I signees Mia Broom and Teryn Gardner have played in over the years, the first time the two seniors faced off was as seniors - in girls soccer.

Broom's Lakeside of Seattle team defeated Gardner's Mead side in the WIAA playoffs last fall.

The second time was Monday in their signature sport at the Puget Sound Holiday Classic.

The second-ranked Panthers held off No. 6 Lakeside of Seattle, 62-60. at UPS Memorial Fieldhouse.

It was a high-intensity showdown that "felt like a state game," said Mead girls coach Quantae Anderson.

"Coming into this game, we knew this team would be tough," Gardner said. "We had to come ready and come prepared."

The Panthers had to come prepared to stop Broom, a Columbia signee who has quickly established herself as a state player of the year candidate.

Broom did nothing to diminish that reputation Monday, scoring a game-high 35 points as the Panthers threw shorter players, taller players - and Gardner, a Boise State signee - at her for 32 minutes.

"We wanted to kind of mix it up a bit ... and make her to take it to the rack," Anderson said. "And she did that. She is a phenomenal player. I think Columbia got a steal."

What carried Mead on Monday was its 3-point shooting, burying 13 shots from long range, including nine from Gracie Wenkheimer, who led the team with 27 points.

Wenkheimer's final field goal from long range gave the Panthers a 59-55 lead with 52 seconds to go.

Sienna Olson responded with a 3-pointer for the Lions 37 seconds later, but Gardner - who had a quiet 13 points - made three of four three throws down the stretch.

It was a matchup of the top-ranked Class 3A squads in the WIAA"s RPI rankings.

"I think it was a big game because of the competition - and it was fun to see us compete," Broom said. "We (Gardner and Broom) had not played against each other ... but I obviously knew her name from around the state. She is one of the best guards around."