McLaughlin Notches 31 in Peninsula Victory Versus Auburn


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

Malik Williams-24 points

Hudgins’ 19 Propels Crusaders Past Braves


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


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)

Darius Lubom-16 points

Garfield Remains Unbeaten, Tops Lakeside

Garfield Remains Unbeaten, Tops Lakeside
By Colin Caruso

Friday- January 9 2015 Boys 3A Metro
Garfield High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Lakeside 23 12 18 14 67
Garfield 15 17 23 28 83

With Lorenzo Romar in the house, watching two of Seattle’s and Washington State’s finest, the Garfield Bulldogs overcame an early deficit but pulled away late to claim their 12th win of the year.

Lakeside started this game on fire, Isiah Brown had 8 points in the first quarter and Daejon Davis had 9, propelling the Lions to a 23-15 lead after one. In speaking with a Lakeside coach after the game, this was one of their best quarters of basketball all year long.

But the scoring slowed down in the second for the Lions, and the Bulldogs began to heat up. A 35-33 halftime lead for Lakeside meant that they needed to come out with a third quarter like their first quarter to keep the momentum.

Garfield began their 3/4 court triangle trap to begin the second half. This caused fits for the Lions, who’s turnovers led to easy leak out baskets for Jashaun Agosto and Jaylen Nowell. Garfield took their first lead with 4:09 remaining in the third, and did not look back from there.

The points came easily to the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, 28 in total in just 8 minutes. Alphonso Anderson proved his worth scoring 6 in the last frame, as the Bulldogs rolled to remain undefeated on the year.

The Final Score: Garfield 83, Lakeside 67

Top Performers:
Isiah Brown and Isaiah de la Fuente – 17 points

Alphonso Anderson – 18 points
Jashaun Agosto – 21 points

Lynnwood Claims Royal Win in Battle of Unbeaten Teams


Lynnwood Claims Royal Win in Battle of Unbeaten Teams
By Steven Dion

Wednesday- January 14 2015 Girls 3A Wesco-South
Lynnwood High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Lynnwood 14 12 15 17 58
Glacier Peak 12 11 7 3 33

Lynnwood Junior Jordyn Edwards

At this point in the high school basketball season, those with a perfect record intact are generally the teams that are likely to have a playoff run in the near horizon. It is rare to find such in the same league, but Wednesday night featured a 3A Wesco showdown between host Lynnwood and Glacier Peak. The gym was packed to see which team would emerge as the leader of the Wesco South division.

The tenacity of Coach Edwards’ Royals was displayed early as they started the contest on a 6-0 run in the first 1:57 which prompted a Grizzlies timeout to hopefully quell the early momentum. This proved to be an effective tactic by GP because they strung together a 12-5 run until the final seconds of the first frame when Jordyn Edwards buried one from downtown. In the second quarter, the Grizzlies took advantage of hustle plays including offensive rebounds capitalized by Kayla Watkins who led GPHS with 9 points. The interior defense of Glacier Peak forced the Royals into taking tough shots. At the end of a physical first half, Lynnwood was up 26-23.

When play resumed, the home team quickly separated themselves by building a lead they would not allow to be erased. Junior captain Mikayla Pivec scored on back-to-back possessions which capped off an 8-2 run to start the third. She finished with 15 points in the game. Without skipping a beat, they scored twice more unanswered. Their pace was overwhelming as defensive stops led to quick outlets and easy buckets. The balance of Lynnwood was evident as Pivec, Edwards, and Kelsey Rogers all scored in double figures and each scored in all four quarters. Leading by eleven heading into the fourth quarter, LHS was able to maintain a sizable lead and wrap up an impressive victory over a team they could see again in the playoffs.

The Final Score: Lynnwood 58 Glacier Peak 33

Top Performers:
Jordyn Edwards-17 points

Glacier Peak
Kayla Watkins-9 points

Kentlake Soars Past TJ in SPSL Battle


Kentlake Soars Past TJ in SPSL Battle
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- January 13 2015 Boys 4A SPSL
Thomas Jefferson High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Kentlake 14 12 6 14 46
Thomas Jefferson 6 9 10 16 41

Kentlake Junior Dang Tran

Each of the three divisions in the South Puget Sound League feature a premier 4A team that have created separation between themselves and their opponents. Thomas Jefferson and Kentlake are currently chasing Federal Way and Kentwood respectively, so each contest is critical to keep pace with frontrunners. The Raiders from the Northwest would host the Falcons from the Northeast in this interdivision clash on Tuesday night.

The contest jumped out to a good start for the home squad when an early Raider bucket was followed up with a steal by Xavier Scott-Hollis and an emphatic dunk. However, this early burst was followed up with a scoring drought by TJ where they only scored once more the remainder of the quarter. Kentlake’s Dang Tran kicked off his big night by matching Jefferson’s first quarter scoring total with 6 points. The senior guard would notch a game-high 23 points and was the only player on either team to score in every quarter. Kentlake thrived on back-door cuts and three-quarter press on defense to build a double digit lead by halftime. The Raiders put together a rally midway through the second frame capped by a Preston Peters three-ball, but allowed the Falcons to finish the first half strong. At the break, the scoreboard read 26-15 in favor of the guests.

