Coach Interview with Tumwater’s Sid Otton

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2013 Varsity Football Live Interview
Tumwater Thunderbirds – Head Football Coach
Sid Otton

Winningest Coach in State History

Join us as Dick Fain talks with legendary Coach Sid Otton about his winning streak – possibly leading to number 350 this week. The Tumwater T-Birds have 5 State Championships under Coach Otton’s reign, and are currently ranked #2 after starting the season 3-0.

In his 40th season, Coach Otton believes a positive approach, commitment and dedication are keys to a successful season.

“We’re off to a strong start … they’re gaining confidence … but our approach is to never look at the rankings … we’re just looking at the next game.”

As for the keys to preparing for another State Championship run, Coach Otton hopes the team will “stay healthy, stay focused on the next snap, respect their opponent, and try to get better and better and better.”

 

To catch the complete radio interview with Coach Otton,
simply click on the play button below.

 

Coach Interview with Bothell Cougar’s Tom Bainter

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2013 Varsity Football Live Interview
Bothell Cougars – Head Football Coach
Tom Bainter

14 Years of Consistent Success

We had the opportunity to catch up with Bothell Coach Tom Bainter as his 9-2 team faces Bellarmine Prep in the State Tourney tomorrow – for the 3rd time since 2010.

During Coach Bainter’s 14 years at Bothell, his Cougars have always had a lot of success playing in KingCo and State tournaments. When asked what makes them so consistently good, Coach Bainter said:

“It starts with the kids and we have great kids here in the Bothell area, who work hard and put in the time year-round … and I have had a wonderful staff, so that continuity surely helps.”

The Cougars faced some tough, high calibre teams at the start of the season, and have gone on to putting up unbelievable totals, scoring 42 or more points in 7 games. Coach Bainter credited kick-off returns, special teams, and many players for those incredible numbers. “The great thing about this team is we play one day at a time, we’ll go out on the field and our captains will say ‘we’ve got to get better today’ … it’s a whole team effort and I love the way our kids play together.”

 

To catch the complete radio interview with Coach Bainter,
simply click on the play button below.

 

Coach Interview with Bishop Blanchet’s Aaron Maul

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2014 Varsity Football Live Interview
Bishop Blanchet Braves – Head Football Coach
Aaron Maul

Winning Tradition is back at Bishop Blanchet

It’s been a long time since Bishop Blanchet won the Metro League Championship in 1985 – and even longer since they won the State Championship in 1974, but Aaron Maul and his coaching staff are making amazing strides toward winning those honors once again.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Coach Maul for some insight on his Bishop Blanchet Braves, who are currently ranked 9th in the State. Dick Fain chats with him about the remarkable progress the team has made over the past four seasons.

Coach Maul attributes much of their success to great preparation, and the trust and familiarity developed by strong leadership from seniors on the team. He feels they have become more confident and have learned to believe in what they are trying to accomplish on a Friday night.

“I’m very passionate about defense … and playing physical is something we pride ourselves on.”

Coach Maul challenges his players to compete to their greatest ability and give their greatest effort to each other, “It’s not about the guy that’s across from you, it’s about the guy that’s next to you.”

To catch the complete radio interview with Coach Maul,
simply click on the play button below.

 

Coach Interview with Gonzaga Prep’s Dave McKenna

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2013 Varsity Football Live Interview
Gonzaga Prep Bullpups – Head Football Coach
Dave McKenna

A Young Team in 2013
We had the opportunity to catch up with Coach McKenna as he led his young Bullpups squad into the 2013 season. Gonzaga Prep is off to a good 2-0 start as Dick Fain chats with Dave McKenna heading into this week’s contest with Ferris.

Gonzaga made the Quarterfinals in the 2012, but they lost 9 starters off of the offensive side of the ball and 6 starters off on the defensive side. They are very young and hope to gain experience and momentum throughout the season. Coach is looking for the team to become more consistent on the field, but he is showing them what it means to come together off of field as well.
 

