Garfield Ends Rainier Beach’s Reign

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Garfield Ends Rainier Beach’s Reign
By Colin Caruso

Saturday March 7 2015 Boys 3A State Final
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 11 15 18 22 66
Rainier Beach 12 14 15 10 51


Garfield Bulldogs

In a rematch of the Metro championship game, and a matchup of the two best teams in the state of Washington, the stage was set in Tacoma to watch the athleticism unfold between Rainier Beach and Garfield. Both inter-city Seattle schools, both defending state champions (Garfield won 4A last year) with the coveted 3A crown to take home.

The game began with a frantic pace, as it always does with these two teams. Beach got off to a quick lead behind eight first quarter points from star De’Jounte Murray. But the Bulldogs responded on the back of Jaylen Nowell, a sophomore star who responded with seven in the first.

Neither team slowed down in the second quarter; the pace remained at the highest level of the tournament. Even with the extremely fast pace both teams took care of the ball quite well, not allowing the opposition to get easy buckets in transition. Both defenses held firm, and the halftime score was tied at 26.

The Tacoma Dome was electric to start the second half. Neither team was able to pull away in the third quarter, but Garfield appeared to have more control going into the fourth.

After a back and forth third, Garfield held a 44-41 lead entering the final frame.
Shadeed Shabazz started the quarter hot for the Vikings, converting on two straight layups in under 30 seconds to take a one point lead. The teams exchanged baskets, and Garfield continued to attack the basket, getting into the bonus, and knocking down their free throws. With three minutes to play, the Bulldogs held a five point lead.

De’Jounte Murray responded with a beautiful reverse layup, but the Bulldogs answered with a put back layup by Jaylen Nowell. After a Rainier Beach miss, Austin Anderson for the Bulldogs knocked down two more from the line to take a seven point lead, the largest of the game for either team. From there, the Bulldog floodgates opened, ending the game on a 17-2 run.

Congratulations to Garfield, the back to back state champions! This Garfield win ended a Rainier Beach run of three consecutive 3A boys state titles.

Top Performers:
Garfield
Jaylen Nowell – 23 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals
Alphonso Anderson – 17 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks

Rainier Beach
Shadeed Shabazz – 22 points
De’Jounte Murray – 15 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks

Federal Way Wins Mismatch 4A Boys State Title

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Federal Way Wins Mismatch 4A Boys State Title
By Colin Caruso

Saturday March 7 2015 Boys 4A State Final
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Davis 16 5 11 14 46
Federal Way 20 12 15 18 65


Federal Way Eagles

Let’s get something straight to start this game. This game was the 4A state final. These two teams met on December 6th and Federal Way beat Davis 88-43. I will write that twice for emphasis. 88-43. At Davis High School. A win for Davis would be the biggest, and I mean biggest, in high school basketball history.

Don’t worry, it didn’t happen.

Davis was outmatched at every position on the floor. Not only outmatched but also significantly outsized. But the Pirates hung tough in the first quarter, only trailing by four after one.

Federal Way was able to extend their lead on the back of poor shooting and questionable execution on offense from the Pirates. They resorted to far too many jump shots and did not run any sets in the half court. There were too many possessions of either one or no passes and then a ridiculous shot. Federal Way led 32-21 at the half.

Federal Way kicked off the second half with an 11-2 run to extend their lead to 20, the largest of the game. That lead would be cut to 15 to end the quarter, 47-32.

Davis would come as close as 12 in the fourth quarter. Hats off to them, this was much more of a contest than their 45 point loss to the Eagles in December. Balanced scoring from the Eagles allowed them to finish off a 65-46 victory.

Top Performer:
Federal Way
Jalen McDaniels – 16 points 8 rebounds

Pivec Leads Lynnwood to State Title Over Defending Champs

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Pivec Leads Lynnwood to State Title Over Defending Champs
By Steven Dion

Saturday- March 7 2015 Girls 3A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Lynnwood 13 12 12 17 54
Cleveland 15 14 4 9 42


Lynnwood Royals

Championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome tipped off with a matinee of the 3A girls title game with 2-time defending champs Cleveland and newcomer to the classification recently from 4A in the Lynnwood Royals. It was a remarkable accomplishment that Coach Redd led the Eagles to the final in her first year with the program and major turnover of the roster. Similarly, Coach Edwards has put together a powerhouse that appears to have the pieces to return to the TDome for years to come. The Eagles knocked off familiar foe Bishop Blanchet to earn a spot in the championship game while the Royals took down Bellevue in the semis. In a clash of old guard against the new kid on the block, which squad would raise the hardware?

Lynnwood’s versatile wing Mikayla Pivec kick-started her monster game early by scoring the first dozen points for the Royals which included crafty turnaround jumpers in the paint. Her rebounding prowess was also shown in the opening quarter as the path to a double-double was paved early. The Eagles countered with Aqeelah Williams who continued to heat up as the first half moved along. Pace of play increased in the second quarter and Cleveland benefitted as Jayde Christopher controlled the game speed nicely. Back to back triples by the Giavanni Flowers and Williams pushed the Eagles lead to 27-19 at 2:45 which prompted a Royals timeout. LHS used the remaining minutes of the first half to cut the deficit in half and return to the locker room with a 29-25 score in favor of Cleveland.

When play restarted, Lynnwood used a 6-0 run in under three minutes to make another lead change of the contest in which there were four. This proved to be a turning point in the game because Cleveland went on a major scoring drought which lasted the entirety of the second half. Shots rimmed out and with each miss seemed to dash the confidence of the Eagles. A field goal percentage of 16% in the final sixteen minutes of the game put CHS’ fate in the balance. Lynnwood’s 12-4 scoring edge in the third quarter put them in a good position to secure the victory.

Jordyn Edwards and Kelsey Rogers maintained the Lynnwood momentum by using their defensive pressure to set up offensive production. The pair combined for six defensive rebounds, five steals, and four blocks to keep the high-flying Eagles at bay. Leading 44-36 with a shade under four minutes to go, Cleveland needed a spark.

Myla Hightower answered the call by willing her team to rally and extend the contest. The bulk of her nine points were scored late to cut the margin to a two possession game. A few more defensive stops could make things interesting. However, Pivec eliminated any chance of a comeback by converting on back to back possessions with tip-ins under the cup. These baskets quelled any chance of Lynnwood relinquishing their lead and helped the Royals run the clock down. Before the clock hit triple-zeros, Coach Edwards checked Monty Cooper in who sprained her ankle the day before. The senior limped onto the court and found a spot twelve feet from the basket. In the waning seconds, she received the rock and took the hoisted the final shot of the game. Swish! Lynnwood storms the floor as one of their leaders ends her high school basketball career in a perfect way. The Royals are the new 3A champions.

The Final Score: Lynnwood 54 Cleveland 42

Top Performers:
Lynnwood
Mikayla Pivec-31 points, 17 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists

Cleveland
Aqeelah Williams-14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals

Gonzaga Prep Wins 2 OT State Finals Thriller

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Gonzaga Prep Wins 2 OT State Finals Thriller
By Colin Caruso

Saturday March 7 2015 Girls 4A State Final
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT 2OT Final
Inglemoor 4 15 14 12 4 3 52
Gonzaga Prep 15 16 12 2 4 8 57


Gonzaga Prep Bullpups

Gonzaga Prep was back in the state finals, defending their title against the Vikings of Inglemoor in 4A girls basketball. This was a classic contest of size vs. speed, with Gonzaga Prep possessing the speed, and Inglemoor living in the paint on both ends of the floor.

Inglemoor star Deja Strother got into foul trouble early, forcing her to sit for a good portion of the first quarter, a first quarter that Gonzaga Prep controlled. Inglemoor had a tough time finding the basket and trailed 15-4 after one.

Inglemoor’s offense opened up in the second quarter, distributing the ball more effectively and getting easy looks at the basket. Strother stayed out of foul trouble and was able to provide 11 points in the first half. But Gonzaga Prep was dominating the pace of play, and it was uptempo. Laura Stockton had eight points in the first half and Otiona Gildon added ten to take a 31-19 lead into the locker room.

