Hale Survives Late Scare, Wins SeaKing District

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Hale Survives Late Scare, Wins SeaKing District
By Colin Caruso

Saturday- February 18th 2017 Boys 3A SeaKing Final
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 11 20 25 28 84
Nathan Hale 14 32 16 26 88

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Jorell Saterfield & Michael Porter Jr.

In a packed Bellevue College gymnasium, with the SeaKing crown at stake, the #1 in the nation Nathan Hale Raiders faced off against the defending state champion Rainier Beach Vikings. The gym was electric to start the contest, but the play on the court didn’t match the fans anticipation until much later in the game. A slow first quarter progressed into a 3-point shooting contest in the second, where Nathan Hale scored an astounding 32 points in 8 minutes. Rainier Beach did what they could to stick with the high octane Raiders, but Hale extended their lead to 46-31 at the break.

The gym knew that Rainier Beach and coach Mike Bethea would have tricks up their sleeve in the second half to get back in the game. The first half Vikings looked passive, comfortable with taking down the shot clock and attempting deep contested shots. The second half Vikings couldn’t have been more of the opposite. Relentless attacks to the paint by Kevin Porter and N’Keil Nelson brought the mighty Vikings back into the game.

With just 4 minutes remaining on the clock, the Rainier Beach Vikings had tied the game, 69-69, the only tie since 0-0 at tip off. But Nathan Hale answered with a 14-4 run, capped by easy transition layups that left coach Bethea with his head in his hands. Coach Brandon Roy and the incredible Porter brothers, led by Michael Porter Jr. with 44 points on the night, capped off an amazing victory to win the SeaKing district. Now they are on to state, where Nathan Hale could go for their third title in as many weeks, but this one more sweet than the rest.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 88, Rainier Beach 84

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 44 points

Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 34 points

Porter Steers Hale Past Pryor-Led West Seattle in District Semis

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Porter Steers Hale Past Pryor-Led West Seattle in District Semis
By Steve Dion

Thursday- February 16th 2017 Boys 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
West Seattle 10 16 15 11 52
Nathan Hale 16 13 15 18 62

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

It was eight days ago that top-ranked team in the country Nathan Hale faced one of its stiffest tests of their historic season; a Metro League semifinal matchup with West Seattle at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Wildcats had another opportunity to make a run at the Brandon Roy-led juggernaut again in the district semis Thursday night.

There were many similarities to the game last week evident early on as the Wildcats were able to keep the Raiders within arms length at all times. Senior leaders Michael Porter Jr. & Nate Pryor led their ballclubs with one razzle-dazzle play after another igniting the crowd ever more. Porter demonstrated his highlight-reel ability with some thunderous dunks in the first half. Pryor sent Westside into the locker room with a dose of momentum by burying a half-court shot at the second quarter buzzer.

The third quarter was a blow-for-blow eight minutes where Pryor continued to rack up several of his team-high 31 points on increasingly difficult shots. Westside even attained a lead late in the third frame. However, eight minutes is a lifetime against the likes of the Raiders. Like the recent matchup, Hale closed strong with some clutch Porter field goals and a highlight PJ Fuller dunk that zapped the remaining momentum the Wildcats built. Despite the valiant effort, Hale maintained their perfect record heading into the district final against Rainier Beach set to take place Saturday night.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 62, West Seattle 52

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 34 points

West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 31 points

Mercer Island Stuns Undefeated Blanchet in SeaKing Semis

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Mercer Island Stuns Undefeated Blanchet in SeaKing Semis
By Steve Dion

Thursday- February 16th 2017 Girls 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Mercer Island 13 8 19 10 50
Bishop Blanchet 17 14 3 10 44

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Mercer Island Islanders

The lone undefeated team in 3A Bishop Blanchet fresh off their Metro League championship put their perfect record on the line in the SeaKing semifinal round against a tough Mercer Island team hailing from the KingCo conference. The winner would earn a trip to the Saturday night district final game against West Seattle who punched its ticket earler in the afternoon.

Blanchet wasted no time in securing a lead which was heavily influenced by Annie Maher’s strong performance in the low block. Mercer Island relied on the perimeter jump shot for a big chunk of their point total with Jessie Stenberg knocking down a trio of buckets from beyond the arc. Trailing by ten at the break, could Mercer Island climb back in to accomplish a statement win?

A tremendous full-court effort by the Islanders in the third quarter stunned the Braves and they were never able to fully bounce back. Anna Luce outscored Blanchet on her own in the second half in a 26 point outburst, 15 of which coming in the second half. More impressive Mercer Island’s defensive stance only allowing 3 points in the third quarter to the 23-0 Braves.

Despite a late run to close the gap, Mercer Island held on to send a loud statement win as the playoffs progressively intensify.

The Final Score
Mercer Island 50, Bishop Blanchet 44

Top Performers:
Mercer Island
Anna Luce- 26 points

Bishop Blanchet
Annie Maher- 14 points

Beach Boys District Finale Bound

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Beach Boys District Finale Bound
By Steve Dion

Thursday- February 16th 2017 Boys 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 9 16 13 13 51
Rainier Beach 14 15 15 21 65

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Rainier Beach Vikings

The defending 3A state champions Rainier Beach were back in action on Thursday afternoon following a big win against Garfield two days earlier to battle Seattle Prep for a trip to the district final game on Saturday night. Which Metro rep would move on?

The Vikings were successful in establishing their gameplan early while the Panthers stumbled out of the gates. Kevin Porter Jr. put his strong finishing ability on display early en route to a game-high 19 points in the ballgame. As the first half wore on, Seattle Prep garnered success with utilizing Nic Lynch in the post and cut the deficit to four heading into the break.

The pace of play increased as the game progressed and Rainier Beach’s ability to get behind the Panthers in transition ultimately determined the outcome. Fred Roberson put a stamp on the game with a pair of tomahawk dunks despite a solid effort by Prep’s other big man Collin Welp who finished with 15 to lead his team.

Bethea’s Beach squad continues their quest to defend the 3A title on Saturday night by earning a district final berth.

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 65, Seattle Prep 51

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 19 points

Seattle Prep
Collin Welp- 15 points

West Seattle Knocks Off Reigning Champs in District Semis

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West Seattle Knocks Off Reigning Champs in District Semis
By Steve Dion

Thursday- February 16th 2017 Girls 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bellevue 10 8 12 7 37
West Seattle 10 15 9 13 47

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Jasmine Gayles & Ellie Turk – West Seattle

In the first of two girls SeaKing semifinal matchups, the defending 3A champion Bellevue Wolverines faced the Metro League runner-up West Seattle Wildcats.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, West Seattle made their move in the second frame to build a lead that would set them up to close out strong. Grace Sarver & Izzy Turk led the Wildcats in the scoring column early on and were countered by sharpshooting Annika Prins for the Wolverines. The scoreboard read 25-18 at the break.