Thomas Jefferson returned with a renewed sense of urgency to climb back in the game. They did so by starting at the defensive end of the floor limiting KHS to six third-quarter points and forcing several turnovers. Tyson Sonnenfeld provided a boost from the bench by going 4/4 from the free throw line and grabbing some tough rebounds. Trailing by 7 heading into the fourth, did Jefferson have a comeback in store?

To start the final frame, it appeared they were on a crash course to victory as the lead was trimmed to a single point with 3:24 remaining after a Brian Kuria three-pointer. After Coach Drake called a timeout, his Falcons responded with a 6-0 run at the hands of Julion Mackey and Max Valerio. Similarly, Kyle Templeton was able to rally his Raiders to a 5-0 run in response with 28.7 seconds remaining. The Raiders had a chance to tie or take the lead, but they could not get the clinching shot to fall and some Larry Alar free throws helped Kentlake steal a road victory.

The Final Score: Kentlake 46 Thomas Jefferson 41

Top Performers:
Dang Tran-23 points

Thomas Jefferson
Will Osborn, Darius Anderson, Xavier Scott-Hollis-7 points

Crafty Assist by Jashaun Agosto to Alphonso Anderson (WATCH)


Skyline Swoops Big Win in Eagle Nest


Skyline Shocks Issaquah in KingCo Rival Clash
By Steven Dion

Friday- January 9 2015 Girls 4A KingCo
Issaquah High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Skyline 16 16 10 21 63
Issaquah 9 12 9 15 45

Skyline Junior Cassidy Daugherty

Game one of a varsity doubleheader on Friday night at Issaquah High School featured the host Eagles and the Skyline Lady Spartans. Both teams are jockeying for position in the 4A standings as league play heats up. The victor would take a big step in keeping pace with the KingCo leaders so the table was set for an exciting matchup of plateau rivals.

The home squad was able to score eight unanswered points to start the contest and gain early momentum. Coach Fithian was able to rally the troops and respond in a big way. Junior Cassidy Daugherty highlighted a Spartan run by knocking down a pair of triples. At the 2:30 mark in the first frame, Eagle coach Nicole Reid called a timeout to stop the Skyline attack. However, the green and white were on a 16-1 run by the end of the quarter. A strong defensive effort by SHS was led by Jade Loville and Maddie Adamson to help add onto their lead. Issaquah forward Ellen MacNary scored five second-quarter points to keep her team within striking distance. Despite her attempt at sparking a rally, Issy faced a double-digit deficit at the break trailing 32-21.

When play resumed, Skyline continued aggressive play by attacking the bucket and earning trips to the free throw line. Their 21/27 (78%) shooting from the charity stripe was a difference maker in the game as Issaquah was unable to get on extended scoring runs. The game was lengthened from the many starts and stops. Lady Spartan captain Taylor McKerlich scored 9 points in the second half en route to her 11 total points and Daugherty led all scorers with 20. Eagle freshman Mariah Van Halm had some nice takes to the cup as she led her team in scoring with 11 points. She helped IHS cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth, but the clock favored Skyline at this point and they were able to run away with the victory as the game came to a conclusion.

The Final Score: Skyline 63 Issaquah 45

Top Performers:
Cassidy Daugherty-20 points (9/10 FTs)

Mariah Van Halm-11 points (5/7 FTs)

Skyline Shocks Issaquah in KingCo Rival Clash


Skyline Shocks Issaquah in KingCo Rival Clash
By Steven Dion

Friday- January 9 2015 Boys 4A KingCo
Issaquah High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Skyline 18 15 19 24 76
Issaquah 12 20 25 16 73

Skyline Junior Connor Crisp

Jason Griffith’s Issaquah Eagles have picked up the ’14-’15 season where they left off last year when they made a deep run in the 4A state tournament. The plateau platoon appears to be a prime contender to raise the hardware in December with a player of the year caliber player and a super sophomore. However, as the new year turns, league play begins and each night on the floor is a challenge. The Skyline Spartans would visit the Eagles’ nest to take a crack at their league rival ahead in the standings. Bill McIntrye had the green and white ready to roll this Friday night.

Immediately following the opening tip, Ty Gibson buried a triple from the corner. However, the Spartans responded by matching the early scoring and in doing so, outmatching the home team in the level of intensity on both ends of the floor. A key play early in the contest was a block by Braden Ahlemeyer that sent the energetic Spartan student section into a frenzy. This swat led to a Spartan score on the other end that prompted an Issy timeout to regroup. This proved to be a smart coaching decision because the Eagles started to trim the deficit down and eventually take the lead. When Issaquah took a 27-24 lead at 3:37 in the second quarter, the resolve of Skyline was tested. They passed. At halftime, the Spartans regained the lead at 33-32.