“We have a very good friend by the name of Steve Gleason.  He played football here and graduated in 1995.  He went on to play at Washington State and had seven years with the New Orleans Saints,” stated McKenna. “….Steve has always inspired us and he asked us to inspire him.”

 
Making A Difference off the Field
Dave went on to talk about a special event all his players took part in, as they honor former Gonzaga Prep Alum, Steve Gleason. Gleason was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in January 2011.

Gleason asked the Bullpups to inspire him, so they did. The entire football program took to the streets of Spokane and walked 3 miles in honor of Gleason and ALS. “We need to be grateful for the things that we have,” Coach McKenna said.  “Throughout the walk we reflect and hopefully say a couple of prayers of what they are grateful for in honor of Steve.”
 

To catch the complete radio interview with Coach McKenna,
simply click on the play button below.

 

Back to Back State Titles for Cleveland

Eagles win back to back 3A State Titles.(theFinalScore.TV / ZUMA Media)

 

 

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Saturday March 8th 2014 3A Girls Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Cleveland 18 15 6 15 54
Bishop Blanchet 12 13 10 10 45

Back to Back State Titles for Cleveland
By Colin Caruso

Both the girls 3A and boys 3A state championship games featured teams from the Metro leagues in Seattle. This girls state championship game saw the Cleveland Eagles, undefeated in the state of Washington and 23-2 overall against the 20-4 Bishop Blanchet Braves. They faced off earlier this season just one time, resulting in a 65-50 Cleveland victory.

Cleveland won the state title last season over the Seattle Prep Panthers and the Eagles returned four of their five starters from that team. They were clearly the title favorites going into the year, and their perfect in state record kept them favorites in this matchup.

Led by 11 points from star guard Makayla Roper in the first quarter, the Eagles jumped out to an early lead. With balanced scoring the Braves closed the Eagle lead to six going into the second. With Roper not scoring a point in the second frame, the Eagles were still able to extend their lead. Myzhanique Ladd picked up what Roper left behind, adding seven points in the second to take a 33-25 lead into halftime.

The scoring dramatically slowed on both sides in the third quarter. Just six points from the Eagles allowed the Braves to get back into this ballgame. Great defense on both sides sparked the lack of offensive production. Blanchet cut the lead to four entering the fourth.

Blanchet continued to battle with the mighty Eagles in the final quarter. The lead was five for Cleveland with three minutes to play. Ladd was fouled on a coast to coast layup attempt and hit one of two to put the Eagles up six. After a Blanchet miss, Jayde Christopher converted on a layup to extend the lead to eight with under two minutes to play. After a Braves turnover Ladd added a floater to go up ten, effectively ending the game. This makes back to back titles for the Eagles, and three in the last five years for Coach Stephenie Wheeler-Smith.

Top Performers:
Cleveland
Myzhanique Ladd – 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals
Makayla Roper – 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals

Bishop Blanchet
Jadyn Bush – 10 points, 12 rebounds

Rainier Beach Wins State, Clinches Berth to NY for National Title

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Saturday March 8th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 11 15 7 12 45
Rainier Beach 11 10 14 12 47

Rainier Beach Wins State, Clinches Berth to NY for National Title
By Colin Caruso

-In this their fourth meeting on the season, the undefeated Rainier Beach Vikings squared off with the Eastside Catholic Crusaders for the 3A boys state title. Only one of the three previous games was close, the Metro final which resulted in a 68-65 Beach win.

Eastside started the game on a 7-0 run, with four points coming from junior Matisse Thybulle. His length gave the Vikings issues all evening. Beach needed an answer and it came in the form of David Crisp, who scored the Vikings first eight points. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Crisp picked up his third foul in the first quarter and was forced to sit the remainder of the half. The teams were tied at 11 going into the second.

With Crisp on the bench for the Vikings, the Crusaders gathered the momentum in the second quarter. Mandrell Worthy led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, and the Crusaders took a 26-21 lead into halftime.