Gonzaga Prep slowed their offense down in the third quarter, much to the chagrin of their coach. The speed change allowed Inglemoor to setup in the half court and control the paint. This allowed Inglemoor to go on a 9-2 run to start the quarter. Coach Arte of the Bullpups called a timeout to regroup, and it proved to work. His Bullpups responded and took a 10 point lead into the fourth.

Alex Hagen for the Vikings put in the first eight points of the fourth quarter to electrify the Inglemoor crowd. Down just two, the comeback was on. The run extended to 12-0, and Inglemoor took their first lead of the game. Laura Stockton stopped the bleeding with 30 seconds to go, the Bullpups first points of the quarter. That proved to be the last bucket of regulation and this game went to OT.

The Bullpups struck first in overtime with two free throws, answered by one free throw from the Vikings. With just 1:45 to play, the Bullpups held a one point lead.

The scoring subsided until 30 seconds remaining, when Strother hit a layup and was fouled. She hit the free throw, putting the Vikings up two. Stockton drove the lane on Gonzaga Prep’s next possession and found Gildon for an easy two to tie the game. Double overtime!

Gildon struck first from the line for the Bullpups, hitting one of two. Tayler Drynan followed up with a three for Gonzaga Prep to extend the lead to 4, but the Vikings came right back with a three of their own.

Another one for two trip for the Bullpups, followed by an offensive rebound gave them the ball back with one minute to play. Oona Harrington knocked down a jumper for the Bullpups to go up four, and that jumper would seal it. The Bullpups won 57-52! Congratulations Gonzaga Prep Girls!

Top Performers:
Inglemoor
Deja Strother 22 points, 8 rebounds

Gonzaga Prep
Otiona Gildon – 17 points, 11 rebounds
Laura Stockton – 13 points , 9 steals

Beach Cruises to Another State Final

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Beach Cruises to Another State Final
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 7th 2015 Boys 3A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 22 4 13 22 61
Eastside Catholic 10 7 10 6 33


Rainier Beach Senior Dejounte Murray

The big question most coaches ask when facing the back, to back, to back, state champs, “What can we do to stop them?” Coach Bill Liley and his Eastside Catholic Crusaders were faced with that question on Friday night in the Tacoma Dome.

The Crusaders fell to the mighty Rainier Beach Vikings twice during the regular season, both times by double digits. The goal of this contest was to keep Rainier Beach out of transition, force a half-court game, and knock down shots.

Unfortunately for the Crusaders, they were unable to keep Beach out of transition, and struggled from the perimeter. Rainier Beach took a 22-10 lead into the second, backed by an emphatic De’Jounte Murray alley-oop slam.

Rainier Beach failed to score for the first six minutes of the second quarter. This obviously played into the Crusaders hands, who started the quarter on a 7-0 run. In a low scoring second, Beach took a 26-17 lead into the break.

With the first six points in the third quarter, the Crusaders turned this into anybody’s game. Down just three, Eastside had the momentum and the Vikings struggles from the floor did not subside. But the shooting woes that plagued the Vikings transferred to the Crusaders, and they finished the third quarter with just 27 points.

Beach rolled in the fourth. Ivy Smith and Shadeed Shabazz began to knock down jumpers for the Vikings, as they extended their lead to as many as 28. Rainier Beach won the game 61-33, finishing the game on a 16-2 run. They will face off against the Bulldogs of Garfield for the 3A state title.

Top Performer:
Rainier Beach
De’Jounte Murray – 16 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals

Garfield’s Big First Half Leads to Win Over Seattle Prep

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Garfield’s Big First Half Leads to Win Over Seattle Prep
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 7th 2015 Boys 3A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 17 13 17 13 60
Garfield 25 21 7 11 64


Garfield Bulldogs

Coaches will always tell you it is difficult to beat a team three times. The fate of the Bulldogs lay in those circumstances Friday night, as the final four teams in 3A boys all came from the same league, the Seattle Metro league.

This matchup is distinctly size versus speed. The Panthers start three players over 6 foot 7 and the Bulldogs don’t have a single player above 6 foot 6. But speed has prevailed in their previous matchups, with the Bulldogs controlling the pace and the game.

The speedy Bulldogs set the pace early, amassing 19 points to the Panthers nine in under five minutes of play. But back to back threes by the Panthers put them right back in the game. Garfield held an eight point lead going into the second.

The eight point lead ballooned to 20 quickly, with seemingly every player on Garfield getting in on the action. Coach Haskins uncharacteristically used ten players in the first half. His team is typically 5-6 deep, but he opened up his bench and let them roll over the Panthers in the first half. They led by as many as 24 in the second, but the Panthers cut it to 46-30 at the half.

Garfield’s heat in the first half turned to ice in the third. They scored just four points in the first six minutes of the quarter, allowing the Panthers to cut the lead to eight. The bleeding continued to for the Bulldogs, as there seemed to be a seal over their basket. The Panthers trailed by just six entering the fourth.

Prep kept their momentum early in the fourth. A Colin Welp three for the Panthers cut the Garfield lead to just three, 56-53 with 5:30 to play. The three point lead was maintained for the next three minutes as neither team was able to convert on the offensive end. Jaylen Nowell broke the cold streak with a pair of free-throws to push Garfield up 60-55 with 1:30 on the clock. Aaron Nettles responded for the Panthers with a mid-range jumper, cutting the lead back down to three with under one minute to play.

Nowell answered again for the Bulldogs, converting on a spin move floater off the glass to extend the lead back to five with 32 seconds on the clock. The ensuing possession resulted in another Welp three pointer, electrifying the Panther crowd, now just down 2 with 10 seconds to go. The Panthers, forced to foul, fouled Terrell Brown, who hit both free throws, icing the game with a four point lead. A Jack Stewart three for the Panthers missed just long, and the Bulldogs took the contest 64-60.

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
Jack Stewart and J’Raan Brooks – 16 points each

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell – 21 points
Alphonso Anderson – 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals

Lynnwood Cruises to Final in Blowout of Bellevue

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Lynnwood Cruises to Final in Blowout of Bellevue
By Steven Dion

Friday- March 6 2015 Girls 3A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Lynnwood 13 19 23 8 63
Bellevue 6 6 19 6 37


Lynnwood Junior Mikayla Pivec

Lynnwood’s stifling defense and lightning quick offense has put them on a collision course to a deep state tournament run all season long. With one game separating them from their first championship appearance in 3A, Bellevue who has put together another strong season stood in their way. The well-balanced Royals squad Coach Everett Edwards places on the floor each night featuring Mikayla Pivec and Monty Cooper cruised to a convincing 60-36 victory over a talented West Seattle team in the opening round. Meanwhile, the Wolverines rolled to a double-digit win over Prairie in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday. With a ticket to the title game on the line, who would prevail?

The Royals put together a first half that would determine the fate of the game in their dominance on both ends of the floor. Not only did they limit Bellevue to a dozen points in the first sixteen minutes of play, they built a twenty point lead in the process. Their 42% field goal percentage compared to BHS’ 17% told the story in the opening quarters of the contest. A 32-12 halftime score meant the Wolverines had a huge hill to climb.

BHS returned to the floor with a spark in the third quarter in which they registered 19 points, but allowing 23 in the process caused the Lynnwood lead to grow. Bellevue’s key players all season long including Mackenzie Keeter, Deja Rogers, Tatiana Streun, and Mandy Steward were unable to establish a rhythm and react to the incredible team speed of Lynnwood. Back-to-back possessions where the Royals drained long jump-shots including a deep three by Dani Hayes causing the net to get tangled with the rim symbolized the roll Lynnwood was on from start to finish. Four Royals finished in double figures including Pivec and Jordyn Edwards with 15 apiece. LHS advances to take on the back-to-back defending champs in Cleveland on Saturday.

