Ballard evokes envy in tournament draw

The brackets for the 16 teams in the state girls basketball tournament are determined by a draw, and the Ballard Beavers are in a good spot. In fact, their first opponent has a losing record (Rogers of Puyallup). And the opponents in the next round are both unranked (Pasco or Graham-Kapowsin). “She should be happy,” Snohomish coach Ken Roberts said of Ballard coach Karen Blair. The first game begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Ballard girls win in OT, take district

The Ballard girls basketball team — already headed to the state tournament for the first time — beat Inglemoor in overtime Friday night to take the Sea-King 4A Girls district title (photos). As you can see in this video clip of the game, the Beavers were getting overwhelmed early on, but came back strong. “This was a new experience,” Coach Karen Blair said. “We’ve never been in a championship game before. So we struggled and made things harder than they needed to be. But we came through down the stretch.” The big state tournament begins Wednesday in the Tacoma Dome. Go Beavers!

Ballard girls going to state!

The Ballard High girls basketball team beat Eastlake 56-48 last night, and for the first time since the school opened in 1903, they’re headed to the state tournament. “The only word it seemed I heard when I came to the team this year was, state,” said Jeanette Hansen, the 6-foot-5 Danish exchange student. “I asked, ‘What is state?’ I quickly realized what it was. It was the biggest goal we could have. We could make history.” The team’s next game is Friday for the district championship (against Inglemoor), and then the Class 4A tourney begins Feb. 27 at the Tacoma Dome. Woo hoo!

Ballard girls lose heartbreaker to Roosevelt

The top two girls basketball teams in the Mountain Division met last night at Roosevelt, and the Ballard Beavers lost this time, 44-31. Now both teams are tied with 12-2 records in the division with one game to go in regular season play. The Ballard girls are a great story this season, and everyone in town will be rooting for the team as they head into the playoffs.

The Beavers after winning the championship game in the Surf ‘n Slam tournament in San Diego last month.

Longtime Ballard High teacher succumbs to cancer

Ballard High’s Toni Bukowski, who won the “Science Teacher of the Year” award in 2003, died of breast cancer on Friday. “She was one of those teachers: irrepressible, inspirational, energetic, amazing,” writes Peggy Sturdivant in her Ballard blog. “Absolutely one of the warmest and most caring people.” Memorial arrangements are pending.

Update: “She touched the lives of the entire Ballard High School community, in a very positive way, and we will all miss her,” writes Ballard High Principal Phil Brockman on the school’s website. Brockman said the school plans to rename the greenhouse where Bukowski worked, “Mrs. B’s Greenhouse.”

Ballard girls sweep in San Diego

The undefeated Ballard High School girls basketball team keeps rolling. They won all three of their games at the Surf ‘N Slam tournament in San Diego, beating St. Mary’s from Berkeley in the title game, 47-44. Senior guard Evangeline Spracklin (pictured) had a game-high 24 points against Eastlake of Chula Vista, California. You can check the scores here.