Rainier Beach was out of the locker room five minutes before the Crusaders, sitting on the bench and patiently waiting to start their halftime shooting. Whatever coach Bethea mentioned to them in their brief halftime session worked; they started the half on a 10-3 run. Eastside struggled offensively in the third, resorting to one on one offense, not running sets, and not battling for offensive rebounds. The Vikings took a two point lead into
the fourth.

The two point lead turned into a four point deficit for the Vikings in less than two minutes in the beginning of the final quarter. A quick 6-0 run put the Crusaders on top and brought their crowd back in the game. But Shaqquan Aaron wouldn’t let the Vikings go quietly. He scored six straight to put the Vikings back up by two. A Mandrell Worthy jumper for the Crusaders tied the game at 43 with less than two minutes remaining. Djuan Piper for the Vikings converted a minute later on a dribble drive, answered by Thybulle with his own dribble drive with 40 seconds remaining. Piper answered the call again for the Vikings, hitting a mid-range jumper with 5.1 seconds on the clock.

After the made basket, the Crusaders inbounded from their own baseline. Worthy was stripped of the ball and the Vikings picked it up as the clock struck 0:00, winning their third state title in a row. Rainier Beach will take a couple of weeks off then travel to New York to play for the national title. Good luck to the Vikings!

Top Performers:
Eastside Catholic
Mandrell Worthy – 21 points, 5 rebounds
Ian Christie – 1 point, 17 rebounds

Rainier Beach
Shaqquan Aaron – 22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
Elijah Foster – 6 points, 12 rebounds

Gonzaga Prep Comes Back from 12 down to Win State Title

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Saturday March 8th 2014 4A Girls Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 17 10 15 11 53
Mount Rainier 16 18 13 4 51

Gonzaga Prep Comes Back from 12 down to Win State Title
By Colin Caruso

The Tacoma Dome was rocking for the 4A girls state final between the one loss Gonzaga Prep Bullpups and the Mount Rainier Rams. Mount Rainier is led by Brittany McPhee, a former Gatorade state player of the year and one of the states finest players.

The first half showed a lot of McPhee, who worked hard to get her shots and scored a half high 17 points. Hannah Caudill for the Bullpups led her team with 11 points in the first, and kept them within striking distance for the second half. Mount Rainier took a seven point lead, 34-27 into the locker room.

McPhee kept up her scoring in the third quarter. She added nine more in the frame and Mount Rainier began to pull away from the Bullpups, ahead by ten points with three minutes remaining. But Gonzaga Prep put together a much needed 6-0 run to cut the lead back down to four. The Rams led by five, 47-42 going into the fourth.

Early in the fourth belonged to the Bullpups. Otiona Gildon converted on back to back pick and roll layups, trimming the lead to just one with four minutes remaining. With two minutes of no scoring, Gildon converted on two more layups, going on a personal 8-0 run and putting the Bullpups up by three with under a minute to play.

Kaiti Freeberg finally ended the Rams drought, converting on a layup with 17.5 seconds on the clock. Still trailing by one, the Rams were forced to foul to put the Bullpups on the line. Unfortunately they only committed three team fouls and there was less than one minute remaining. So when they finally got to a bonus situation, there were just three seconds on the clock. Caudill converted on one of two from the line for the Pups and Mount Rainier was unable to get a good shot off before the buzzer. Congratulations to the Bullpups in a 53-51 win!

Top Performers:
Gonzaga Prep
Otiona Gildon – 18 points, 15 rebounds
Laura Stockton – 11 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks

Mount Rainier
Brittany McPhee – 28 points, 19 rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 steals

Garfield Defuses Bombers, Wins 4A Boys State Title

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Saturday March 8th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 17 14 21 16 68
Richland 16 12 19 12 59

Garfield Defuses Bombers, Wins 4A Boys State Title
By Colin Caruso

To kick off finals action in the Tacoma Dome, the undefeated Bombers from Richland took on the one loss Bulldogs from Garfield. Both teams were well deserved to be battling for the coveted state championship trophy, and the Tacoma Dome was packed and ready for action.