When play resumed, the Wolverines were able to cut down the deficit to a manageable figure heading into the final game through more buckets by Prins. However, as she has shown the ability to do in multiple occasions, Jasmine Gayles exploded in the final quarter to finish the job for the Wildcats as one of three West Seattle players in double figures for the game. With the victory, they will battle for the district title on Saturday night!

The Final Score
West Seattle 47, Bellevue 37

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Grace Sarver- 12 points

Bellevue
Annika Prins- 15 points

2017 Dream Team’s
St. Patrick’s Day Classic

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2017 Dream Team’s St. Patrick’s Day Classic

Registration Page

Top competitive teams come together in Vancouver over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Boys and girls 10U-14U teams from around the Pacific Northwest will battle it out for a chance to be called Champions.

Here’s your chance to participate in a great event in SW Washington Saturday, March 18th and Sunday, March 19th. To secure your spot, simply fill out the Registration Form for the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Classic. The Tournament Directors will contact you after you submit your registration request.

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Tournament Rules – Click here

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Don’t wait, register your team today!
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Team Impact
Attn: St. Patrick’s Day Classic
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Vancouver, WA 98684

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Rainier Beach Downs Garfield in SeaKing Opener

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Rainier Beach Downs Garfield in SeaKing Opener
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- February 14th 2017 Boys 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 22 16 11 17 66
Garfield 13 18 10 16 57

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Rainier Beach Junior Fred Roberson

In their third matchup of the season the most recent merely six days ago in the Metro League semifinals at Alaska Airlines Arena, Rainier Beach & Garfield found themselves matched up in the first round of the district tournament as postseason play continues to heat up.

Insistent on beating the Bulldogs this season, Beach stormed out of the gates with a 9 point lead after the first frame fueled by Khalil Shabazz’s intensity on both ends of the floor reaching double figures in the blink of an eye. Garfield’s malaise continued as the first half progressed, although Daejon Davis’ ability to finish a few tough shots in the paint was a bright spot that kept the Bulldogs within striking distance heading into the second half.

When play resumed, the Vikings collaborated for a full-team effort where Nehemie Kabeya’s toughness on the glass and N’Keil Nelson’s ability to thwart Garfield runs helped them retain their lead to the finish line. The Bulldogs enjoyed a standout performance by ever-improving Eddie Turner and the emergence of a perimeter shot by J’Raan Brooks, but it proved too little for the highly-motivated Beach Boys.

Garfield still maintains a 2-1 lead in the season series over their rival to the south, but Rainier Beach showed they are hungry to defend their state title as the run to the Dome continues!

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 66, Garfield 57

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
N’Keil Nelson- 20 points

Garfield
J’Raan Brooks- 17 points

West Seattle Bounces Back From Metro Final with SeaKing Stunner

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West Seattle Bounces Back From Metro Final with SeaKing Stunner
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- February 14th 2017 Girls 3A SeaKing
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 22 12 9 20 63
West Seattle 13 14 13 24 64

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West Seattle Sophomore Jenna McPhee

SeaKing tournament play at Bellevue College started with a clash of state title contenders West Seattle & Garfield. Following their 62-46 defeat in the Metro League Championship game to undefeated Bishop Blanchet on Friday, Darnell Taylor’s ability to refocus his young Wildcats squad was an interesting storyline heading into the ballgame.

Garfield’s potent attack was evident early with Juanita Agosto racking up tough points in the paint and quick-draw Sam Tolliver firing from beyond the arc. West Seattle slowly clawed back from the early deficit as the first half wore on including a deep three at the 2nd quarter buzzer by Izzy Turk. This cut a ten point lead by the Lady Bulldogs to a manageable 7 heading into the locker room.

The Wildcats clamped down on defense in the third frame and set themselves up for a late run by allowing only 9 points in the quarter while bringing score within a single field goal heading into the fourth. A back-and-fourth final eight minutes featured an offensive explosion by Jenna McPhee & Jasmine Gayles for the Wildcats who netted 7 apiece while being countered by 10 from Tolliver. West Seattle grabbed the lead for the first time since the infant stages of the game heading into the final minutes of the game.

Leading by one with under 5 seconds remaining, the Wildcats simply needed a successful inbound pass to either run out the clock or draw a foul. Garfield’s Tamia Mobley picked off the inbound and promptly hoisted a three-point attempt which was corralled by Jayla Howard. The buzzer sounded as Howard went up for the uncontested putback which fell through the hoop, but a moment too late. West Seattle breathed a huge sigh of relief as they advance in the winner’s bracket of the SeaKing playoff bracket.

The Final Score
West Seattle 64, Garfield 63

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Jenna McPhee- 20 points

Garfield
Samaiyah Tolliver- 25 points

Blanchet Repeats as Metro Champs, Remains Undefeated

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Blanchet Repeats as Metro Champs, Remains Undefeated
By Steve Dion

Friday- February 10th 2017 Girls 3A Metro Championship
Chief Sealth High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bishop Blanchet 8 19 18 17 62
West Seattle 15 12 9 10 46

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Bishop Blanchet Braves – Metro League Champions

The first of two Metro title games at Chief Sealth HS on Friday night was a rematch of a year ago as the top-seeded Bishop Blanchet Braves looked to defend their title against the West Seattle Wildcats. Following their tough win against Garfield on Wednesday night in the semifinal round, Blanchet Head Coach Brett Hecko stated, “West Seattle is the most talented team in Metro”, high praise from the man behind the helm of the top-ranked team in the state. Could the young Wildcats hand the Braves their first loss of the season in the league championship round?

For a team playing its third game in four nights, West Seattle jumped out to a hot start by forcing turnovers and attacking the bucket. It caught the Braves off balance who were unable to establish a rhythm until late in the second quarter. Grace Sarver & Jenna McPhee highlighted a relentless defensive performance that yielded the pair double-digit scoring outputs in the first half alone.

However, the Braves found their groove as the first half wore on. Jadyn Bush used her strength in the paint against a smaller Wildcats squad to log 16 points as part of a game-high 27 on a night where the Harvard-bound senior was honored as a first-team Metro selection in addition to Defensive Player of the Year.