The Final Score: Lynnwood 63 Bellevue 37

Top Performers:
Lynnwood
Mikayla Pivec-15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks

Bellevue
Tatiana Streun-8 points, 6 rebounds

Federal Way Claws Their Way to a State Final

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Federal Way Claws their way to a State Final
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 7th 2015 Boys 4A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Federal Way 26 14 11 10 61
Union 7 20 19 12 58


Federal Way Eagles

In a much deserving matchup of two of the top teams in the state, the Union Titans faced off against the Federal Way Eagles, with an opportunity to face Davis in the 4A state finals. Davis would be a favorable matchup for the Eagles, who doubled up the Pirates early in the year, 88-43.

This game got out of control early. The athleticism of the Eagles was far too much for a one loss Union team to handle. Before anyone in the Tacoma Dome knew what was going on, Federal Way was off to a 23-6 lead and closed the first at 26-7.

Union finally woke up in the second quarter. Coach Conley emphasized defense and taking care of the basketball and that focus brought Union within 12. Unfortunately, they still could not stop Viont’e Daniels. He was in complete control of the first half and at one point had as many points (18) as Union had as a team. The Eagles led by 13, 40-27 at the half.

If you are down 13 at the half and are completely outmatched in both the half court and transition, it pays dividends to come out in the second half with more intensity than your opposition. That is what the Titans did, going on an 8-2 run to start the third, cutting the Eagle lead to just seven. Their momentum continued in the third quarter, and for some reason, Federal Way took their foot off the gas pedal and began to coast offensively. It was a close game going into the fourth, with the Federal Way lead down to just five points.

An immediate three to start the fourth from Micah Paulson of the Titans pulled Union within two points. Two free-throws by Paulson with 6 minutes remaining tied the game, the first tie since the game began. After a few back and forth possessions, Riley Hawken found himself at the line with 2:18 left, shooting two and down two. He made one, and the Eagles led 59-58. Ferron Flavors hit one free-throw for the Eagles to push the lead up to two, 60-58. A beautiful block by Jalen McDaniels gave Federal Way the ball back, but a steal by Hawken put the ball back in the Titans hands with 44 seconds remaining.

Without knowing the time remaining on the shot clock, Union turned the ball over and immediately fouled Christian Jones. Jones missed the front end, but the Eagles pulled an offensive rebound and got the ball to their star, Viont’e Daniels. He also missed the front end, giving Union a chance at the win with a rebound. Paulson got it for the Titans, pulled up for a transition three with 10 seconds remaining and missed everything, rebounded by the Eagles. Jones made one of two, giving the Titans yet another opportunity to tie, but this time Cameron Cranston’s three missed just left, and the Eagles pulled the hang on victory 61-58.

Top Performers:
Federal Way
Viont’e Daniels – 27 points

Union
Micah Paulson – 18 points 5 assists
Riley Hawken – 14 points 11 rebounds

Cleveland Returns to Title Game for Third Consecutive Season

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Cleveland Returns to Title Game for Third Consecutive Season
By Steven Dion

Friday- March 6 2015 Girls 3A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Cleveland 13 11 8 23 55
Bishop Blanchet 6 15 15 12 48


Cleveland Sophomore Zakeya Flowers

The first semifinal to determine a championship game berth in the 3A girls classification featured a rematch of last year’s title contest between two-time defending champ Cleveland and the Braves of Bishop Blanchet. The Eagles have put together an impressive run thus far considering the group of seniors that graduated last season and the passing of the head coach torch. Similarly, Coach Willison has done an excellent job of bringing Blanchet back to a deep tourney run with a young squad.

Cleveland jumped out to an early lead as Jayde Christopher and Aqeelah Williams used their backcourt pressure to produce turnovers and points on the other end. They held BBHS to a half dozen first quarter points in the process. As the first half progressed, the tides turned and Jadyn Bush was a main reason for the comeback. The sophomore got tough buckets to fall and was aggressive on the boards. She finished with a team high 19 points and 10 rebounds. At the break, Cleveland led 24-21.

When play resumed, the Braves strung together a roll that last the duration of the third frame. Bella Kemp was a main factor in the momentum swing when she notched 11 points and 9 rebounds. The 36-32 Blanchet lead accounted for the first lead change of the game: would there be another? Joyce Harrell made her post presence felt as the senior heated up in the paint. Just as Harrell was in a groove, she was sidelined for a spell with a knee injury. Upon her return, the Eagles continued a 23-12 run in the fourth quarter that eventually sealed the game. Williams scored 25 in addition to 9 rebounds as Cleveland knocks off a familiar foe once again and is now one game away from a three-peat. Saturday vs. Lynnwood at 3pm!

The Final Score: Cleveland 55 Bishop Blanchet 48

Top Performers:
Cleveland
Aqeelah Williams-25 points (10/21 FGs, 5/9 3-pt FG’s), 9 rebounds

Bishop Blanchet
Jadyn Bush-19 points (8/14 FGs), 10 rebounds

The Pirates Amass a Huge Comeback, Top Woodinville

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The Pirates Amass a Huge Comeback, Top Woodinville
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 7th 2015 Boys 4A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Woodinville 16 8 16 12 52
Davis 13 6 19 25 63


Davis Pirates

In this matchup of two great teams, the Woodinville Mustangs matched up against a Davis Pirate team, fortunate to ride their momentum that far into the tournament. Squeaking by Gig Harbor and fortunately not having to play Wenatchee, they found themselves in the 4A state semifinal with a legitimate shot at the finals. Their lack of size played a factor early, as Woodinville controlled the glass and paint for the majority of the first half.

Both of these teams struggled offensively in the second quarter. Davis, with senior star Max Jones in foul trouble, were able to score just six points in the frame. Fortunately, their defense stayed tough, and they held the Mustangs to eight.

Pick it up in the third quarter, Max Jones commits his fourth foul and Woodinville gets a leakout basket to go up 11, momentum 100% in favor of the Mustangs. But The Pirates pulled off six straight points to cut the lead to 5, and Woodinville cooled off from the field dramatically. Davis committed 7 fouls in 4.5 minutes, somehow putting the Mustangs in the bonus early in the third. Woodinville failed to attack the basket and continue to win the game from the line, giving Davis a chance to gain the lead going into the 4th. But an ill-advised early shot in the shot clock leads to a transition bucket for the Mustangs. The Pirates trailed by just 2 entering the fourth.

Davis continued their momentum into the fourth, scoring the first eight points in the quarter to take a six point lead. Woodinville was stride for stride with the Pirates until Micah Johnson, the Woodinville point guard, picked up two fouls in less than 30 seconds to disqualify him from the game. From there, it was all Davis. Max Jones and Nick Navarro carried the way for the Pirates, propelling them to 63-52 win.

Top Performers:
Woodinville
Tony Miller – 20 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks

Davis
Nick Navarro – 20 points 6 rebounds

Lakeside Controls 2nd and 3rd Quarter, Rolls Against Mercer Island


Lakeside Controls 2nd and 3rd Quarter, Rolls Against Mercer Island
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 20 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Lakeside 13 19 20 16 68
Mercer Island 17 5 11 21 54

Most games in high school basketball do not have the pressure of a loser out game. To both of these teams, a loss marks the end of the season and looking towards next year.

Mercer Island, the underdog in this game, came out in the first quarter with a masterful game plan. Knowing that they would have trouble guarding Daejon Davis and Isiah Brown in transition, they focused on using the duration of the shot clock and slowing the game dramatically. The athleticism favored Lakeside, and Mercer Island’s only hope was to control the tempo.

The Islanders looked great in the first quarter. A 12-2 run in the first gave the Islanders a 17-13 lead going into the second. And then the wheels fell off. Fast forwarding to the second quarter, the Lions began getting into transition and finding Kiki Boyle on open threes; he hit 6 on the day. The closed the quarter on a 12-0 run, and extended that to 19-2 into the third.

16 points in a quarter is a good amount of points for a high school team. When you score 16 points over the course of two quarters, against a team from the Metro conference, you are in trouble. The shots that fell for the Islanders in the first were not falling in the second and third. The turnovers piled up, and the Islanders found themselves down 19 points entering the fourth quarter.