Richland started the game on fire, jumping out to a quick 14-4 lead. Garfield seemed shell shocked to start, as Richland seemingly couldn’t miss. But Garfield guard Tramaine Isabell wasn’t going to let this one slip away like last season. Isabell led his then Lakeside Lion team to the state final last year, coming up just short of beating the Rainier Beach Vikings for the 3A title. He was, as usual, unstoppable in this one. 22 of his game high 34 came in the first half and Garfield took a five point lead into the second half.

The third quarter remained close, neither team pulled further than five points ahead. Isabell continued his scoring barrage, putting up another eight points in the third to put his total at 30 going into the fourth. Four Bombers reached double figures in the quarter, a brilliant balanced attack from the boys from Richland. Starting big man Brayon Blake for the Bulldogs picked up his fourth personal, putting him in foul trouble in back to back games.

Garfield pulled ahead by as much as seven in the early stages of the fourth. Steven Beo answered by knocking down another three for the Bombers and Payton Radliffe hit a goal tended layup to cut the lead Bulldog lead to just two.

Jashaun Agosto answered with a deep two for the Bulldogs with three minutes left to take the lead by four. But the Bombers were not done. Beo and Jacob DeVries hit back to back buckets in the lane to tie the game at 58 with two minutes to play. On the ensuing possession, Baker was fouled on a layup for the Bulldogs and knocked down both at the line to go up by two. After a Bomber turnover, Isabell was fouled and made both free-throws, the lead now four. Another Bomber turnover led to a leakout basket by Deshaun Tucker, a six point lead now for the Dogs.

A Bulldog foul led to one free-throw for Streufert, and the Bombers were forced to foul Isabell with 22 seconds left; he hit one of two to take a six point lead. Beo was fouled on the other end and missed the front end, where Blake pulled down the rebound and was fouled and made two more for the Dogs, who took the lead 67-59 with under 12 seconds to play. The Bulldogs added one more late free-throw, and won the state title by a final of 68-59. An amazing game with an amazing atmosphere!

Top Performers:
Garfield
Tramaine Isabell – 34 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
Brayon Blake – 12 points, 7 rebounds

Richland
Steven Beo – 22 points, 11 rebounds
Payton Radliff – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks

Undefeated Richland Advances to 4A State Final

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Saturday March 8th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Todd Beamer 12 8 21 20 61
Richland 14 19 22 20 75

Undefeated Richland Advances to 4A State Final
By Colin Caruso

In the nightcap 4A boys game, the undefeated Richland Bombers faced off against the 22-4 Todd Beamer Titans. Outside of Nathan Streufert for the Bombers at 6’7”, Beamer had a complete size advantage in this matchup. This did not bother the Bombers, as they put together a nice 10-2 run in the first and took a 14-12 lead into the second.

Beamer struggled offensively throughout the second; their one on one mentality resulted in a lot of misses and no second chance opportunities. On the other side of the floor, Richland found no problems putting the ball through the hoop. Bomber Steven Beo had a great first half with 11 points, and Richland went into the locker room feeling good with a 13 point lead.

Beo took over to start the third quarter. He hit three straight three pointers for the Bombers, pushing their lead to 19. But Beamer would not let the game get out of hand. They continued to battle and clawed their way back to a ten point deficit on threes from Quadir Williams and Bogdon Bliznyuk. Fouls began to plague both teams late in the quarter, as Raybonne Freeman for the Titans and Nathan Streufert for the Bombers both gathered their fourth. Richland extended their lead to 14 going into the fourth.

The 14 point lead ballooned to as many as 20 for the Bombers, who were not bothered at all by the Beamer press. Beamer could not get back into this one; too many miscues on offense and phenomenal shooting from the Bombers. Richland took this one with ease, 75-61, and will face the Garfield Bulldogs for the 4A state final.