As the game wore on, so did the fatigue of the Wildcats which Blanchet capitalized on to ultimately claim the victory. Katie Merrywell tacked on some daggers from beyond the arc to go with more offensive output by Bush. Sarver’s valiant attempt to carry the load for West Seattle came up short for the young challengers, and when the fourth quarter elapsed, Blanchet was able to celebrate their back-to-back league championship with a still unblemished record to boot.

As the playoffs continue to unfold, look for a replay of these two exciting teams!

The Final Score
Bishop Blanchet 72, West Seattle 59

Top Performers:
Bishop Blanchet
Jadyn Bush- 27 points

West Seattle
Grace Sarver- 21 points

Hale Ends League Title Drought with Resounding Win Over Garfield

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Hale Ends League Title Drought with Resounding Win Over Garfield
By Steve Dion

Friday- February 10th 2017 Boys 3A Metro Championship
Chief Sealth High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 10 6 25 17 58
Nathan Hale 21 28 25 17 91

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

In their third (and likely not last) meeting of the season, top-ranked team in the country Nathan Hale would look to capture their first league title in 25 years against reigning champs Garfield. Following Hale’s 72-59 win in the semis against West Seattle which they trailed during long stretches, Coach Brandon Roy said the Wildcats, “woke us up” and stated it served as a reminder teams are going to challenge them every night. After escaping with a 4-point win on January 27th in front of a national audience, Garfield would look to keep the Metro League Championship trophy in the Central District by handing the Raiders their first loss of the season.

Nathan Hale dominated this game from the opening tip and in doing so put on a display for all in attendance. After taking a double-digit lead after on quarter, the margin continue to build up to the break in which the outcome of the ballgame was all but official heading into the locker room.

The one-two punch of the Porter Brothers Michael Jr. & Jontay accounted for 46 points of the team’s 49 in the first half alone!

On the other side, Garfield’s inability to convert on the offensive end led to a snowballing lack of confidence with each successive attempt. Jaylen Nowell still gutted out a respectable 18 points to lead his team, but foul trouble dashed Garfield’s hopes early continued throughout the ballgame.

With the second half merely a showcase of elite high school hoops talent, Hale sophomore P.J. Fuller ignited the crowd with a handful of acrobatic scoops and emphatic dunks.

Once the clock hit triple zeros, Brandon Roy accomplished something that hadn’t been done since before his playing days which was bring a Metro League Championship to Nathan Hale.

As for Garfield, they’ll bounce back from Friday’s game because they know they’ll see the Raiders down the road very soon.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 91, Garfield 58

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 39 points

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 18 points

Garfield Conquers Rainier Beach, Plays Nathan Hale in Metro Final

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Garfield Conquers Rainier Beach, Plays Nathan Hale in Metro Final
By Colin Caruso

Wednesday- February 8th 2017 Boys 3A Metro Semifinals
Alaska Airlines Arena 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 24 18 14 14 70
Garfield 25 16 15 20 76

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Garfield Senior Jaylen Nowell

In the fourth and final game at historic Hec Edmundson Pavilion and Alaska Airlines Arena, the defending state champion Rainier Beach Vikings took on the Garfield Bulldogs for a trip to the Metro finals to face Nathan Hale.  These two programs have produced the last seven state champions for Washington State boys 3A basketball.

Defense was relatively non-existent in the beginning of the game, with 12 total points scored in the first minute of play.  The strenuous pace and back and forth transition play continued throughout the first, with Garfield taking a 25-24 lead into the second quarter.

The transition heavy first quarter changed to a half court set heavy second quarter.  Both coaching staffs knew their teams could not keep the frantic pace for the 32 minutes of play.  Rainier Beach took a slim 42-41 lead into the break.

Beach extended their lead to as many as 8 points in the middle of the third, but the Bulldogs would not go away.  In the waning moments of the third, Garfield converted on a layup, and an immediate steal by Jaylen Noel led to a three point play for the Bulldogs, who trailed by just two.  Kevin Porter traveled on the next Rainier Beach possession and a layup at the buzzer from Daejon Davis of Garfield tied the game at 56 going into the final frame.

Two early mid-range jumpers from J’Raan Brooks put Garfield in front by four early in the fourth, but a Khalil Shabazz Beach three pointer and layup brought Beach back in front.  Noel followed with back-to-back layups for the Bulldogs, pushing the lead to three for Garfield.  Two free throws from the Vikings cut the lead to just one with under two minutes to play.  After Davis went one for two from the line, the Vikings turned the ball over late in the shot clock, handing the ball back to the Bulldogs with one minute remaining.

Eddie Turner of the Bulldogs converted on a runner after a Garfield timeout, and a turnover by Rainier Beach led to another Garfield possession.  After drawing a foul, Davis missed the front end of a one and one, the rebound to Kevin Porter for Beach who was fouled in transition.  He made both free throws to cut the Bulldog lead to two with 30 seconds on the clock.

Rainier Beach was forced to foul, and Eddie Turner made both free throws to put the Bulldogs up four with 17 seconds remaining.  A missed three from Porter and a rebound to the Bulldogs sealed the deal for Garfield, who won 76-70 and will take on #1 in the country Nathan Hale on Friday.

The Final Score
Garfield 76, Rainier Beach 70

Top Performers:
Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 28 points

Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 23 points

Bush Steers Blanchet to Metro Championship Game

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Bush Steers Blanchet to Metro Championship
By Steve Dion

Wednesday- February 8th 2017 Girls 3A Metro Semifinals
Alaska Airlines Arena 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 17 14 11 13 55
Bishop Blanchet 18 12 19 14 63

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Bishop Blanchet Senior Taylor Chambers

The second Metro girls semifinal game at Alaska Airlines Arena featured the undefeated top-ranked Bishop Blanchet Braves and a surging Garfield squad.

It was a neck-and-neck ballgame throughout the first half with both teams’ primary playmakers finding the cup. Blanchet’s rock down low Jadyn Bush recorded 15 of her game-high 29 in the first two quarters. On the other side, Lady Bulldogs guard Juanita Agosto thrived on transition opportunities as she is accustomed to. Leading by a point at the break, could Garfield hand the Braves their first loss of the season?

Bush picked up where she started by cobbling together a tremendous third quarter that propelled them into the late stages of the game. However, Garfield wasn’t finished. Sam Tolliver knocked down some big three pointers to trim the lead, but the clock quickly became the enemy and Blanchet’s lead held to send them to yet another Metro League Championship game on Friday night against West Seattle.