Mercer Island never gave up, they continued to battle in the fourth. Unfortunately, the deficit was insurmountable against a team as defensively strong as the Lions. Lakeside took this game, ending the Islander season, by a final of 68-54

Top Performers:
Lakeside
Isiah Brown – 31 points
Kiki Boyle – 20 points

Mercer Island
Sam Nordale and Andrew Pickles – 14 points each

Inglemoor Clinches Title Game Berth with Victory Over Moses Lake

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Inglemoor Clinches Title Game Berth with Victory Over Moses Lake
By Steven Dion

Friday- March 6 2015 Girls 4A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Inglemoor 17 13 9 26 65
Moses Lake 11 13 15 21 60


Inglemoor Vikings

Coach Augustavo’s Vikings have been knocking on the door of a 4A state championship for the past handful of seasons. With one game separating Inglemoor from reaching the title game, the quest for the hardware is within reach. However, Moses Lake is no stranger to the Tacoma Dome and the Chiefs also have their sights set on advancing to the final round of the tourney. They defeated Skyview by double digits to advance to the semis while Inglemoor squashed Bellarmine Prep to advance to the second round. In a classic east versus west showdown, which team would prevail?

IHS senior Alex Hagen helped the Viks jump out to an efficient first half in which they shot 44% from the floor and grabbed a ten point lead early at 15-5. Conversely, the Chiefs were just 8 for 32 from the field in the first two quarters and faced a half dozen point deficit at the break. The size advantage by Inglemoor was evident as the rebounding advantage and points in the paint favored the Vikings. Moses Lake needed huge contributions from their guards throughout the contest. Jamie Loera and McKenna Walker answered the call, but would it be enough to prevail in the second half.

Moses Lake returned from the intermission with the biggest run of the game to tie up the ballgame and give themselves a coin flip in the final frame. Loera and Walker combined for 42 points and 10 boards while the Viks had four scorers in double figures inclduding Hagen with 20. The 17 point rebound difference in the game played a major role in allowing Inglemoor to get additional looks at the offensive end and ultimately stringing together a 26 point fourth quarter to seal the victory and a trip to the state final.

The Final Score: Inglemoor 65 Moses Lake 60

Top Performers:
Inglemoor
Alex Hagen-20 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists

Moses Lake
Jessie Loera-25 points, 3 assists, 2 steals

Stockton Sinks Late Triple to Send Bullpups to 4A Championship

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Cleveland Returns to Title Game for Third Consecutive Season
By Steven Dion

Friday- March 6 2015 Girls 4A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 5 9 19 8 41
Todd Beamer 12 8 13 6 39


Gonzaga Prep Oona Harrington

The final girls game of Friday night was a 4A semifinal with Todd Beamer and defending champions Gonzaga Prep to determine Inglemoor’s opponent in the title game. Occasionally, the Hardwood Classic features games that are wars of attrition and this particular matchup played out as such. A half dozen lead changes, four ties, and a heroic three-ball in the final seconds were the ingredients to determine the representative in the 2015 final from the bottom half of the bracket.

The defending champs rolled out to a slow start by only recording five first quarter points and submitting a seven point in the process. Todd Beamer grabbed the largest lead of the game early at 14-5 with Quinessa CaylaoDo heating up for what would become a monster game. With only four Bullpups recording points in the contest, the combination of Laura Stockton, Otionta Gildon, Tayler Drynan, and Oona Harrington would need to improve the 22% first half shooting percentage in addition to back-to-back single digit quarters. At intermission, Beamer led 20-14.

As Coach Mike Arte has shown many times in his coaching tenure with GPrep, halftime adjustments and the ability to instill composure in close ball games was demonstrated once again. The Pups strung together the highest point total of the game in the third to bring the score to a 33-33 tie heading into the final frame. The crowd at the Tacoma Dome started gravitating its attention to what was shaping up on the north court.

A tense fourth quarter with minimal scoring came down to a one point lead for Todd Beamer after a tough turnaround in the paint by Nia Alexander with under thirty seconds remaining. CaylaoDo recorded 20 of TBHS’ 39 thus far and the Titans were one possession away from a state berth.

Stockton has the ball at the top of the paint…works the ball to the wing…the ball is passed to an open Lauren Weir in the corner but is tipped…Stockton recovers…ball back to the wing and Stockton twice more…clock is dwindling. Stockton hoists one up from the top of the key with a defender closing fast. Nothing but net. The Gonzaga sideline erupts. Beamer quickly inbounds the ball to set up a desperation shot but it is intercepted and a Bullpup is running the ball and clock to zero in excitement. The basketball is in the hands of Laura Stockton. Ballgame. Gonzaga Prep to its back to back state final.

The Final Score: Gonzaga Prep 41 Todd Beamer 39

Top Performers:
Gonzaga Prep
Laura Stockton-13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists

Todd Beamer
Quinessa CaylaoDo-20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists

2015 State Tournament Preview

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2015 State Tournament Preview
4A & 3A- Girls & Boys
Steve Dion & Colin Caruso

All season long, Steve Dion and Colin Caruso have been in gyms throughout the state watching the best high school basketball Washington has to offer. With the 2015 Hardwood Classic at the Tacoma Dome coming up, they break down the 3A and 4A brackets for boys and girls and use what they saw throughout the season to project what they expect to see at the Woodshed this weekend!

To catch the complete State Tournament Preview with Steve Dion and Colin Caruso, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.

 

Courageous Effort By Montag Sends Sehome to State

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Courageous Effort By Montag Sends Sehome to State
By Steven Dion

Friday- February 27 2015 Boys 2A Regionals
Renton High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Sehome 19 17 13 18 67
Washington 19 13 17 11 60


Sehome Sophomore Marcus Montag

Regionals have arrived and what was once the state tournament round of 16 is now a final week of elimination games to determine the eight that will represent their classification in either the Sundome, Spokane Arena, or Tacoma Dome. In a clash of 2A dark horse competitors from the west side of the state, Sehome would square off against Washington hailing from Tacoma. The site Renton High School provided a geographical advantage to the Patriots, but the Mariners’ faithful were out in full force to cheer on the green and yellow. A game loaded with momentum swings featured one player that willed his team to victory.

A stark size advantage by Sehome presented itself early as 6’7 forward Leighton Kingma lit up the scoreboard in a matter of minutes. A pair of corner threes and multiple high percentage shots down low provided the sophomore with 17 first half points. Patriot senior Chandler Whalen countered with 9 in the first sixteen minutes to keep the margin close. Marcus Montag showed resilience as the Sehome guard received an incidental elbow to the face and minutes later hit the deck hard forcing him to the bench for a short spell. The Mariners took a slim lead to break with a halftime score of 36-32.

Insightful coaching by Karl Cordes changed the complexion of the contest early in the second half when he brought Willie Thomas into the game. The freshman forward made an instant impact as he added a presence in the post and an additional scoring option for the Pats. Sehome guard Tanner Clark also started making his presence felt on both ends as he registered a double-double including a game-high 12 rebounds. A fantastic finish was shaping up as the fourth quarter began tied at 49 apiece.

Thomas continued to carry the offense and knocked down clutch shots and pulled down key rebounds. Tory Causey and Whalen continued to feed the hot hand as the freshman finished with a dozen points and eight boards. With a five point lead and three minutes remained, Washington appeared to in the driver’s seat to a win. Additionally, Kingma and Logan Deboo were in foul trouble sitting on the bench. Marcus Montag stepped up and knocked a contested three to cut the lead to two. A stop and quick basket tied the ball game up with a minute and a half to go. Sehome continued to protect their bucket and Montag was fouled twice in the final ninety seconds. He nailed all four pressure free throws in the bonus to complete a 12-0 run in the final minutes. The Mariners pulled off a major comeback to punch their ticket to the Sundome for the big dance.