Top Performers:
Todd Beamer
Charles Frazier – 13 points, 8 rebounds

Richland
Steven Beo – 29 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Jacob DeVries – 18 points, 8 rebounds
Nathan Streufert – 8 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists

Garfield Sneaks Past Issaquah to Face Bombers in State Final

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Saturday March 8th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 17 17 13 14 61
Issaquah 13 21 16 9 59

Garfield Sneaks Past Issaquah to Face Bombers in State Final
By Colin Caruso

In their fourth matchup on the year, the one loss Garfield Bulldogs faced off against the 19-6 Issaquah Eagles for a trip to the 4A state final. Garfield’s only loss came to these Eagles in the latter half of the regular season by just two points, a loss Garfield avenged in the KingCo championship game with an 18 point win.

The pace of this game was frantic at the beginning, resulting in one key player on each team getting two early fouls. Senior Jake Henke for the Eagles and senior Brayon Blake for the Bulldogs both sat the remainder of the first quarter and well into the second with their foul trouble. Garfield’s leading scorer Tramaine Isabell led all first quarter scorers with eight, and the Bulldogs took a four point lead into the second.
Issaquah took the momentum back in the second quarter behind 11 points from senior Brian Watson. He led the 21 point rally for the Eagles, who tied the game going into half at 34.

Foul trouble again became a factor in the third quarter, with both Blake and Torrence Baker for Garfield picking up their fourth fouls. Issaquah capitalized on the line and took a three point lead into the fourth.

The fourth quarter remained nail-biting close. Garfield shot well from the free-throw line all night, 23-27 overall, and they were able to tie the contest with just over two minutes to play. Zachariah Shepherd hit a three for the Dogs to put them up three, but fouled on the next defensive possession, fouling him out of the game. Ty Gibson hit two free-throws for the Eagles on the other end, but Isabell converted on a great dribble drive to regain the lead by three. Addison McIrvin was fouled on the next Issaquah possession and hit one of two at the line. He was fouled again on a Garfield miss and made both to tie the game at 59 with one minute to go. A kick ball gave the Bulldogs more time on the shot clock, and Henke fouled Jashaun Agosto for the Bulldogs on a three pointer with 20 seconds remaining, Henke’s fifth foul. Agosto hit two of three to go up 61-59. After a timeout, Eagle Brian Watson attempted a fade away from the baseline that missed, and the Bulldogs hung on to advance to the 4A state final. What a game!

Top Performers:
Garfield
Tramaine Isabell – 19 points, 5 rebounds
Brayon Blake – 11 points, 6 rebounds

Issaquah
Ty Gibson – 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Brian Watson – 17 points, 4 rebounds

Huge Third Quarter Propels Rainier Beach over Bellevue

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Saturday March 8th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bellevue 11 16 11 23 61
Rainier Beach 9 17 28 19 73

Huge Third Quarter Propels Rainier Beach over Bellevue
By Colin Caruso

The second semifinal matchup for 3A boys saw the undefeated Rainier Beach Vikings against the 3A KingCo champion Bellevue Wolverines. Bellevue faced a tough match in this game; going against the state’s finest.

The first half of this game progressed exactly how Bellevue wanted. They kept the game low scoring by significantly slowing the pace and keeping the Vikings off the offensive glass. Rainier Beach shot 55% from the field in the first half to Bellevue’s 41%, but still the Vikings trailed by one entering the third quarter.

Rainier Beach adopted the full court press to start the second half and it worked to perfection, leading to a quick 8-0 Viking run. Bellevue struggled to keep the slow pace from the first half, as Beach put up two more points in the third quarter that they did in the whole first half. Beach gained the momentum going into the final quarter, holding a 54-38 lead. Four Vikings were in double figures at the end of three, compared to just one Wolverine.

The Beach lead hovered around fifteen points until just over a minute remaining, when Bellevue hit two threes to cut the lead to single digits. But a steal by Djuan Piper and a leak out and one finish put the Vikings back up 12 with 45 seconds to play. Beach won the contest by that 12 point margin, 73-61, to face Eastside Catholic in the state final, which will be their fourth matchup of the year.