The Final Score
Bishop Blanchet 63, Garfield 55

Top Performers:
Bishop Blanchet
Jadyn Bush- 29 points

Garfield
Juanita Agosto- 14 points

Hale Survives Scare By West Seattle in Metro Semis

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Hale Survives Scare By West Seattle in Metro Semis
By Colin Caruso

Wednesday- February 8th 2017 Boys 3A Metro Semifinals
Alaska Airlines Arena 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
West Seattle 16 24 9 10 59
Nathan Hale 18 16 17 21 72

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Nathan Hale Junior Jontay Porter

In the historic Hec Edmundson Pavilion and Alaska Airlines Arena, the Metro tournament was back in action for a semifinal matchup between West Seattle High School and the #1 team in the country, the Nathan Hale Raiders. Although suffering two defeats this year at the hands of Nathan Hale, the West Seattle Wildcats were not to going to back down to the juggernaut Raiders.

West Seattle led for the majority of the first half. Despite the large Hec Ed facility, they seemed right at home knocking down 3 after 3. Led by PG Nate Pryor in the first half, they took a 40-34 lead into the locker room at halftime. Despite good shooting by Michael Porter Jr. of Nathan Hale, the constant double teams forced him to pass, exactly what coach Keffrey Fazio of West Seattle wanted. At one point in the second quarter, all five Wildcats on the floor were smothering Michael Porter at the high post.

Nathan Hale received a motivating chat at halftime from coach Brandon Roy and came out on fire to start the third. Seven unanswered points gave them the first lead since early in the second quarter, 41-40. Even this quick burst did not intimidate Pryor and the Wildcats, they continued to battle and trailed by just two, 51-49 entering the fourth quarter.

After exchanging buckets for the first few minutes of the quarter, Michael Porter Jr. took the game into his hands. He followed up a missed free throw put back dunk with two mid-range jumpers and a thunderous dunk to take a 65-55 lead with under three minutes to play. West Seattle had no answer for the acrobatics of the Porters, Jontay and Michael, who scored all Nathan Hale’s points in the first 14 minutes of the second half. Nathan Hale, despite trailing at half, cruised to a 72-59 win.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 72, West Seattle 59

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 42 points

West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 26 points

West Seattle Outlasts Beach, Metro Title Game Bound

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West Seattle Outlasts Beach, Metro Title Game Bound
By Steve Dion

Wednesday- February 8th 2017 Girls 3A Metro Semifinals
Alaska Airlines Arena 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
West Seattle 11 12 21 7 51
Rainier Beach 8 16 13 8 45

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West Seattle Wildcats

The Metro League semifinals at Alaska Airlines Arena tipped off with the girls #2 vs. #3 seed game between Rainier Beach & West Seattle.

For playing less than 24 hours prior, the young West Seattle squad was ready to compete taking an early lead with Jasmine Gayles & Jenna McPhee leading the charge. Beach countered with a flurry of buckets in the post by talented freshman Dalayah Daniels. The second seeded Lady Viks were able to take a one-point lead to the locker room 24-23.

The Wildcats emerged from the locker room ready to take control of the game with Meghan Fiso scoring six of the Wildcats 21 in the quarter. Grace Sarver continued to tack on to extend the lead as the defense started to clamp down in unison. A late surge by the Vikings wasn’t enough to climb back into the game as West Seattle advances to the championship game.

The Final Score
West Seattle 51, Rainier Beach 45

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Jasmine Gayles- 16 points

Rainier Beach
Karizma Loeffler- 13 points

Beach Boys Set to Take Off for Alaska Airlines Arena

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Beach Boys Set to Take Off for Alaska Airlines Arena
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- February 7th 2017 Boys 3A Metro
Rainier Beach High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 13 16 9 17 55
Rainier Beach 23 12 23 31 89

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Kevin Porter Jr. Defending Eastside Catholic’s Inbound Pass

After a snow day on Monday that canceled most school, Tuesday night Eastside Catholic came to the Jamaal Crawford court at Rainier Beach with upset on their mind. Nearly a month ago they played the Vikings in a tight contest that Beach was able to hold on to win 71-66 1/9. Brock Mackenzie got 22 that night (15 in the 1st Qtr) and the team jumped out to a 24-18 lead. The Crusaders needed the junior to step up again as Rainier Beach is playing with the confidence of a team that has been to the 3A state championship game 5 years in a row and winning 4.

Eastside Catholic got up 6-2 early. Quick buckets from Malik Putney and O’Landa Baker, off Beach turnovers and a pair of Mackenzie free throws and the Crusaders looked to be off an running. Fred Roberson knocked down a 3 and would end with 10 in the quarter as the Vikings went on a 21-7 run and were up by 10, 23-13 after the first 8 minutes. Four Crusader 3’s in the second period, 2 from senior Michael Clemens, Baker and Mackenzie cut the lead to 6 points at half 35-29. Eastside poised to come out of the locker room and maybe get Rainier Beach on their heels. Brock Mackenzie knocked down a long 3 to cut the lead in half, but Kevin Porter Jr and Fred Roberson combined for 19 of the teams 23 points to put the game out of reach 58-38. The Crusaders Mackenzie hit 3 3’s in the quarter but those were the only field goals for Eastside Catholic. Kevin Porter Jr would add 11 4th quarter points and leave the game with 4:08 remaining with 31 points, 3 dunks, a pair of 3’s and 7-8 from the line. Roberson would finish with 18. Crusader junior Mackenzie would lead his team with 19, giving his all, fouling out with just over 3 minutes remaining. O’Landa Baker added 12, but Eastside Catholic could not keep pace with the Vikings, as they were out scored 31-17 in the final 8 minutes.

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 89, Eastside Catholic 55.

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 31 points

Eastside Catholic
Brock Mackenzie- 19 points

Pryor, Sarver Send West Seattle to Semifinals

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Pryor, Sarver Send West Seattle to Semifinals
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- February 7th 2017 Boys 3A Metro
West Seattle High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 17 15 11 6 49
West Seattle 16 7 16 14 53

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West Seattle Wildcats

With a trip to Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday on the line and a chance to play the top-ranked team in the country Nathan Hale, the West Seattle Wildcats who entered on an 8-game winning streak hosted the Seattle Prep Panthers on Tuesday night.

The guard battle between Aaron Nettles & Nate Pryor took center stage with both floor leaders trading buckets. Nettles buried a step back fadeaway triple at the first quarter buzzer to give Prep an early lead. This carried to halftime with Nic Lynch also making contributions down low.