The Final Score: Sehome 67 Washington 60

Top Performers:
Sehome
Leighton Kingma-20 points (4/5 3-pt FGs), Marcus Montag-17 points, Tanner Clark-10 points, 12 rebounds

Washington
Chandler Whalen-10 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, Willie Thomas-12 points, 8 rebounds

Rainier Beach Downs Wolverines For SeaKing Title

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Rainier Beach Downs Wolverines For SeaKing Title
By Steven Dion

Saturday- February 21 2015 Boys 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 27 14 15 14 70
Bellevue 19 13 12 12 56


Rainier Beach Vikings

In what could become a state final matchup, the 3 time defending champs Rainier Beach squared off against a surging Bellevue team for the district title on Saturday at Bellevue College. The capacity crowd was eager to see two of the top teams in the state square off to determine district dominance. This particular game had seeding implications on the line in addition to an extra boost heading into regionals weekend. The stage was set: Metro League versus KingCo. Which league would prevail?

As Rainier Beach does better than anyone, the Vikings pressed the Wolverines in the backcourt with Ivy Smith and Shadeed Shabazz. This defensive effort provided dividends on the offensive end as Shabazz got a hot hand early. Bellevue countered with high scoring early as big man Mikey Henn notched eight points including a pair of triples in the first quarter. Ivy Smith connected on a long toss at the first quarter buzzer to give RB a 27-19 lead after one quarter.

Senior leader for Beach Dejounte Murray demonstrated his versatility by pulling down tough rebounds and controlling the Viking attack. He followed his 10 point first quarter with half a dozen more in the second frame. Murray finished with a game-high 22. The Wolverines kept pace with a variety of scoring options including reserve Andrew Kinney who provided a nice boost. At the break, RBHS held a nine point lead.

When play resumed, BHS was eager to find a groove and cut the deficit to set themselves up for a chance to win. Senior captains Kyle Foreman and Gunther Klimes attempted to will their team to reach that extra gear Bellevue is capable of locking into. Rainier Beach dashed their hopes on back-to-back possessions when a two-handed alley-oop slam by Murray was followed up by a defensive stop and a tomahawk slam by high-flying freshman Kevin Porter. Trailing by a dozen with a quarter to go, could Coach O’Connor rally the Wolverines?

Beach responded with a resounding “no” as Murray converted on two crucial possessions to put the game away. He zipped an assist to Vincenzo Reiser who was parked under the cup and on the next possession dished the rock to Ivy who knocked down a three while being fouled in the process. These two plays put the game on ice and propelled Rainier Beach to a district championship. Don’t be surprised if these teams meet up again in the Tacoma Dome in March!

The Final Score: Rainier Beach 70 Bellevue 56

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Dejounte Murray-22 points

Bellevue
Gunther Klimes-15 points

King’s Captures 1A District Title Over Seattle Academy

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King’s Captures 1A District Title Over Seattle Academy

Friday- February 20 2015 Boys 1A District 1/2
Mountlake Terrace High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
King's 15 9 16 8 48
Seattle Academy 2 6 14 9 31



King’s Sophomore Corey Kispert

In the face of adversity, friends and family that come together are able to respond in a positive way. The King’s Knights experienced a frightening moment last week after winning a league title when their team bus flipped and injured a number of players. Thankfully, tragedy was averted as minor injuries were the extent of the crash. With more basketball to be played, the King’s High School community rallied around their team to continue their quest for a state championship. However, there was a challenger from Capitol Hill in the Seattle Academy Cardinals that was hungry for a district title on Friday night at Mountlake Terrace. Both teams already punched their tickets to the big dance, but important seeding implications were at stake.

The enormous King’s crowd with “Saved for a Reason” emblazoned on their tee shirts had plenty to cheer about early when the Knights built a double digit lead before the Cards registered their first points. Calvin Kispert’s 5-0 run to open the ballgame fired up Coach Skeen’s bench. Trailing by a baker’s dozen after one quarter, Seattle Academy needed to find a rhythm to erase the early deficit.

More of the same continued in the second frame as the lead ballooned to nearly twenty points. The Cardinals’ inability to challenge the interior defense of KHS prevented them from finding high-percentage attempts in the paint. The commitment to isolation and jump-shooting was evident by SAS and in the first half, it led to a 16 point deficit heading into the locker room.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals continued to go to the three-point well in the hopes to claw their way back into the game. Eventually, the strategy paid dividends when some shots fell and the lead shrunk back to 11 at 30-19. Up to this point, King’s had left quite a bit on the table as the lead certainly could have been 25 or more without missed opportunities and unnecessary turnovers. This proved not to haunt the Knight’s because they emerged from the called timeout on a 10-2 run. Leading by 18 with one quarter to go, the outcome of the game was sealed. King’s retained their double digit lead in the final frame to earn the victory and hoist the hardware for the District 1/2 1A title.

The Final Score: King’s 48 Seattle Academy 31

Top Performers:
King’s
Calvin Kispert & Noah Bundrant-12 points

Seattle Academy
Ben Gerke-13 points

Henn’s Explosive Second Half Propels Bellevue Past Crusaders

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Henn’s Explosive Second Half Propels Bellevue Past Crusaders
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- February 17 2015 Boys 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bellevue 12 15 21 21 69
Eastside Catholic 12 10 9 16 47


Bellevue Senior Kyle Foreman

The 3A District 2 tournament is underway and the second round was played on Tuesday night including a pair of contests at Bellevue College. The nightcap featured the 3A runner-up in the state championship tournament Eastside Catholic and a surging Bellevue squad who enjoyed a sense of home-court advantage due to close proximity. The winner would advance to the quarterfinals where they would take on Garfield who won the early game over Franklin. Conversely, the losing squad would move to the other side of the bracket where they would have a chance to finish up to fifth place in the highly competitive SeaKing district.

A buzzing gym with packed sidelines may have taken a toll on the nerves of both teams in the opening minutes, but it did not take long for each side to find a rhythm. An emphatic dunk by Gunther Klimes gave Bellevue a burst. EC responded moments later when Matisse Thybulle elevated for a one-handed tip jam that brought many people to their feet.

Tied at dozen apiece heading into the second quarter, the ability for one team to create some separation was available. The Wolverines seized the opportunity by stringing together an 11-0 run that ate up nearly five minutes. Sharif Khan scored five in the frame and Javon Jefferson provided a lift off the bench by knocking down two buckets in the quarter. Max Hudgins finally got the Cru off the scheid at the 3:30 mark when the senior knocked down a three-pointer. This allowed ECHS to close the quarter strong by outscoring the Wolverines 8-4 in the final minutes of the first half to cut the deficit to five points at 27-22.

Bellevue’s versatile post Mikey Henn had a quiet three points in the first half, but that quickly changed in the second. A few early buckets including a monstrous two-handed slam earned the junior more time with the ball in his hands as the half progressed. Senior guard Kyle Foreman distributed the ball nicely to Henn in addition to knocking down shots of his own. He buried a pair from downtown en route to 15 points and ten by Henn helped Bellevue blow the doors off the game in the pivotal third quarter. The final frame was on cruise control for Chris O’ Connors Wolverines as they chewed up clock and used precision passing to neutralize the Crusaders press. Henn netted eight more points to pad his game-high 21 point total. The BHS bench was emptied to protect the starters down the stretch and the clock wound down quickly as Bellevue ran away with a 22 point win.

The Final Score: Bellevue 69 Eastside Catholic 47

Top Performers:
Bellevue
Mikey Henn-21 points

Eastside Catholic
Max Hudgins-14 points

Bellevue Girls Advance in SeaKing District Tourney Over Lakeside

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Bellevue Girls Advance in SeaKing District Tourney Over Lakeside
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- February 17 2015 Girls 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bellevue 18 8 24 12 62
Lakeside 8 8 8 19 43


Bellevue Senior Dejah Rogers

Tuesday night at Bellevue College featured four SeaKing matchups including a clash of top girls squads in Bellevue and Lakeside. The Lions picked up a 40-31 victory over Seattle Prep on Saturday to advance to the second round of the winner’s bracket. Leah Krautter’s Wolverines earned a first round bye to place Bellevue directly into this game. Advancing to the next round in the district tourney was on the line for the victor of this contest.