When play resumed, more of the same back-and-forth trend continued as there were countless momentum swings and lead changes. Eagle sophomore Trevon Ary-Turner knocked down back-to-back triples to give the purple and white a 45-39 lead midway through the third. But once again, Skyline kept the game within reach. Down the stretch, Sparty realized they played too well to let this opportunity slip. Ahlemeyer knocked down two buckets in the post in the waning minutes. Additionally, Skyline captain Robert Biegaj pulled down a long rebound that led to a layup with twenty seconds left. Leading by four, the Spartans did not allow the Eagles to send this game into overtime and the major upset was complete.

The Final Score: Skyline 76 Issaquah 73

Top Performers:
Robert Biegaj-26 points

Ty Gibson-26 points

Kennedy Grabs Top Spot in Seamount with Victory Over Hazen


Kennedy Grabs Top Spot in Seamount with Victory Over Hazen
By Steven Dion

Wednesday- January 7 2015 Boys 3A Seamount
Kennedy Catholic High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Kennedy Catholic 12 14 20 18 64
Hazen 15 12 13 16 56

Kennedy Catholic Senior AJ McGrew

There is no mistaking a rivalry game when you see one, especially when the teams are undefeated in league play. This was the case Wednesday night as Kennedy would host Hazen which would determine a new leader in the Seamount standings. Neither squad was too keen to find themselves in the second spot.

Hazen kicked off the contest draining shots from the perimeter giving them a quick 9-3 lead which prompted a Lancer timeout by Don Hoffman. His team responded by distributing the ball to several KC playmakers including AJ McGrew, James Jolly, and Emilio Mancol. Hazen wing Jalen Green was forced to leave the game in the first quarter after landing awkwardly. The Highlanders’ reliance from downtown started to allow Kennedy to rally when the shots were not falling as often later in the first half. Meanwhile, the Lancers capitalized on numerous second chances on the offensive end to close out the half trailing by a single point at 27-26. The way that each possession appeared to result in a lead change was a good sign the crowd was in for an exciting finish.

The pace of the game jumped up a few notches to start the third quarter especially in the physicality between the two teams. Hazen captain Connor O’Hearn was in the mix of possession battles but kept a calm demeanor on the floor. Kennedy was fueled by the skirmishes and strung together a big run through the majority of the third quarter. A key play in the game was a monster block by HHS wing Dominic Green that bounced to McGrew who made a putback and one. Green responded with a three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer, but the damage was done. Kennedy led by a half dozen heading into the fourth.

Michael Sasonoff and James Jolly helped grow the lead to double-digits in the final quarter and were able to clamp down on defense. Their ability to limit Hazen scorers other than Green to 10 points in the second half was a difference maker in the contest. Even with a late run by Hazen, Kennedy had enough to secure a big home win to take first place in the league.

The Final Score: Kennedy Catholic 64 Hazen 56

Top Performers:
Kennedy Catholic
Michael Sasonoff-14 points/AJ McGrew-13 points

Dominic Green-23 points

Chief Sealth Falls to Garfield, But Saves Best for Last


Chief Sealth Falls to Garfield, But Saves Best for Last
By Steven Dion

Tuesday- January 6 2015 Boys 3A Metro League
Chief Sealth 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 30 27 24 15 96
Chief Sealth 14 20 7 14 55

Chief Sealth Senior Hafid Yassin

Ed Haskins’ Bulldogs are off to a blistering 2014-2015 campaign as the state champions of 4A last season are poised to make a run at the 3A title this year. They took a short trip southwest on Tuesday night as Chief Sealth hosted the Metro League leader. Seahawk coach Colin Slingsby certainly understood the tough task his team would face, but he nor anyone in the gym expected this contest to finish the way it did!

Garfield started its scoring onslaught early as the pressure applied on defense resulted in routine buckets on the offensive end. Jashaun Agosto displayed his dynamic skill set as the shifty point guard distributed the rock to open teammates and created open looks for himself at the cup. Alphonso Anderson also got in the mix by burying shots from downtown to help the Bulldogs notch 57 first-half points. Sealth senior Ahmed Mohamed kept his team on pace by recording 10 first half points. At the break, Garfield jumped out to a comfortable lead at 57-34.

The triple threat of Agosto, Anderson, and Jaylen Nowell kept the explosive tempo going into the second half by contributing an additional 24 points in the third quarter. The trio combined for 79 points! Garfield’s defense clamped down too by limiting CS to only 7 points in the frame. Effectively, the outcome of the contest was settled before the fourth quarter, but the highlight of the night was yet to come. With a running clock in effect and the final minute coming to a close, Chief Sealth received an inbound on the Garfield baseline. The ball was lobbed above the rim with Hafid Yassin in stride. The 6’5 senior launched his body above a Bulldog defender and threw down a dunk for the ages. He elevated his head above rim level! Moments later, Sealth buried a three-pointer to end the game in the most dramatic way a 41 point loss can happen. The atmosphere in the gym when the game ended was as if the crowd just witnessed an overtime buzzer-beater. Garfield keeps their immaculate record intact, Sealth walks away with a memory of a great moment in program history.