Coach Fazio made the required adjustments at the break as West Seattle began to immediately chip away at the Panther lead in the third quarter. Pryor continued his torrid pace, but needed to rely on teammates down the stretch for clutch buckets. Jack Golgart & Cass Elliott buried some huge buckets from beyond the arc to give West Seattle a three point lead in the final minute. A defensive stop set up a series of free throws which allowed the Wildcats to push the lead out of reach and ultimately punch their ticket to the league championship semifinal.

The Final Score
West Seattle 53, Seattle Prep 49.

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 21 points

Seattle Prep
Aaron Nettles- 18 points


Pryor, Sarver Send West Seattle to Semifinals
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- February 7th 2017 Girls 3A Metro
West Seattle High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Cleveland 11 10 10 21 52
West Seattle 12 27 14 18 71

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West Seattle Wildcats

The nightcap at West Seattle featured the home West Seattle team and visiting Cleveland Eagles with the winner heading over to Hec Edmunson Pavilion at The University of Washington tomorrow to take on #2 seeded Rainier Beach.

It was a back-and-forth affair in the opening quarter with both teams battling playoff nerves. However, West Seattle put together a decisive second quarter which set up an 18 point lead by halftime. Kelsey Lenzie was lethal from the perimeter and Grace Sarver was scoring anyway she wanted to. Jazzeem Bethea tried to keep the Eagles in the game, but was it too late?

West Seattle’s dominance continued in the second half as airtight defense led to one fastbreak after another. In total, four Wildcats scored in double figures. On the other side, Giavanni Flowers put together a strong second half, but the damage was done. The young, talented West Seattle squad is moving on to the big show on Wednesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena at 3:30pm.

The Final Score
West Seattle 71, Cleveland 52.

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Grace Sarver- 18 points

Cleveland
Jazzeem Bethea- 17 points

O’Dea Tops Prep on Senior Night

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O’Dea Tops Prep on Senior Night
By Steve Dion

Friday- February 3rd 2017 Boys 3A Metro
O’Dea High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 10 20 22 18 70
O’Dea 20 12 25 16 73

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O’Dea Sophomore Noah Williams & Head Coach Jason Kerr

On the final night of regular season play, O’Dea hosted their Capitol Hill rival Seattle Prep on senior night to close out another great year of Metro League play leading into the postseason.

The back and forth affair started with a hot start by the home team with Noah Williams & Xavier Smith knocking down shots early and giving the Irish an early ten-point advantage. As the first half progressed, Prep’s floor general Aaron Nettles made his presence felt by beginning his three-point barrage and setting up his teammates with open looks to the cup. Trailing by a pair at halftime, could the Panthers get their bigs Collin Welp & Nic Lynch involved to head into the Metro League playoffs with a victory?

Prep emerged from the locker room on a mission as the visitors opened with an extended run primarily through deep shots from Nettles. In total, the senior guard knocked down a half-dozen from downtown as part of a game-high 27 points. However, O’Dea countered with Russell Whealdon as a deep threat and buried a four-pack from beyond the arc.

In the final minutes of regulation, the lead bounced back and forth several times with O’Dea taking a late lead on a tough Xavier Smith jumper in the paint. The lead grew to three after a Fighting Irish defensive stop and a pair of free throws. Seattle Prep called a timeout with a chance to draw up a play to push the game into overtime.

Nettles quickly received the ball on the baseline beyond the arc, his shot bounced of the side of the backboard back into control of Prep’s Kalu Stricklin who quickly returned the ball to Nettles for a final shot. At the buzzer, the ball glanced off the front rim and the Irish players met at mid-court with exuberance after surviving a full full-quarter effort.

The Final Score
O’Dea 73, Seattle Prep 70.

Top Performers:
O’Dea
Xavier Smith- 24 points

Seattle Prep
Aaron Nettles- 27 points

Metro League Semifinals – Participating Teams
Ticket Order Form

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2017 Metro League Semifinals
Team Ticket Pre-Order

PARTICIPATING TEAMS ONLY

This opportunity to pre-order tickets is for players or coaches who are with the participating semifinal teams playing at Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday, February 8th.

By purchasing tickets on-line, you will not have to wait in-line to purchase tickets at the building. All pre-order tickets are $10 per ticket. There is a ten (10) ticket limit for all pre-sales per “Athlete” or “Coach”.

If we determine more than ten tickets have been ordered for one athlete or coach, we will invalidate the order and refund the purchase. We will not make tickets available for these orders.

HOW IT WORKS

Follow these steps to order your tickets on-line:
1. Request the number of tickets you wish to purchase, There is a ten (10) ticket limit for all pre-sales per “Athlete” or “Coach”.
2. You will enter what school your student or coach is a part of.
3. You will enter one (1) name, this person will pick up your entire order at the WILL CALL window on game day.  You can designate ONLY ONE PERSON to pick up your tickets. They will need their Identification to pick up your ticket order.

TICKET PICK-UP

On Wednesday, February 8th, the person you designated to pick up your tickets can do so beginning at 3pm. Your pre-order will be available at the WILL CALL window at the HUSKY STADIUM BOX OFFICE. Your designee MUST present Identification in order to receive your ticket order. The name on the Identification must match the name entered on-line when you purchased your tickets.

GAME AND BROADCAST SCHEDULE

2017 Metro League Tournament Semifinals schedule of events:

• Winner Metro #6 vs Metro #3 Play-in vs. Rainier Beach – Girls 3:30pm*
• Winner Metro #5 vs Metro #4 Play-in vs. Nathan Hale  – Boys 5:30pm*
• Winner Metro #5 vs Metro #4 Play-in vs. Bishop Blanchet  – Girls 7:00pm*
• Winner Metro #6 vs Metro #3 Play-in vs. Garfield – Boys 8:30pm**

* Varsity Hoops Live Broadcast on www.theFinalScore.TV
** Varsity Hoops Live Broadcast on Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM

ORDER YOUR TICKETS

ORDERS ARE CLOSED- TICKETS AT THE BOX OFFICE!

Late Pryor Runner Seals Westside Win

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Late Pryor Runner Seals Westside Win
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- January 31st 2017 Boys 3A Metro
Cleveland High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
West Seattle 19 4 19 9 46
Cleveland 7 17 14 7 45

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West Seattle Wildcats

As the final week of league play begins, the West Seattle Wildcats ventured over to Cleveland HS to take on the Eagles for a clash of major playoff implications. The Cats are currently the 4th seed with a 10-3 league record looking to maintain their placement in standings. Meanwhile, Cleveland whose 9-4 record currently slates them at the sixth and final seed are seeking to fend off Eastside Catholic who are chasing them down in the last week of the regular season.