Top Performers:
Bellevue
Jack Walton – 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Sharif Khan – 12 points, 3 rebounds

Rainier Beach
Elijah Foster – 18 points, 7 rebounds
David Crisp – 18 points, 4 steals
Djuan Piper – 13 points (6/7 FG), 7 rebounds

Eastside Catholic Holds off Wilson, Advances to 3A State Final

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Saturday March 8th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Wilson 9 7 12 24 52
Eastside Catholic 12 7 16 25 60

Eastside Catholic Holds off Wilson, Advances to 3A State Final
By Colin Caruso

When you’ve reached the final four in all state classifications, you know you are watching good basketball, and the first semifinal game of the day did not disappoint. The matchup was a great one, a 23-3 Wilson Rams team against the 21-5 Eastside Catholic Crusaders. Wilson’s losses this year were to Bellevue and twice to Lincoln, while three of Eastside’s losses were at the hands of the #1 in state Rainier Beach Vikings.

One would like to call the first half of this game a defensive battle, but mostly it was an offensive struggle. Both teams were able to work for good looks at the basket, but the shots failed to fall. Also, there were quite a few dropped and tipped passes leading to a good number of 50/50 balls, making this game even scrappier offensively. The teams combined for 13 turnovers and just ten made field goals. The Crusaders took a low scoring 19-16 lead into half.

Second leading scorer Matisse Thybulle for the Crusaders played less than two minutes in the first half because he picked up two fouls, and his reinsertion into the line-up made a huge difference to start the second half. He led the Crusaders to a quick 8-0 run to start the second half, giving the Crusaders their biggest lead of the game at 27-16. But the Rams responded with five unanswered to trim the lead back down to six.
Thybulle picked up his fourth later in the quarter, but the Crusaders extended their lead when he was in, leading 35-28 entering the fourth.

The teams exchanged baskets early in the fourth, with Nathan Christie knocking down a three for the Crusaders to give them a ten point lead with under three minutes to play. Wilson responded with a free-throw from Ivy Smith Jr. and a three from sophomore David Jenkins, cutting the lead to six. Thybulle answered for the Crusaders, converting on back to back layups to bring the lead back up to ten. Wilson couldn’t get within seven points the rest of the way; the Rams converted on a few baskets but their press was broken easily by the athletic Crusaders, leading to easy transition layups. Eastside advances to the state final with a 60-52 victory.

Top Performers:
Wilson
Alphonso Anderson – 15 points, 13 rebounds
David Jenkins – 17 points
Jamal Welch – 11 points, 7 rebounds

Eastside Catholic
Nathan Christie – 23 points, 5 rebounds
Mandrell Worthy – 13 points, 5 assists, 2 steals

DeVries Threes Highlight Explosive Bomber Win in Quarterfinals

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Thursday March 6th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Richland 10 26 21 21 78
Wenatchee 10 12 7 20 49

DeVries Threes Highlight Explosive Bomber Win in Quarterfinals
By Steven Dion

Day one of the Hardwood Classic concluded with a 4A matchup between two schools east of the mountains: Wenatchee and Richland. The Bombers of the Tri-Cities carried a perfect 23-0 record into this ballgame averaging nearly 90 points per contest. They also made an appearance to state last season with much of the same returning cast. Wenatchee with its 16-7 record relied on a hot streak down the postseason road to find itself in “The Woodshed” in 2014 including a one-point victory over defending state champions Curtis in regionals. The well-represented fan sections of each side were eager to finally watch some basketball after long drives from the other side of the state.

In the opening minute, Richland senior Jacob DeVries scored five points after a three, steal, then put-back. Wenatchee head coach Ron Stone quickly called a timeout to calm his team down. Stone clearly understood the fast pace the Bombers like to play, and his strategy after the timeout paid off in the short term. The Panthers slowed the tempo of the game down and matched RHS bucket for bucket. After one frame, the contest was tied at ten apiece. The second quarter is when the game was blown apart like something seen in Hanford near Richland.