The Final Score: Garfield 96 Chief Sealth 55

Top Performers:
Alphonso Anderson-30 points

Chief Sealth
Hafid Yassin-13 points

Inglemoor Prevails in Nailbiter Over Blanchet


Inglemoor Prevails in Nailbiter Over Blanchet
By Steven Dion

Monday- January 5 2015 Girls 4A/3A Non-League
Inglemoor High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Inglemoor 13 16 14 9 52
Bishop Blanchet 17 6 14 13 50

Inglemoor Senior Jordana Price

Monday night at Inglemoor High School provided a sneak peek of the kind of basketball seen at the Tacoma Dome in March as the host Vikings battled against the 2013 3A runner up Bishop Blanchet. Unfortunately, these top girls squads in the state will not have a chance to meet in the Hardwood Classic.

Blanchet was able to grab an early lead as three Braves players knocked down 3 pointers in the first quarter. It appeared that this was an integral part of Coach Willison’s game plan due to the Vikings size advantage in the paint. Deja Stother accounted for 6 of the Vikings 13 first quarter points on high ball screens allowing her to attack the rim. However, Strother picked up her second foul late in the first forcing coach John Augustavo to place the senior center on the bench. Jordana Price was able to pick up the slack by burying a pair from downtown for 6 of her 14 big points in the game. The Braves offense stalled in the second frame and in doing so allowed Inglemoor to take the lead. Jadyn Bush fought through some pain from a collision under the hoop in the first quarter which limited her to 4 first half points, but the sophomore leader had a big second half in store as BB trailed by six at the break.

The pace of the game picked up early in the third quarter as both team were getting offensive production up and down the roster. Braves guard Taylor Chambers dished out some great passes to driving teammates and notched some points in the process. Strother picked up some assists in the form of full court heaves to Kennedy Nicholas and Amanda Luckett. Ella DiPietro helped Blanchet cut the lead to one point with 4 minutes remaining. Then, Bush converted on an and-one to give the Braves the lead. However, Jordana Price came up clutch with a three-ball with 38 seconds remaining. This would prove to be the winning score as Inglemoor held onto the slim lead they regained. An exciting finish between the best the state of Washington has to offer!

The Final Score: Inglemoor 52 Bishop Blanchet 50

Top Performers:
Deja Strother-17 points/Jordana Price-14 points (4 3-pt FGs)

Bishop Blanchet
Jadyn Bush-15 points (5/6 FTs)

Meadowdale’s Reid Wilson
takes it to the rim…(Video)

Monroe Overpowers Bear Creek in Opening Round of Holiday Tourney


Monroe Overpowers Bear Creek in Opening Round of Holiday Tourney
By Steven Dion

Monday- December 29 2014 Boys 4A/1A Non-League
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Monroe 12 21 13 9 55
Bear Creek 14 8 13 4 39

Monroe Freshman Colby Kyle

The 44th Annual Holiday High School Boys Basketball Tournament tipped off on Monday night at Bellevue College as eight teams vie for the title. The second of four games slated would match Monroe of 4A Wesco and 1A Emerald City league squad Bear Creek. The winner would advance to face King’s in the second round whereas the team that fell in this contest would take on Hazen in the consolation bracket.

Monroe wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as the opening tip was advanced up the floor and converted to an easy layup in the opening seconds. The Grizzlies were not fazed by the quick basket as they strung together some offense primarily through Jonny Magee and Jordan Block. The pair accounted for 19 of BC’s 22 first half points. Coach Tyson Horner’s Bearcats grew stronger as the first half rolled along, especially after freshman Colby Kyle threw down a dunk after a steal on the defensive end. This propelled Monroe to taking a 26-19 lead midway through the second quarter prompting Coach Tyler Mendezona to call a Grizzlies timeout after his team’s confidence started to wane. At the break, the Bearcats accumulated a double digit lead as the scoreboard read 33-22.

The third quarter began with a three-point spree as Monroe’s Rhen Shore and BC’s Block heated up from beyond the arc. However, trading buckets did not change the Bearcats lead heading into the final quarter. The Grizzlies needed a major run, but the call was not answered. There was a chance to cut the deficit to single digits midway through the fourth, but BC could not quite muster a late rally as the Bearcats locked up a 16 point victory.