Before Cleveland could blink, they were trailing by a dozen with Wildcat floor general Nate Pryor involved in the early offensive production. However, the Eagles kicked into gear in the second quarter when C.J. Elleby found his stroke from all over the court as well as Fahad Sharif who started to connect from downtown. A late Eagle surge helped them take a 24-23 into the locker room.

As the second half progressed, Cleveland’s reliance on Elleby to control the offense grew and was countered with a strong output by senior forward Yusuf Mohamed who scored 10 second half points.

With mere minutes remaining, a strong take to the cup by Pryor resulted in a hard crash to the ground, which he was miraculously able to shrug off. Moments later, he drove down the lane for the go-ahead bucket with less than a minute to go.

Cleveland had 5 seconds to advance the ball down the court to take a potential game-winner by Yusuf had other plans as he ripped the ball loose and clutched the ball as the horn sounded. West Seattle hangs on for a critical one-point victory to retain their 4-spot in the standings.

The Final Score
West Seattle 46, Cleveland 45.

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 16 points

Cleveland
C.J. Elleby- 23 points

Roy’s Raiders Remain Undefeated, Edge Alma Mater Garfield

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Roy’s Raiders Remain Undefeated, Edge Alma Mater Garfield
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- January 27th 2017 Boys 3A Metro
Garfield High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Nathan Hale 11 23 19 16 69
Garfield 17 14 13 21 65

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

This was the game we’ve all waited patiently for.

The top-ranked team in the country Nathan Hale led by Coach Brandon Roy returning to his old stomping ground…the place where he played high school hoops…to take on the Garfield Bulldogs in front of a national television audience.

Washington’s top two teams met in the Les Schwab Invitational on December 29th with Nathan Hale winning in convincing fashion 87-64 en route to winning the tournament.

Could Hale keep their perfect record intact and retain their position as the best in the country?

Garfield quickly showed they were ready for the challenge as the home team jumped out to an early lead thanks to quick buckets by senior leader Jaylen Nowell. The poise shown by the Bulldogs served them well and allowed for a six point lead after one quarter.

Hale bounced back with a strong second quarter where Michael Porter Jr. started to heat up scoring 9 and sharpshooter Freddy Brown III netting 8. The momentum shift gave the Raiders and 8 point lead at the break.

When play resumed, the points were at a premium and Garfield found themselves in a precarious position heading into the final eight minutes. Haskins was able to rally the troops and give the home team a legitimate shot to stay competitive until the final whistle.

With the clock Hale’s friend after another scoring spree by Porter Jr., Garfield was trailing by double digits with less than 3 to play. Nowell struck back with a 7 point run to cut the lead down to two possessions to get the gym rocking again. On the ensuing critical possession, Porter took the air out of the building with a turnaround fadeaway jumper which was promptly followed by Nowell’s fifth foul to put the game on ice.

Coach Roy was able to guide his team to executing the final moments of the game and walked away with yet another statement victory to a season that continues to unfold as one of the greatest in state history.

Nathan Hale leads the season series 2-0, but don’t count on tonight’s game as the last time these two teams tussle!

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 69, Garfield 65.

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 34 points

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 20 points

METROSemis-Article

Metro League Semifinals move to Alaska Airlines Arena at UW

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2017 Metro League Tournament just got Bigger!

ANNOUNCEMENT

The Metro League announced their plans to move their semifinal basketball match-ups to Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday, February 8th.  The Boys and Girls final four teams will go head-to-head as part of the Metro League Tournament.

Former Garfield Bulldog and current Nathan Hale coach, Brandon Roy, was interviewed by KJR personalities Mitch Levy and Dick Fain about the Raiders upcoming game against his Alma Mater Garfield this Friday Night at Garfield High School.

This battle of #1 Nathan Hale vs. #2 Garfield has received unprecedented coverage and includes live broadcasts on both ESPNU-TV and Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM. This is the first game televised Live from Garfield High School since Roy was a senior for Garfield back in 2002.

Mitch and Dick of Sports Radio KJR then broke the news that the Metro League Playoffs will move its semifinal games to Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday, February 8th.  This will allow all fans an opportunity to see in person what experts are saying is the toughest league in Washington state history, if not the toughest league in the country.


“Metro Athletics represents quality student athletes from public and private schools in all sports,” stated Eric McCurdy, Executive Director of Athletics of Seattle Schools. “We are proud to have Varsity Hoops Live and theFinalScore.TV produce this event as they continue to positively impact high school students through events and programs on and off the court.”



Game and Broadcast Schedule

2017 Metro League Tournament Semifinals schedule of events:

• Winner #6 Metro vs #3 Metro Play-in vs. Metro #2 seed – Girls 3:30pm*
• Winner #5 Seattle Prep vs #4 West Seattle Play-in vs. Nathan Hale – Boys 5:30pm*
• Winner #5 Metro vs #4 Metro Play-in vs. Bishop Blanchet – Girls 7:00pm*
• Winner #6 Metro vs #3 Rainier Beach Play-in vs. Garfield – Boys 8:30pm**

* Varsity Hoops Live Broadcast on www.theFinalScore.TV
** Varsity Hoops Live Broadcast on Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM

The event has several media partners including Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM, POWER 93.3-FM and www.theFinalScore.TV.

All games will be carried via a live audio broadcast over the internet or on radio.

“Our hope is to celebrate great teams in a great venue. We look to showcase amazing high school students on and off the court throughout the day! We are excited to produce the event while broadcasting the games live over the web,” stated Randy Novak, President of ZUMA Media.

 

Ticket Information

Tickets are available for general admission seating and good for all four games. Tickets will be available the day of the event ONLY beginning at 3:00pm at the HUSKY STADIUM Box Office located on the westside of the Stadium.

Once fans enter Alaska Airlines Arena for the event, they can stay for all four games. However, they will not be able to re-enter the event if they leave. Ticket prices are as folllows:

Adults/students without ASB: $10
Students with ASB: $ 7
Kids K-8: $ 5
Seniors 62yrs +: $ 5

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Knight Leads Lakeside in Neighborhood Battle with Rams

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Knight Leads Lakeside in Neighborhood Battle with Rams
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- January 24th 2017 Boys 3A Metro
Lakeside High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Ingraham 12 5 3 20 40
Lakeside 6 12 19 25 62

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Tuesday night at Lakeside HS was a neighborhood affair with nearby Ingraham in the building for Metro League action.

The visiting Rams took advantage of their length in the defensive side of the floor early as Saxen Mitchell gave the Lions a big challenge in the paint. Mason Lyng drained a three at the first quarter buzzer to give his team a half-dozen lead after one.

However, the Lions responded with a strong second quarter by Max Knight who helped his team take a one point lead in the break 18-17.

Lakeside took control in the third quarter and never looked back. They outscored the Rams 19 to 3 heading into the final quarter thanks to contributions from Knight and sophomore Robert Breyer.

Despite a valiant effort to climb back in the ballgame from Ben Sutton who scored 9 tough points in the fourth frame, it wasn’t enough to cut into the Lakeside lead. When the dust settled, the home Lions walked away victorious.

The Final Score
Lakeside 62, Ingraham 40.

Top Performers:
Lakeside
Max Knight- 20 points

Ingraham
Ben Sutton- 15 points

Rainier Beach’s Balance Enough to Prevail Over Prep

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Rainier Beach’s Balance Enough to Prevail Over Prep
By Steve Dion

Friday- January 20th 2017 Boys 3A Metro
Rainier Beach High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Preparatory 8 9 16 24 57
Rainier Beach 13 15 16 24 68

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Rainier Beach Junior Fred Roberson

Rainier Beach whose quest to defend their state title was met with another tough challenge on Friday night against Seattle Prep. Each team plenty of motivation for league placement to battle for the win on the line.

The guard matchup of Khalil Shabazz for Beach and Aaron Nettles of Prep was front and center in this game with Shabazz getting the upper hand early logging 14 points in the first half many of which a result of attacking the cup. Additionally, Tijohn Rodde and Fred Roberson made their presence felt on both ends of the floor helping their Viks squad take a double digit lead into the break.

The Prep Panthers returned to the floor eager to shave the Beach lead and put the ball in Nettles’ hands to make it happen. The senior point guard recorded 15 fourth quarter points for a game-high 22 and was joined by Kalu Stricklin in the second half rally.

Unfortunately, their hopes were dashed when Kevin Porter Jr. who was managing foul trouble throughout the contest connected on some pivotal possessions down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 68, Seattle Preparatory 57.

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Fred Roberson- 14 points

Seattle Preparatory
Aaron Nettles- 22 points

Rainier Beach Lady Viks Survive Prep Rally

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Rainier Beach Lady Viks Survive Prep Rally
By Steve Dion

Friday- January 20th 2017 Girls 3A Metro
Rainier Beach High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Preparatory 9 18 9 16 52
Rainier Beach 15 25 9 6 55

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Rainier Beach Junior Grace Williams

Friday night at Rainier Beach served as the site of a crucial Metro League contest for the host Lady Viks and Seattle Prep Panthers who are amidst a logjam in the league standings.

Beach jumped out front early and were able to hold the lead for the duration of the contest. Grace Williams put together a tremendous first half logging 18 of her game high 20 in the first two quarters. Additionally, NiRae Petty & Dalaylah Daniels set the tone on defense containing Prep’s interior attack. Could the Panthers surmount a double digit lead in the second half.

Prep head coach Michelle Hall said before the game her team is recovering from a bug that hit several players and it seemed to subside in the second half as they chipped away at the Vikings lead gradually. Lone senior Chinwe Ezeonu knocked down some tough buckets in key moments and also was helped by Marie Hauck & Bea Franklin who also scored in double figures.

In the final minute, Rainier Beach’s lead was cut down to a single possession, but a desperation three-point shot on Prep’s final possession missed the mark and Beach held on for a close win.

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 55, Seattle Preparatory 52.

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Grace Williams- 20 points

Seattle Preparatory
Marie Hauck- 15 points

3A State Rankings
Basketball

WASHINGTON STATE RANKINGS – January 17, 2017

 

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3A LIVE 5!
# School
1 Nathan Hale
2 Garfield
3 Rainier Beach
4 Lincoln
5 West Seattle


3A IN THE HUNT
# School
6 Seattle Preparatory
7 Shorecrest
8 Stanwood
9 Cleveland
10 Shadle Park

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3A LIVE 5!
# School
1 Blanchet
2 Kamiakin
3 Lincoln
4 Seattle Preparatory
5 Garfield


3A IN THE HUNT
# School
6 Stanwood
7 Bellevue
8 Snohomish
9 Shorewood
10 Gig Harbor

Roosevelt Sinks Ballard in Crosstown Rivalry Rematch

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Roosevelt Sinks Ballard in Crosstown Rivalry Rematch
By Steve Dion

Tuesday- January 17th 2017 Boys 3A Metro
Ballard High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Roosevelt 15 13 10 15 53
Ballard 5 16 15 14 50

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Roosevelt Junior Asaph Brumer

Rivalry night at Ballard HS featured the host Beavers and visiting Roosevelt Rough Riders. These teams are both fighting to maintain their position in the thick of the Metro League standings.

Roosevelt’s precision offense was firing on all cylinders in the early stages of the game working the ball to their number of scoring options including Nick Blume who knocked down eight quick points of his game-high 21. Additionally, the Riders were able to hold the Beavs to only 5 first quarter points.

As the first half wore on, Fresh Ausur ignited Ballard who were on a mission to play catch up throughout the ballgame. Ausur attacked the bucket and was able to convert at will. Roosevelt still maintained a healthy lead heading into the second half.

When play resumed, Ballard’s comeback continued with Sam Heikell showing his range with four from downtown in the game in addition to more Ausur stepping up.

However, as the clock wound down, Roosevelt relied on its senior leaders Thomas Doyle and Clayton Moore to knock down the big shots to seal the deal for the green and gold.

The Final Score
Roosevelt 53, Ballard 48.

Top Performers:
Roosevelt
Nick Blume- 21 points

Ballard
Fresh Ausur- 17 points

West Seattle, Cleveland Prevail in Unity Hoops Showcase

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West Seattle, Cleveland Prevail in Unity Hoops Showcase
By Steve Dion

Friday- January 13th 2017 Boys 3A 5pm
Garfield High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
West Seattle 15 14 6 18 53
Eastside Catholic 8 7 17 12 44
Friday- January 13th 2017 Boys 3A 7pm
Garfield High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
Cleveland 10 18 14 22 6 70
Franklin 16 11 18 19 4 68

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Cleveland & Franklin Battling For the Rebound at the End of Regulation

The 4th Annual Unity Hoops Showcase at Garfield High School featured a Metro League doubleheader starting with West Seattle taking on Eastside Catholic & the nightcap between Cleveland & Franklin.

West Seattle’s commitment to their gameplan which emphasized defensive intensity and precision offensive execution carried them to a sizable lead in the first half. The Wildcats kept Crusader sharpshooter Brock Mackenzie at bay while Yusuf Mohamed put his versatile scoring ability logging 10 of his game-high 16 in the first half.