Bellevue jumped out to an early lead as the disruptive perimeter defense forced turnovers and created open looks on the offensive end. Mandy Steward showed her shooting range by knocking down jumpers after intercepting passes on the defensive end of the floor. Kimijah King led the Lions in scoring by strong takes to the cup despite strong defense in the paint. A stark difference in the contest was the sure-handedness of Bellevue. They pulled down rebounds stronger and were able to pluck away loose balls more regularly. After garnering a ten point lead after the first quarter, Bellevue was on its way to a blowout. However, Lakeside finished the second quarter strong and was able to retain a ten point deficit going into halftime.

The Wolverines continued to build their lead early in the third as their variety of scoring options made a presence. Steward tacked on eight, Ann-Marie Jacobs added four points, and five other Bellevue contributed to the huge 24 point third quarter. With eight minutes remaining and a 50-24 lead, the fate of the game was sealed. However, Lakeside continued to battle and the support showed by those on the bench fueled the Lions to a strong final frame. Their tenacity on defense including hitting the deck for loose balls paid dividends on offense. Kelly Keene knocked down a corner three and after Lakeside intercepted the ensuing inbound, found Keene in the same spot for another triple in the matter of seconds. The Lions would outscore BHS in the fourth quarter by a 19-12 margin, but the Wolverines walked away with the win.

The Final Score: Bellevue 62 Lakeside 43

Top Performers:
Bellevue
Mandy Steward-18 points

Lakeside
Kimijah King-16 points

Rainier Beach Holds Metro League Champion Title for Another Year

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Rainier Beach Holds Metro League Champion Title for Another Year
By Steven Dion

Friday- February 13 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Seattle Pacific University 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 17 25 19 23 84
Garfield 18 12 18 33 81


Rainier Beach Senior Ivy Smith

In a packed Brougham Pavilion at Seattle Pacific University, the Metro League title was up for grabs between 3-time defending 3A champs Rainier Beach and reigning 4A winner Garfield. There were former star alumni in the audience including Brandon Roy and current Philadelphia 76er Tony Wroten to see Washington’s top talent square off for a league title. Garfield took the regular season matchup by a score of 84-67 so The Beach Boys were eager to avenge the defeat in the Metro Championship. Regardless of the result, these familiar foes are likely to see one another again this season.

Super sophomore Jaylen Nowell started the game on a 6-0 run to give the Bulldogs an early spark. Garfield’s early advantage was compounded by the Vikings’ inability to find an offensive rhythm. However, as Beach seemingly always does, they closed the quarter strong by when Ivy Smith buried two threes in the corner.
The second frame proved to be a pivotal stretch for RBHS as a Dejounte Murray dunk propelled the Viks to a 25-12 run. When Garfield’s Alphonso Anderson picked up his second foul and was forced to sit on the bench, RB capitalized and the complexity of the game changed. The Bulldogs lost their effortless flow and resorted to operating in the half-court with a visible lack of confidence. Mike Bethea’s Vikings grabbed a double-digit lead with 1:30 remaining in the first half and led by a dozen at halftime.

Rainier Beach’s leading scorer in the contest Shadeed Shabazz started to pour it on during the third quarter. The senior guard was able to get tough shots in the paint to fall and demonstrated his defensive prowess by turning the Bulldogs over. Leading by 13 with eight minutes to play, could Rainier Beach hold on?

Jaylen Nowell re-emerged in the as his 11 point fourth-quarter propelled Garfield to a 9-0 run late to bring the contest to 77-73 with 2:48 remaining and a RB timeout to talk things over. In the ensuing possession, Murray was able to knock down a contested jumper with an expiring shot-clock. Garfield was able to respond and keep the margin close. In the final 20 seconds, Ivy Smith was at the line with a 83-81 lead and two shots to seal the contest. The senior made the front end of the one-and-one. Shot two rimmed out and Garfield had a chance to put the game into overtime. Jaylen Nowell fired a good look from downtown and it rimmed out to the hands of Austin Anderson. The ball was fed to Nowell for a second chance, but Shabazz jumped the passing lane and created a pile-up as the fight for the ball erased the last seconds on the clock. Rainier Beach holds on to capture another Metro League championship.

The Final Score: Rainier Beach 84 Garfield 81

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Shadeed Shabazz-25 points

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell-33 points

The #1 Bulldogs Handle Seattle Prep, Advance to Metro Final


The #1 Bulldogs Handle Seattle Prep, Advance to Metro Final
By Colin Caruso

Wednesday February 11 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Ingraham High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 14 11 15 9 49
Garfield 20 14 16 14 64

Seattle Prep knew they were in for a tough matchup when facing the #1 3A ranked team in the state, the 4A defending champion Garfield Bulldogs. Garfield came out swinging early in the first frame of this contest, putting up a cool 20 on the Panthers, who had no match for the speed and quickness of the Bulldogs. But Prep would not go down without a fight, scoring 14 points on the back of Collin Welp’s 7 to trail by just six going into the second.

The first five minutes of the second quarter all belonged to Seattle Prep. The Panthers zone defense was stifling to the quicker but smaller Bulldogs. Prep cut the Bulldog lead to just one, 26-25 with three minutes to play in the half. But the Bulldogs responded, as they normally do, with a commanding 8-0 run to end the first half with a nine point lead.

Garfield extended their lead again in the third quarter, with sophomores Jashaun Agosto and Jaylen Nowell leading the charge. Prep continued to hang around, but the Bulldogs were in control.

The fourth quarter came down to the final three minutes, with the Bulldogs clinging to a six point lead. Prep could really never get over that barrier, as Agosto forced two late turnovers that sealed the contest for the Bulldogs, 64-49. What a great game!

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
J’Raan Brooks – 12 points
Jack Stewart and Collin Welp – 11 points

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell – 22 points
Jashaun Agosto – 21 points
Alphonso Anderson – 16 points

Rainier Beach Advances to Metro Final


Rainier Beach Advances to Metro Final
By Colin Caruso

Wednesday February 11 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Ingraham High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 16 17 14 13 60
Rainier Beach 24 20 18 17 79

With a trip to the coveted Metro final at stake, the Rainier Beach Vikings and Eastside Catholic Crusaders clashed at Ingraham High School in front of a packed house. Rainier Beach was a clear favorite in this game, the three time state champs are always ready for the toughest competition in the state.

Beach demonstrated their #2 in state ranking by putting up 24 points in the first quarter. On the back of unbelievable shooting by Shadeed Shabazz and DeJounte Murray, the Crusaders had no response for the shot making and athleticism displayed by the Vikings.

The second quarter was not much better for Eastside Catholic, who struggled defensively and struggled bringing the ball up the floor. Rainier Beach’s lateral quickness is rivaled by only Garfield’s, and it is difficult for any team to bring the ball up against Ivy Smith. Beach extended their lead in the second and took an 11 point lead into halftime.

Eastside began to come back early in the third, cutting the lead to just six points midway through the frame. But the Vikings always had answers, Shabazz and Murray were seemingly un-guardable throughout the contest.

The game turned into more of a blowout later in the fourth, with the Vikings walking away with a comfortable 79-60 win.

Top Performers:
Eastside Catholic
Mandrell Worthy – 16 points
Max Hudgins – 15 points
Andrew Padilla – 14 points

Rainier Beach
DeJounte Murray – 27 points
Shadeed Shabazz – 24 points

Rainier Beach Handles Prep on Senior Night


Rainier Beach Handles Prep on Senior Night
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 6 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Rainier Beach High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 16 9 11 18 54
Rainier Beach 14 18 20 9 61

In a clash of titans in the metro league, the Seattle Prep Panthers traveled south to take on the Rainier Beach Vikings. Both teams walked into this contest with 16 wins under their belt, clearly putting themselves in the elite conversation for Metro and for state in 3A hoops.