The Final Score: Monroe 55 Bear Creek 39

Top Performers:
Rhen Shore-13 points (5/9 FGs, 3 3-pointers)

Bear Creek
Jordan Block-17 points (6/13 FG’s, 5 3-pointers)

Meadowdale Rolls Past Interlake in Tournament Opener


Meadowdale Rolls Past Interlake in Tournament Opener
By Steven Dion

Monday- December 29 2014 Boys 3A Non-League
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Meadowdale 16 14 11 14 55
Interlake 5 10 9 13 37

Meadowdale Junior Nathan Heilpap

The third of four games slated for round one of the boys tourney at Bellevue College featured a 3A clash between KingCo and Wesco as Interlake would take on Meadowdale. During the shootaround, it was difficult to tell which team was which as both team donned their powder blue warmups. On the line in this contest would be a round two battle on Tuesday night with the winner of the Renton/Inglemoor game which followed this game. The stage was set for the Saints and Mavericks to determine which team would advance in the winner’s bracket.

The Mavs raced out of the gates on a 7-0 run during the first 3:50 of the game. Many of their early field goals stemmed from turnovers on the defensive end leading to transition buckets on offense. Reid Wilson and Charlie White accounted for 14 of Meadowdale’s 30 first half points. Interlake’s difficulty finding a groove was exacerbated by unusually unfortunate bounces around the rim. The Saints found themselves down by double digits after one quarter despite getting good looks at the basket. Meadowdale took advantage of slow zone rotations from IHS by allowing Aidan O’Neill and Nathan Heilpap dial a pair from downtown. Interlake’s Justin Jordan provided a spark off the bench by knocking down a few jumpers of his own in the second quarter. The first half ended with a Landon Hopkins three at the buzzer to give the Mavericks a 30-15 leading heading into the locker room.

With a sense of urgency by Darren Bowden’s Saints, the pace of the game picked up in the third frame, but MHS was prepared to defend their lead. Interlake chipped away at the deficit slowly, but the Mavs closed the quarter strong to set up the final eight minutes. Kyle Grund played a major role in putting the game on ice as the 6’6 senior scored 6 of his 8 points down the stretch. Interlake’s Ayden Allen put together a strong second half en route to a game high 13 points, but Meadowdale advances to the second round after an 18 point win.

The Final Score: Meadowdale 55 Interlake 37

Top Performers:
Charlie White and Reid Wilson-12 points

Ayden Allen-13 points

Auburn-Mountainview Escapes Tornados Down the Stretch


Auburn-Mountainview Escapes Tornados Down the Stretch
By Steven Dion

Friday- December 26 2014 Boys 4A/3A Non-League
Kennedy Catholic High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Auburn-Mountainview 16 22 23 22 83
Yelm 7 26 17 8 58

Auburn-Mountainview Junior Victor Daggs

Day one of the 2014 Christmas Classic presented by Oberto matched up 3A SPSL representative in Auburn-Mountainview and Yelm of the 4A Narrows. Advancement to the second round in the winner’s bracket was on the line as the team that prevailed will take on the winner of the Kennedy Catholic/Cascade Christian game which would follow this one. The intriguing matchup in this game would be how the dynamic guards of AM in Victor Daggs and Ryan Lacey would fill the scoresheet against versatile forward Christian Davis of the Tornados.

The Lions captured an early lead in the game as 5 players scored in the opening quarter. Conversely, Yelm could not buy a bucket to start the game as their first points came nearly five minutes into the game. The scoring drought ceased quickly as Davis sparked a second quarter Yelm run. The 6’4 junior tallied 15 points in the second quarter as part of his game-high 27 points which helped the Tornados chip away at the early deficit they dug themselves into. On the other end of the floor AMHS’ Lacey notched nine of his own to maintain a five point lead heading into halftime. With a scoreboard reading 38-33 into the break, this game was shaping up for an exciting finish.

Auburn-Mountainview’s head coach Thomas Ostrander appeared to address his team’s size advantage during halftime as his 6’10 center Tristan Miguel played a major role in the pivotal third quarter. His rebounding on both sides of the floor led to second chances on offense and limiting Yelm’s time of possession. Miguel had 7 big points in the third which the Lions went on an 11-6 run in just under 5 minutes. However, early foul troubles by the Lions helped Yelm enter the double bonus with over 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter. At the third quarter buzzer, AM heaved a desperation throw from near mid-court. In a lapse of discipline, Yelm fouled the shooter giving Moutainview 3 free throws. This gave the Lions an 11 point lead heading into the fourth. That margin ballooned by an additional 14 points in the final 8 minutes as the 7 Lions scored in the fourth quarter while limiting Yelm to only 8 points. Auburn-Mountainview knocked down 17 of their 25 free throws in the contest en route to a big opening round win.

