Lake Washington’s Sydney Hani, left, battles for the ball in the Kangs’ 56-32 loss to Arlington in the 3A state regionals on Saturday at Shorewood High. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Lake Washington’s Sydney Hani, left, battles for the ball in the Kangs’ 56-32 loss to Arlington in the 3A state regionals on Saturday at Shorewood High. Andy Nystrom/ staff photo

Kangs dribble into the Tacoma Dome

Lake Washington girls compete at 3A Hardwood Classic.

Jeff Wilson is headed back to the Tacoma Dome, and he’s taking the Lake Washington girls basketball squad with him this time.

The Kang head coach played twice at the state tournament with his Edmonds Woodway teams and then returned to the Dome as an assistant coach at his alma mater. It’s Lake Washington’s turn this time and Wilson is thrilled to be back.

Lake Washington (19-6) will take on Hudson’s Bay (20-7) at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday in a loser-out contest at the 3A Hardwood Classic. At the state regionals on Saturday, Arlington beat the Kangs, 56-32, at Shorewood High. Rosa Smith led LW with 13 points.

LW will be the sixth seed at state versus No. 14 Hudson’s Bay; Arlington is seeded third and plays its first state game on Thursday.

“We won the fourth quarter, so we ended on a good note, got some shots to fall, which is great,” Wilson said of the 19-13 final frame for LW against Arlington. “At the end of the day, we took great shots. Sophia (Liesse) and Rosa and some of our other girls, they got good open looks, they just didn’t fall — and that’s basketball sometimes. If they make a shot or two, then that changes the whole outcome of the game.”

Liesse and Smith both converted shots in the fourth against Arlington, which sports a 22-2 record.

Elise Hani, 3A KingCo’s defensive player of the year, said the girls have to possess a short-term memory after the Arlington loss.

“We just have to learn from this game and learn from our mistakes, our turnovers and stuff like that,” she said. “Just take that and fuel our energy moving forward to the Dome so that we can just kind of have this intensity about us: ‘Yeah, we’re sixth, but we’re coming back strong as ever.”

LW has won nine of its last 11 games, including the 3A KingCo championship tournament, and Hani said that players need to rebound from tough situations — on the court and in life.

When mistakes are made, “I’m gonna learn from it, I’m not gonna let it tear me down as a player. I’m just gonna let it teach me how I can improve the next time, ‘cause there’s always another possession, there’s always another game,” she added.

Last season, playing at the Dome for the first time with this group was within their grasp, but the Kangs barely missed out on the trip to the big show. There’s still more left to come this season.

“To be able to have this opportunity this year is huge. Just going into that, I think that’s gonna turn on our defense and our offense,” Hani said. “The Dome has always kind of been this pillar that we’ve tried to reach and now that we’re there, we just have to give that one final push.”

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Northwest’s volleyball team stays connected during trying times

The squad has been using Zoom to hold weekly meetings during which they check in and pray for each other if needed.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Kangs fall to Bulldogs in championship game

Lake Washington finished in second place at the 3A state basketball tournament.

Kangs reach 3A state tournament final on Saturday

LW defeats Eastside Catholic in semifinals.

Kangs advance to the semifinals at the Dome

LW beats Mt. Spokane and faces top-seeded Eastside Catholic next.

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading