Spartans defeat Knights in loser-out playoff game

The Newport Knights girls basketball team’s resiliency and determination was on display in the final game of their memorable 2017-18 season.

Skyline captured a 72-57 win against the Newport Knights in a loser-out, KingCo 4A playoff contest on Feb. 15 at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. The Knights, who trailed by 19 points after three quarters, battled their way back in the fourth period. Newport junior Nicole Chan knocked down a three-pointer with 4:28 left in regulation, cutting Skyline’s lead to 62-52. Unfortunately for the Knights, the Spartans outscored them 10-5 in the final four minutes of play to put the game out of reach. The Knights finished the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 14-7. Skyline head coach Stacie Erfle wasn’t surprised to see Newport make a run toward the end of the game. Newport’s full-court pressure defense frustrated Skyline at times down the stretch.

“We knew Newport was going to make a run. That is what great teams do. It was just a matter of composure and a matter of our seniors steping up and being leaders when the game and the season was on the line,” Erfle explained.

Skyline senior Jade Loville scored a game-high 37 points in the win. Knights’ head coach Travis Whitaker said he felt immense pride in what his team accomplished during the 2017-18 season.

“I’m just so proud of them. They’ve overcome a lot through their careers, especially the seniors. The way they’ve represented our school and our program was just so impressive. They are great kids,” Whitaker said of his team.

The comeback bid in the fourth quarter is something Whitaker will always remember.

“That is who they are. It is their character that I’m most proud of. They never gave in and they never stopped fighting. They believed all the way to the end. It was a great season,” Whitaker said.