The Final Score: Auburn-Mountainview 83 Yelm 58

Top Performers:
Victor Daggs and Ryan Lacey-18 points

Christian Davis-27 points


Kentwood Exhibits Strength Against Cedarcrest


Kentwood Exhibits Strength Against Cedarcrest
By Steven Dion

Friday- December 26 2014 Boys 4A/2A Non-League
Kennedy Catholic High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Kentwood 25 23 15 13 76
Cedarcrest 8 9 10 12 39

Kentwood Sophomore Rayvaughn Bolton

The opening round of the 2014 Oberto Christmas Classic at Kennedy HS featured 4A power Kentwood against Cedarcrest from the 2A class. A stark contrast between these two teams heading into the contest was team size and how it would affect the outcome of the game as the Conks are built like a football team on the hardwood. The Red Wolves are slighter in stature but have some crafty guards that do not back down. Would Cedarcrest give KW a challenge in the first round of the holiday tourney?

Kentwood challenged CHS from the start as they applied full-court pressure which resulted in backcourt turnovers. The Conks did not take advantage of the defensive effort early as they chose to take 3 point attempts that did not fall early. However, Cedarcrest’s early bit of momentum on offense went ice cold for the majority of the first half. After scoring only 8 first quarter points, the Red Wolves were in trouble. Preston White and Marcus Lubom both notched 10 points for the Conquerors in the first half which was more than CHS’ scoring total through quarters one and two. Nik Rearson tallied 5 for the Red Wolves as he went 5/6 from the line in the first 16 minutes. Mark Prince would hope to rally his Cedarcrest squad at the break to close the gap as the halftime score read 48-17 in favor of Kentwood.

Cedarcrest was able to play a competitive second half as the lead grew by a much smaller margin than it did in the first half. They held the Conks to 15 third quarter points and were able to drain a pair of three-balls from Alex Paulsen and Robert Cha. The fourth quarter featured quality minutes for Kentwood Coach Blake Solomon’s reserves. Jordan Jones knocked down two from downtown in the final frame as Kentwood secured a 76-39 victory. There was exceptional sportsmanship displayed by Kentwood as they overmatched their opponent, but showed respect for Cedarcrest.

The Final Score: Kentwood 76 Cedarcrest 39

Top Performers:
5 players in double figures (Preston White-14, Davonte Sanchez-12, Marcus Lubom-11, Rayvaughn Bolton-11, Malik Sanchez-11)

Kyle Walsh-7 points (5/6 FT’s)


Davis Rallies, But Cleveland Hangs on for Non-League Win


Davis Rallies, But Cleveland Hangs on for Non-League Win
By Steven Dion

Saturday- December 20 2014 Boys 3A/4A Non-League
Cleveland High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Cleveland 19 17 12 18 66
Davis 7 15 17 20 59

Cleveland Eagles

Saturday afternoon included a contest with 3A against 4A in Cleveland and Davis. The Pirates based out of Yakima won the 4A state championship in 2012 and have regressed since that memorable run. However, some of the members of that title squad are still on the roster as upperclassmen so Davis is still a quality basketball team. Cleveland has struggled to remain competitive in the highly talented Metro League in recent years, but appear to be headed in the positive direction this season. Would Davis be able to get two wins in as many days or would Cleveland prevail on home court?

The pace of this game got off to a fast start as both teams were eager to score in transition. The advantage of size in the paint for Cleveland was evident early as the Eagles rebounded well on both sides of the floor. In addition, they were able to get plenty of quality shots in the paint which translated to leading by a dozen after one quarter of play. The Pirates started to chip away at the early deficit they found themselves in primarily in the perimeter shooting of Nick Navarro. The sharpshooter buried 6 triple in the contest en route to his game-high 20 points. CJ Elleby earned a handful of trips to the free-throw line which he converted as his tenacity helped Cleveland extend their lead to 36-22 at halftime.

Davis was committed to make their road-trip worthwhile as the Pirates increased their second-half intensity to cut the Eagles’ lead. The home team had some foul trouble and turned the ball over to give DHS multiple opportunities to score on offense. The lead started to dwindle and by the end of the third quarter, the difference was nine points. Cleveland’s Nico Buchanan went 6 for 6 from the charity stripe in the final frame to protect the lead. Navarro scored another pair of buckets from downtown to cut the lead to a mere 4 points. This game was still unsettled even though Cleveland led from the opening tip! However, Townsend and the Eagles closed the door by knocking down clutch buckets down the stretch as the Davis shooting starting to cool off. When the buzzer sounded, the home team picked up a quality win against a 4A team by 7 points.

The Final Score: Cleveland 66 Davis 59

Top Performers:
Malik Townsend-16 points

Nick Navarro-20 points (6 3-pt FG’s)


Rainier Beach Glides Past Lakeside in League Matchup


Rainier Beach Glides Past Lakeside in League Matchup
By Steven Dion

Friday- December 19 2014 Boys 3A Metro
Rainier Beach High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 23 21 26 17 87
Lakeside 18 12 18 20 68

Rainier Beach Junior Keith Smith

Quality basketball is a guarantee on a Friday night inside Crawford Court at Rainier Beach High School. The reigning 3A champs hosted the Lakeside Lions in a Metro League showdown on Friday night as some of the top talent in the state would put their talents on display. Could the Lions pull an upset on the road?