The Bombers went on an offensive surge as they notched 26 points in eight minutes, the highest scoring quarter of all eight boys games played at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday. DeVries supplied a huge dose of these points as his 33 in the game was the highest for a single player all day. The impressive part of the senior’s performance was the remarkable efficiency of 65% from the field and 71% from downtown! The Bombers built a 14 point margin at the half and did not look back.

When play resumed, the Bombers churned out another high-octane quarter and separating themselves 14 more points in the process. Credit Chase Resch of Wenatchee for staying tough down the stretch as he got a few tough shots to go. Also, Panther senior Dillon Sugg was able to register a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. But this game was all Richland as they had ten different scorers combining for their 78 points. If Richland can keep the hot shooting going, the rest of 4A will have their hands full handing the Bombers their first loss of the season.

Top Performers:
Richland
Jacob DeVries-33 points (13/20 FG’s, 5/7 3-pt FG’s), 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists

Wenatchee
Dillon Sugg-12 points, 10 rebounds

Beamer Fever Advances to State Semis

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Thursday March 6th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Gonzaga Prep 14 14 10 11 49
Todd Beamer 12 4 19 22 57

Beamer Fever Advances to State Semis
By Colin Caruso

In one of the bigger size mismatches of the day, the Todd Beamer Titans faced off against the Bullpups from Gonzaga Prep to secure a spot in the 4A state semifinal. Beamer started the game on a strong 8-2 run, utilizing their size and strength to get shots close to the hoop. But Gonzaga Prep answered with a 12-4 run to close the quarter with a two point lead 14-12.

The Bullpups made up for the size differential with a higher level of intensity. Gonzaga Prep added a 7-0 run on top of their 12-4 run in the first to take an early nine point advantage, 21-12. Beamer seemed very stagnant on the offensive side, too much standing around and not enough screening and cutting. Gonzaga Prep took a 28-16 lead into half.

Beamer finally adopted their diamond full court trap to start the second half, which completely stifled the Bullpup offense. Beamer’s length was in the passing lanes on every possession and they started the quarter on a 15-2 run to take their first lead since the first quarter. Gonzaga Prep recaptured their lead on back to back threes, but Beamer was back in the game, trailing by just three going into the fourth 38-35.

Beamer closed the three point lead in a hurry, and the teams repeatedly exchanged leads down the stretch. The Titans snagged the lead by two on a Bogdon Bliznyuk three with two minutes to play. Quadir Williams added two free-throws for Beamer, extending their lead to four. Sam Dowd answered for the Bullpups with two free-throws of his own, trimming the lead to two with one minute to play. The Titans answered with a Charles Frazier layup, a defensive rebound, and two more Quadir Williams free-throws to take a six point lead. Another miss for the Bullpups led to two more free-throws for the Titans, extending their lead to eight with less than thirty seconds to play. But a quick two and a turnover for the Titans led to a three pointer by Brendan McClary. The Bullpups were within three with just 22 seconds remaining. Frazier hit one from the line to extend the lead to four, and Williams added two more from the stripe to take a six point lead with ten seconds to play. The Titans put together a great comeback, winning 57-49 and advancing to the state semifinal.

Top Performers:
Gonzaga Prep
Sam Dowd – 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Brendan McClary – 12 points, 4 steals

Todd Beamer
Quadir Williams – 18 points, 6 rebounds
Trey Burch Manning – 15 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals

Issaquah Pulls Off Round of Eight Upset, Defeats Jackson

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Thursday March 6th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Issaquah 22 14 10 10 56
Jackson 12 14 9 9 44

Issaquah Pulls Off Round of Eight Upset, Defeats Jackson
By Colin Caruso

The top half of the boys 4A bracket is stacked, with Garfield and Kentridge facing off, and this battle between Issaquah and the #1 ranked Jackson Timberwolves. Jackson has one loss on the season in a matchup against what was a very good Lincoln Abes team. Issaquah comes in at 18-6, but two were to Garfield and three were out of the state.