Eastside Catholic stormed back in the third frame thanks Noah Springborn finding a groove from beyond the arc. Only leading by three heading into the final quarter, West Seattle relied on their trusty senior Nate Pryor to carry them to the finish line to the tune of a 53-44 victory.

Game two matched the Cleveland Eagles & Franklin Quakers both eager to pick up a crucial league win. The tandem of Marquan Williams and Maurice Bennett was hot out of the gates with electrifying ball handling by Williams and thunderous dunks by “Mo Buckets”. Cleveland relied on their leader C.J. Elleby to lead the charge including a pair of triples in the final moments of the first half to give the Eagles a one point leading heading into halftime.

The pace of play shifted into overdrive in the third quarter with the pace ramping up into the final frame of regulation which saw the Franklin guards attacking the rim with reckless abandon and the Eagles countering with transition buckets in bunches. Cleveland led by a pair in the final seconds of regulation. After coming up with the defensive rebound, instead of waiting to be fouled, they turned the ball over to Franklin in which Cejay Garrison Jr. was able to capitalize with a clutch bucket to tie the game and send the game into OT.

A pair of back-to-back buckets early in the extra period gave Cleveland the needed lift to come away with the win against a tough Quakers squad. This game was an appropriate ending to a great night of high school hoops at Garfield High School.

The Final Score
West Seattle 53, Eastside Catholic 44
Cleveland 70, Franklin 68

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Yusuf Mohamed- 16 points

Cleveland
C.J. Elleby- 33 points

Statement Win for Nathan Hale Over Oak Hill Academy


Statement Win for Nathan Hale Over Oak Hill Academy
By Nic Beckman

Monday- January 16th 2017 Boys 3A Hoophall Classic
Springfield College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Oak Hill Academy (VA) 19 19 17 22 77
Nathan Hale 17 26 20 17 80

The #8 team in the country travelled to Springfield, Massachusetts on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr holiday to play in the Spalding Hoophall Classic against perennial high school powerhouse Oak Hill Academy out of Virginia, ranked #7 this year. Michael Porter Jr after sitting out their game on Friday in their metro league game against Bishop Blanchet, that the Raiders won 83-48, came out ready to play! The undefeated Raiders played with confidence and energy and didn’t let the loaded Oak Hill Academy squad led by McDonald’s All American Billy Preston intimidate them. Senior Michael Porter Jr and his junior brother Jontay Porter got the first 8 points for Hale, 4 apiece to get an early lead over Oak Hill. But the very talented Oak Hill team rallied to get up by 6 at 14-8 halfway though the first. The back an forth action had Oak Hill up by two after one 19-17.

The transition game sparked Brandon Roy’s Raiders in the second period after Oak Hill opened on an 8-4 run extending their lead to 6 at 27-21. The Porter brothers hit back to back threes and Sophomore PJ Fuller with a right hand tomahawk jam on a Keegan Crosby lob in transition, then a pull up three on the next trip cut the lead to 2 at 34-32 with just over three minutes in the half. Tied at 34 with 2:58 left, the Raiders closed the half on an 9-4 run of their own and went into the locker room up five, 43-38. Michael Porter Jr tallied 20 first half points on 8-14 field goal attempts.

The second half was much of the same great basketball with contributions from Jontay Porter, PJ Fuller and Fred Brown III, tied at 51 with just under 4 minutes played in the third, Michael Porter Jr hit his third 3 (3-6 3’s) and a goal tend by Oak Hill had the Raiders back up by 5. As the clock ran out in the 3rd, PJ Fuller with a launch from the free throw line in back court, hit nothing but net and the 80 foot bomb put Nathan Hale up 63-55 heading into the final period. Fred Brown III deep three from the right corner gave Nathan Hale their largest lead of the game in the fourth quarter at 72-62.

The very talented Oak Hill team would battle back, getting the game within a single possession, behind the leadership of Lindell Wigginton who would finish with 22. Three other players getting double digit performances Billy Preston with 17, Matt Coleman and Ty-shon Alexander each with 15. But that wasn’t enough to overcome the Raiders. Michael Porter Jr. making a statement for the #1 player in the nation overall, finished with 36 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Sophomore PJ Fuller finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Junior Jontay Porter got 13 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 blocks and a steal. Nathan Hale with a fantastic effort from start to finish would hold on to win as a last second desperation three for the tie hit the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded. The Raiders remain undefeated with the 80-77 win over Oak Hill Academy on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr holiday.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 80, Oak Hill Academy (VA) 77.

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 36 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
P.J. Fuller- 17 points, 4 rebounds
Jontay Porter- 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks

Lady Bulldogs Edge Rainier Beach in Pivotal League Win

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Lady Bulldogs Edge Rainier Beach in Pivotal League Win
By Steve Dion

Friday- January 13th 2017 Girls 3A Metro
Garfield High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 15 8 20 16 59
Garfield 9 22 11 20 62

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Garfield Sophomore Samaiyah Tolliver

A packed Garfield gym for a Friday night hoops quadruple-header featured a crucial varsity girls league matchup between the host Lady Bulldogs and visiting Rainier Beach Vikings. After a tough loss to West Seattle last Friday night, Garfield was hungry for the opportunity to pick up a big win against a top team jockeying for league position. The ever-improving Viks were ready for the challenge.

Beach took the early lead in the first frame with NiRae Petty leading the charge who led all scorers with 23 points. Talented freshman for the Vikings Dalayah Daniels was guarded tightly by the Bulldogs defense and earned all 10 points she recorded. After falling behind early, Garfield put together a high-octane second quarter which was sparked by Tamia Mobley. Also in the mix was guard Juanita Agosto whose athleticism was on display on the glass grabbing 10 rebounds. At the break, the Bulldogs leapfrogged Beach to a 31-23 lead.

Rainier Beach composed themselves at halftime and emerged in the second half poised to make a comeback. Xerina Walker was a critical component to a run in which the Vikings regained the lead heading into the final quarter.

Samaiyah Tolliver took the ballgame into her hands in the fourth quarter leading the charge for the home team knocking down tough buckets in the paint and showing her range. Coach Adams has emphasized the importance of making “game-winning plays” this season and how the ability to execute late in ballgames will hinge on his team’s success. Tolliver’s clutch plays allowed Garfield to pick up a pivotal victory to give them sole possession of fourth place in the league standings.

The Final Score
Garfield 62, Rainier Beach 59.

Top Performers:
Garfield
Samaiyah Tolliver- 18 points

Rainier Beach
NiRae Petty- 23 points