Lakeside’s dynamic guard Isiah Brown established his pivotal role on the team by scoring 13 of his team’s 18 first quarter points. Beach countered with a balanced attack of point guards Shadeed Shabazz and Ivy Smith feeding Dejounte Murray and Keith Smith. The Vikings built a five point lead after one frame, but the slim margin kept the door open for the Lions. With increased intensity on the defensive end for Lakeside, they rebounded the ball well and found points at the other end. Mid-way through the second quarter, Mike Bethea called a full timeout because the scoreboard read 27-26 Rainier Beach. The Viking responded like they are accustomed to by closing out the half on a 17-4 run. Murray and Shabazz were major contributors to the surge of points to extend the halftime score to 44-30.

The Viking lead grew even more after the break as Keith Smith and Dejounte Murray knocked down some transition buckets at the cup. Ivy Smith tacked on seven in the third quarter also. Lion guard Connor Duffy provided a nice spark off the bench knocking down 10 points in the second half. Lakeside slowly cut the Rainier Beach lead and with over 5 minutes remaining, were trailing by single digits. However, RB closed out the second half like they did the first half and kept their undefeated record intact with a 19 point victory.

The Final Score: Rainier Beach 87 Lakeside 68

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Dejounte Murray-29 points

Isiah Brown-35 points


Bellevue Hands Sammamish First Loss, Takes Lead in 3A KingCo


Bellevue Hands Sammamish First Loss, Takes Lead in 3A KingCo
By Steven Dion

Wednesday- December 16 2014 Boys 3A KingCo
Bellevue High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bellevue 13 20 15 22 70
Sammamish 9 11 9 18 47

Bellevue Senior Gunther Klimes

Tuesday night’s high school hoops schedule included a clash of two teams that were without a loss in their records. The Wolverines played host to the Totems with a chance to be perched at the top of the KingCo League standings. The home team features many of its key contributors to the state tournament last season; would Sammamish challenge one of the state’s finest?

There was a high level of energy displayed in this contest as both teams were content with attacking the bucket in transition early in the shot clock. Bellevue’s zone defense established their ability to create turnovers as their length and swarming nature resulted in Sammamish headaches. However, the Wolverines were unable to convert these takeaways to points, thus keeping the Totems within striking distance. Seven Wolverines scored in the second quarter giving the home squad a 33-20 lead by halftime. The final moments of the first half were quite a spectacle as Kyle Foreman seemingly had a clear path to another Bellevue bucket. Michael Shinaul chased the Wolverine senior down and made a phenomenal block near the rim. Shinaul came crashing down into the padding behind the basket knocking it off the wall. Meanwhile, Issac Garcia raced to pick up the loose ball that was bouncing toward the Sammamish bench. He collided with an official and both tumbled to the floor into the Totem bench as the buzzer sounded. There were seemingly more players on the hardwood than standing as the first half concluded.

To give themselves a chance to climb back into the game, it was imperative the Totems outscore Bellevue in the third quarter. Shaky free throw shooting by BHS was a start, but not finishing on their own possessions prevented Sammamish for cutting down the lead. Zach Moore, Andrew Kenny, and Foreman scored four apiece in the third and while captain Vlad Yadevich netted five, the Bellevue lead grew to 19 after three quarters. The depth of the Wolverines continued to show its strength as 8 players scored in the fourth quarter as the home team picked up its fourth win by the score of 70-47. The leading scorers in the game were Gunther Klimes and Kyle Foreman of BHS and Kyle Tracy of SHS who all scored 14 points.

Top Performers:
Gunther Klimes & Kyle Foreman-14 points

Kyle Tracy-14 points


Newport Defends Home Court with Convincing Win Over Redmond


Lady Mustangs Prevail in Overtime Clash with Newport
By Steven Dion

Friday- December 12 2014 KingCo 4A
Newport High School Final
Newport 56
Redmond 38

Newport Senior Jake Higgins

The nightcap of a full slate of basketball at Newport HS on Friday night was the boys varsity matchup of the host Knights and visiting Mustangs of Redmond High School. Newport has been a top half 4A KIngCo squad in recent years while Redmond has struggled to join the upper ranks of the conference. Would they have the horsepower to pick up the road win or would Newport pile on another win in front of the home crowd?

Redmond appeared they were ready to compete as they scored the first six points of the game two of which came from a circus shot by Kevin Carpenter. Unfortunately, the ‘Stangs couldn’t keep the momentum rolling as the Knights went on a 10-0 run in response to the early deficit. The length advantage of Newport forwards started to show its presence as Ryan Kingma and Jake Higgins among others glided to the rim for layup drills. Redmond was on the brink of submitting to a big halftime deficit, but closed the second quarter strong to only trail by 5.