Prep started the game on a great run, capitalizing on the size mismatches they bring to every game. It is tough for a high school team to matchup against three starters that all measure 6’8″, and that is what the state has to be prepared for against the Panthers.

Prep got off to an early lead, stemmed by a 10-0 run and Jack Stewart’s 2 three pointers. But Beach battled back to trail the first quarter by just two, closing the quarter on a 35 foot bank shot by Washington commit DeJounte Murray.

Beach began to put their foot on the gas in the second quarter. Ivy Smith and Shadeed Shabazz forced numerous turnovers in the Panther backcourt, leading to easy layups and dunks. The second and third quarter were a little messy for the Panthers, who only put up 20 points total against Beach’s 38.

But Prep would not stop battling. Beach assumed they had the game in hand with such a comfortable lead in the fourth, but the Panthers scratched and clawed to cut the lead to just 4 with under two minutes to play. The Vikings again stepped up with their tenacious defense, forced two critical turnovers, and sealed the win with a 61-54 final.

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
J’Raan Brooks – 14 points
Jack Stewart – 14 points

Rainier Beach
DeJounte Murray – 16 points
Vincenzo Reiser – 15 points

King’s Caps off Perfect League Record Against Archbishop Murphy

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King’s Caps off Perfect League Record Against Archbishop Murphy
By Steven Dion

Friday- February 6 2015 Boys 2A/1A Cascade
King's High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
King's 14 13 14 15 56
Archbishop Murphy 10 18 4 12 44


King’s Sophomore Corey Kispert

The end of the regular season has arrived and the top dogs of the Cascade League in King’s and Archbishop Murphy would see the rivalry renewed on senior night for the Knights. A packed Mike Martin gymnasium was excited to see undefeated King’s take on second place Archbishop Murphy who was hungry to avenge a 65-40 loss earlier in the season. Would Rick Skeen and Co. finish conference play blemish-free or would the Wildcats play spoiler in the league finale?

Archbishop took a quick 7-0 lead to start the contest which got the home team off balance. Coach Skeen switched up his normal starting lineup for senior night and it appeared the chemistry early on was affected. The Knights proceeded to roll out a 14-2 run and capture a lead by the end of the first frame. Corey Kispert drained one of his four three-pointers en route to a game-high 27 points. The dynamic sophomore would go on to show his all-around versatility as a top player in the state. The Wildcats responded in the second quarter by increasing the intensity on both ends of the floor. D’Andre Bryant knocked down some tough shots and the Cats rebounded well as a team. At halftime, the home squad led by a single point at 28-27.

With anticipation for an exciting second half, the seesaw ride continued for the majority of the third quarter. Points were at a premium and with a chance to take control of the contest, King’s stood up. Their length advantage paid dividends as tenacious defenders like Noah Bundrant forced turnovers that led to buckets at the other end. Kispert scored nine in the frame including a pair of triples which proved to be daggers. AMHS could not climb back the double digit lead built in the fourth quarter despite efforts by Abraham Lucas and Anfernee Gurley. The Knights finish Cascade play undefeated and poised to make a run at the 1A state title.

The Final Score: King’s 56 Archbishop Murphy 44

Top Performers:
King’s
Corey Kispert-27 points

Archbishop Murphy
Abraham Lucas-9 points

Monster Second Quarter Propels Roosevelt Over Lakeside

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Monster Second Quarter Propels Roosevelt Over Lakeside
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- February 3 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Roosevelt High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Roosevelt 8 23 11 28 70
Lakeside 13 6 10 32 61


Roosevelt Senior Lewis Gregerson-Spencer

The final week of regular season hoops kicked off with a full slate of matchups Tuesday night. A Metro League game with playoff implications attached was the clash between host Roosevelt and Lakeside who are vying for postseason berths. The Lions feature leading Metro scorer in Isiah Brown at 27.6 points per contest where the Riders counter with senior Cam Haslam with a shade under 20 per game. This game carried major weight for deciding the final seeds coming out of the most competitive league in the state.

Lakeside’s tenacious interior defense in the first quarter provided a spark to grab a quick lead. They prevented the Riders from finding a groove on offense early in the game. The gameplan for each team contrasted greatly as the Lions attacked the rim early and Roosevelt ate the bulk of the shot clock by distributing the ball. LHS sophomore Daejon Davis knocked down a difficult lay-up and one at the first quarter buzzer to give his team a 13-8 lead after one frame.

Roosevelt woke up in a big way in the second quarter to the tune of a 16-0 run over the first five minutes. Haslam started heating up by notching 10 of his team-high 26 points in the quarter. The Riders capitalized on Lakeside’s inability to get shots to fall through the cup by setting up good looks to a variety of scorers such as Jakob Bauer and Jonathan Lang. The Lions finally registered their first points of the quarter at 2:06, but were trailing by double digits at that point. At intermission, the home team was buzzin’ as they led by a dozen!

When the second half commenced, Roosevelt kept the pedal down by extending their lead to nearly 20 points and placing the Lions in danger of having the ability to climb back into the game. Isiah Brown reached a point where enough was enough and started to will his team to make a comeback. He used his explosive first step to shed his defender and elevate to the rim. The junior would shoot lights-out from the free throw line in the second half en route to 24 of his game high 30 in the second half. At the end of the third, LHS cut the deficit to 42-29 and their body language displayed they could taste blood in the water.

As the Lions playing eight minutes of frantic catch-up, Roosevelt responded by knocking down timely buckets to quell momentum swings. Lewis Gregerson-Spencer and Carl Salvino made their presence felt by converting on crucial possessions down the stretch. Lakeside’s Davis finished a two-handed slam which sparked a late surge for the visitors including a 5-point boost by Isaiah de la Fuente. At 1:36, the score was 58-51, but the margin of error was razor thin and the Roughriders were able to put the final nail in the coffin. Coach Bart Brandenburg picked up a quality win for the green and yellow.

The Final Score: Roosevelt 70 Lakeside 61

Top Performers:
Roosevelt
Cam Haslam-26 points

Lakeside
Isiah Brown-30 points

Worthy, Thybulle Register 15 Apiece as Crusaders Defeat Prep

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Worthy, Thybulle Register 15 Apiece as Crusaders Defeat Prep
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- January 27 2015 Boys 3A Metro-Mountain
Seattle Prep High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 20 10 11 19 60
Seattle Prep 11 10 17 12 50


Eastside Catholic Mandrell Worthy

Any given Tuesday in the Metro League will deliver exciting basketball and showcase some of the top talent in the state of Washington. This particular night featured a clash of top ten squads as Seattle Prep would host the 2013 3A runner-up Eastside Catholic. The Mountain division leader heading into the contest was the Panthers, but a win for the Coach Liley’s Cru would yield identical league records with a tie breaker to Eastside Catholic.

The visitors jumped out to a nice start by converting several offensive possessions into easy buckets through well executed sets. ECHS made use of the shot clock to earn good looks at the cup from crisp ball movement. University of Washington commit Matisse Thybulle netted seven of his fifteen points in the first quarter to help his team pick up an early 20-11 lead. However, the senior forward found himself in foul trouble and Seattle Prep responded with a boost in tempo. Sophomore guard Aaron Nettles dazzled the crowd with crafty passes to teammates and smooth ball handling to get penetration in the paint to open up offensive options. Each time the Panthers picked up momentum, Eastside was able to knock down a rally killer to protect their nine point lead heading into the locker room.

When play resumed, Mike Kelly drew up a new defensive scheme for Prep by plugging Jordan Kitchen into EC’s backcourt. His long 6’8” frame created havoc for the Crusader offense and caused turnovers which sparked a Panther run to tighten up the contest. A 9-2 scoring spree to begin the third quarter caused Eastside Catholic to call a timeout as their lead shrunk to a deuce. J’Raan Brooks established his post presence by finishing tough shots near the cup and registering 8 of his 14 points in the third quarter. Nettles also drained a big three-pointer to help the blue and white climb back into the game heading into the final frame.