The third quarter is where Newport put this game to rest. They limited the opposition to only 6 points in the frame while building a big lead. The Mustangs competed throughout the second half even as the Newport lead continued to grow. NHS head coach Steve Haizlip allowed many of his reserves to log some minutes down the stretch as his team closed out a 56-38 victory.

Top Performers:
Jake Higgins-24 points

Kevin Carpenter-12 points


Lady Mustangs Prevail in Overtime Clash with Newport


Lady Mustangs Prevail in Overtime Clash with Newport
By Steven Dion

Friday- December 12 2014 KingCo 4A
Newport High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
Redmond 10 12 11 16 10 59
Newport 7 21 8 13 8 57

Redmond Junior Sierra Craig

Friday night’s slate of early season basketball featured a 4A KingCo matchup of Newport and visitors Redmond. At this point of the schedule, nobody knows where they fit in the spectrum of the leagues so exciting finishes often occur and this was a glaring example. This particular contest took extra time to be settled. Who prevailed and how?

The Lady Knights and their up-tempo play grabbed a 6 point first half lead as freshman point guard Jahdai Alcombrack and post Katelyn Jenkins netted nine apiece. The Mustangs had a difficult time finding a rhythm in the first 16 minutes, but kept the score close enough to give themselves a chance in the second half. Seniors Morgan Grindell and Sawyer Forseth led the Mustangs with a half dozen points each before the break by the score of 30-22 in favor of the home team.

Redmond coach Ashley Graham clearly emphasized defensive pressure in the locker room because the ‘Stangs started climbing back into the game quickly. They had four scorers in the third quarter in comparison to Newport with one. They even gained the lead and held it well into the fourth quarter. Redmond was on the brink of closing the game out, but called a timeout after a defensive rebound. The only problem? They were out of timeouts! This led to two free throws that helped Newport push the game to overtime.

Newport committed to attacking the rim in the overtime period and earned 11 trips to the free throw line making 8 of them. However they did not make a field goal whereas Forseth and Teagyn Ohrt made key buckets down the stretch. This was the difference in the ballgame as the road Redmond squad escaped with a 59-57 victory.

Top Performers:
Teagyn Ohrt-15 points (5/7 FT’s)

Katelyn Jenkins-15 points


Coach Interview with Neah Bay’s Tony McCaulley-State Finals Preview




2014 Varsity Football Live Playoff Interview
Neah Bay Red Devils – Head Football Coach
Tony McCaulley

The northwest tip of Washington is home to a 1B football program that seems to find its way to the Tacoma Dome every year in recent memory. Tony McCaulley and Red Devils are back in the championship game and he visits with Steven Dion to talk about how the team has maintained success and the impact Neah Bay High School football has in the community.

“Our whole town will caravan over and turn out the lights…Everybody will be at the Tacoma Dome for the game…”

To repeat as state champs, Coach McCaulley will need to rally his team to defeat Liberty Christian who defeated the Red Devils in dramatic fashion for the 2012 title. He explains how that game will serve as motivation for his upperclassmen when Saturday arrives!

To catch the complete radio interview with Neah Bay Coach Tony McCaulley, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.



Coach Interview with Sedro-Woolley’s Dave Ward-State Finals Preview




2014 Varsity Football Live Playoff Interview
Sedro-Woolley Cubs – Head Football Coach
Dave Ward

In his third year as head coach of the Cubs, Dave Ward has brought a middle-of-the-pack Northwest League team in 2012 to the 2A state championship game in 2014. His team will face familiar opponent Lynden who defeated the Cubs 33-30 earlier this season.

“We gave up six huge plays…That wasn’t typical of our defense…We’re going to bend and not break…”

The entire community of Sedro-Woolley will shut down according to Ward and get down to the Tacoma Dome via buses and trains to see their Cubs compete for a state title. He is confident in the leaders on his roster to take home the hardware from the 2014 Gridiron Classic!

To catch the complete radio interview with Sedro-Woolley Coach Dave Ward, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.



Coach Interview with Cascade Christian’s Randy Davis-State Finals Preview




2014 Varsity Football Live Playoff Interview
Cascade Christian Cougars – Head Football Coach
Randy Davis

Since 2008, Cascade Christian head coach Randy Davis has led the Cougars to the 1A state championship game five time including winning the title in 2010. The senior class remembers how their season ended in the semifinals last year and showed determination to bring the hardware home in 2014.

“They took that to heart last year…They really dedicated themselves…I had 25 to 30 guys in the weight room at 6 o’clock in the morning all winter long…”

Coach Davis understands the Colville Indians present a challenge in the Gridiron Classic, but he explains how his team is prepared to finish the season 13-0. The Cougars have a strong core group with a winning attitude capable of taking the championship trophy to the Puyallup Valley once again!

To catch the complete radio interview with Cascade Christian Coach Randy Davis, simply click on the PLAY BUTTON below.