Eastside regained their composure in the fourth quarter and knocked down big shots to put pressure on Prep as the clock winded down. The free-throw contest in the final minute put EC to the test as SP tried to extend the contest. They passed with flying colors draining 11 of 13 from the charity stripe. Mandrell Worthy buried the final dagger on a cross-up jumper to give his team a lead they would not sacrifice. With the win, the new leader in the Metro-Mountain division hails from the Sammamish plateau.

The Final Score: Eastside Catholic 60 Seattle Prep 50

Top Performers:
Eastside Catholic
Mandrell Worthy (4/5 FTs) & Matisse Thybulle (2/2 FTs)-15 points

Seattle Prep
Aaron Nettles-17 points (8/10 FTs)

McLaughlin Notches 31 in Peninsula Victory Versus Auburn

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McLaughlin Notches 31 in Peninsula Victory Versus Auburn
By Steven Dion

Friday- January 23 2015 Boys 3A SPSL
Auburn High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Peninsula 12 18 19 20 69
Auburn 11 17 24 10 62


Peninsula Junior JaQuori McLaughlin

The high school basketball regular season is in the home stretch and the sprint to a league title is winding down. South Puget Sound League’s 3A division features Peninsula at the top with Auburn-Mountainview and Auburn with several other teams in the middle of the pack. The Seahawks would pay a visit to the Trojans on Friday night for an important league matchup.

From the opening tip, this contest was a real slobber-knocker as both teams had difficulty retaining possession and putting together offensive production. Auburn’s tenacious interior defense created several takeaways and kept the Hawks off the scoreboard until the 5:33 mark. Unfortunately, the Trojans did not fully capitalize on their defensive effort as they trailed 4-2 with 3:18 left in the first quarter. University of Washington commit JaQuori McLaughlin recorded his second personal foul early which relegated the Peninsula guard to the bench.

In the second frame, reserve Patreon Lee gave AHS a boost by knocking down some big buckets and firing up his teammates. The ping-pong nature of the game continued and the game was all knotted up at 22 apiece midway through the quarter. In the final possession of the half, Auburn hoisted a desperation shot and was fouled in the process by McLaughlin for his third of the game. The scoreboard read 30-28 in favor of Peninsula halfway through.

The second half began the way the first did for Auburn as their defensive intensity sparked their production. The Trojans grabbed a 39-34 lead midway through the third. Malik Williams ignited the AHS throughout the game as he led his team with 24 points and set the tone on the defensive end. His counterpart McLaughlin was forced into tough shots, but got his fair share to fall toward the end of the third.

Leading by three as the fourth started, Auburn was in prime position to complete the upset. However, Coach Jake Jackson’s Seahawks had another plan. They rolled off a 10-0 run with buckets by Garrett Smith and Austin Kingman. Williams knocked down a pair of threes to get Auburn back on track, but the Hawks kept the pedal down. Leading by a half dozen with two minutes remaining, PHS retained their lead to the end and picked up a tough division victory.

The Final Score: Peninsula 69 Auburn 62

Top Performers:
Peninsula
JaQuori McLaughlin-31 points (11/13 FTs)

Auburn
Malik Williams-24 points

Hudgins’ 19 Propels Crusaders Past Braves

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Hudgins’ 19 Propels Crusaders Past Braves
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- January 20 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Bishop Blanchet High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 15 17 19 9 60
Bishop Blanchet 4 17 11 14 46


Eastside Catholic Senior Max Hudgins

The 3A runner-up a season ago made a visit to Bishop Blanchet High School on Tuesday night to take on the Braves for some Metro League action. Coach Liley’s Crusaders squad is on track to make a run at the state title again this season as their athleticism, leadership, and chemistry are in the upper ranks of Washington state hoops. However, Blanchet is headed in the upward direction as a program and on pace to record a higher win total than the previous year for the fourth consecutive season under Coach Bilanko. This matchup is one of the biggest tests the Braves would face.

There was a slow pace when the game started as both teams had difficulty finding a rhythm. Eastside eventually broke the spell by increasing the intensity on the defensive end and it translated to points on the other side of the floor. One of the defensive turnovers resulted in a high-flying, two-handed slam by Matisse Thybulle. By the end of the first frame, the Crusaders jumped out to a 15-4 lead. Blanchet regrouped in the second quarter when Sam Cunliffe and Derrik Dean were able to get shots to fall. The pair scored 12 and 7 respectively before the break and brought the game back to single digits within the quarter. The lead could have been cut even further, but an efficient first half by Mandrell Worthy who registered 9 of his 16 total points on 4 of 5 shooting brought the lead back to 11 when the buzzer sounded. At intermission, Eastside Catholic led 32-21.

The visitor’s lead continued to grow in the second half through contributions of Max Hudgins who led all scorers with 19 points. ECHS went 6/6 from the charity stripe in the third quarter and 10/12 overall which proved to be an important piece of their success. Cunliffe made a strong effort to get the Braves back on track, but the opposing defense made it difficult for him to get into a groove. A pair of pull-up 3’s by the Crusaders helped build a 19 point lead going into the final frame. With the game essentially put away, both teams emptied their benches to give reserves minutes. Ryan Harmon found himself with the rock and nothing but daylight ahead so he finished with a two-handed slam to end the game on a good note for the home team. Eastside Catholic proved their prestige by walking away with a double-digit victory against an ever-improving Blanchet team.

The Final Score: Eastside Catholic 60 Bishop Blanchet 46

Top Performers:
Eastside Catholic
Max Hudgins-19 points (6/13 FGs, 4/11 3pt FGs, 3/4 FTs)

Bishop Blanchet
Sam Cunliffe-18 points

Viont’e Daniels Drops 31 in Federal Way Win Over Kentwood

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Viont’e Daniels Drops 31 in Federal Way Win Over Kentwood
By Steven Dion

Friday- January 16 2015 Boys 4A SPSL
Kentwood High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Federal Way 16 16 17 28 77
Kentwood 7 17 20 20 64


Federal Way Senior Viont’e Daniels

Friday night’s slate of high school hoops featured a matchup of division leaders in the South Puget Sound League as the high-fliers of the Northwest in Federal Way would make a visit to powerhouse Kentwood of the Northeast. The anticipation for this game was evident from the packed gym and a tangible buzz in the building felt from the opening tip to the final whistle. This proved to be an interesting matchup as the Eagles’ roster loaded with athletic combo guards would square off with what is essentially Kentwood’s football team on the hardwood.

The first few minutes of the game set the tone when Federal Way rolled out to a 9-0 lead. Kentwood quickly found themselves playing catch-up and would continue to do so for the entirety of the ballgame. Eagle perimeter defense forced several turnovers and prevented entry passes for Conks’ offensive sets. Federal Way junior Ferron Flavors notched 15 of his 20 points in the first two quarters. Malik Sanchez rallied KW by throwing down a pair of highlight dunks in the second quarter. However, Federal Way capitalized on Conqueror mistakes and were able to retain and eight point lead heading into the second half.

The Conks returned to the floor with renewed energy to climb back into the contest. The guard duo of Darius LuBom and Preston White who finished with 16 and 11 points respectively hit the deck for 50/50 balls and the forwards Josiah Bronson and Marcus LuBom were rebounding machines on both ends of the court. KHS rallied several times to tighten up the ballgame, but Federal Way always knocked down a big bucket when needed. Viont’e Daniels drained a triple at 3:28 in the third to keep a double digit lead. The scoreboard read 49-44 heading into the fourth with FW still out front.

By the five minute mark in the final frame, Federal Way put the game on ice. Daniels scored three quick buckets, two of which were and-ones. Then, D’Jimon Jones scored 3 of his 10 points when he was able to get an up and under to fall after being fouled in the process. The 13-5 run to start the final quarter propelled the Eagles to a big league win for Coach Jerome Collins’ blue and white.

The Final Score: Federal Way 77 Kentwood 64

Top Performers:
Federal Way
Viont’e Daniels-31 points (8/12 FTs)

Kentwood
Darius Lubom-16 points