Both teams came out with great intensity, with great fan section support on both sides. Jackson had the upper hand early, with baskets from their leading scorers Dan Kingma and Jason Todd. But Issaquah responded with an onslaught of shot making from five different players in the first quarter. Issaquah took a strong 22-12 lead into the second quarter. The ten point first quarter lead remained going into halftime, 36-26 in favor of the Eagles.

Issaquah began pulling away early in the third, but Kingma hit back to back triples to maintain the ten point deficit late in the quarter. Issaquah extended their lead by one in the third, on the back of six points from freshman Trevon Ary-Turner. Jackson was on the ropes, down 11 going into the final frame.

The Timberwolves needed quick scoring to bring this one close, and started the fourth with a 5-0 run in the first 1:15 of play. Ary-Turner stopped the run with a brilliant spinning floater to put the Eagles back up eight with five minutes remaining. After a bucket for Jackson and a free-throw for the Eagles, Jason Todd converted a layup on a steal to cut the Issaquah lead to five with 2:30 remaining. Ty Gibson for the Eagles immediately answered with a short jumper then added one free-throw to put the Eagles up eight with just over a minute to play, 52-44. The Eagles added four more free-throws and upset the top ranked Timberwolves 56-44.

Top Performers:
Issaquah
Ty Gibson – 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals
Jake Henke – 6 points, 13 rebounds

Jackson
Jason Todd – 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
Dan Kingma – 15 points, 5 rebounds

Garfield Dominates one-loss Kentridge

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Thursday March 6th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Kentridge 10 2 10 19 41
Garfield 17 17 15 14 63

Garfield Dominates one-loss Kentridge
By Colin Caruso

In another rough quarterfinal matchup, the one loss Garfield Bulldogs faced off against the one loss Kentridge Chargers for a berth to the 4A state semifinal. Both teams’ losses came late in the year to teams still playing, with Garfield’s loss coming to Issaquah and Kentridge’s loss coming to Todd Beamer.

Garfield jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in this one, but Kentridge leading scorer Jawan Stepney would not let Garfield make it a blowout. Stepney answered with back to back threes for the Chargers, which kept them in the contest, as the Bulldogs kept their foot to the pedal. Garfield led 17-10 after one quarter.

Kentridge needed to answer to start the second, and it simply did not happen. Garfield held the Chargers to two points in the second quarter, while putting up 17 on their own. Turnovers were the story; 12 total for the Chargers leading to 14 Garfield points off. Kentridge could not get good shots up and Garfield continued their tenacious defensive pressure. Garfield took a commanding 34-12 lead into the half.

The second half looked a lot like the first half in this game, with Garfield controlling the scoring and the pace. Kentridge closed the gap significantly late in the fourth to lose by 22. Their largest deficit was 28 points early in the fourth. Garfield will advance to the 4A state semifinal.

Top Performers:
Kentridge
Jawan Stepney – 13 points, 3 rebounds

Garfield
Tramaine Isabell – 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals

Mount Rainier Takes down Inglemoor, Advances to State Semis

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Thursday March 6th 2014 4A Girls Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Inglemoor 11 17 7 22 57
Mount Rainier 20 17 15 12 64

Mount Rainier Takes down Inglemoor, Advances to State Semis
By Colin Caruso

In an unfortunate matchup in the round of eight between two of the state’s best 4A girls programs, the McPhee led Mount Rainier Rams took on the Inglemoor Vikings. The Rams are 24-3 on the year, with big wins over two final eight teams, Kentwood and Skyview. Inglemoor is led by post Deja Strother, and they are 21-3 on the season.

Mount Rainier exploded offensively in the first half. They played quicker and with more poise than their competition, and led by as many as 12 points. The McPhee twins combined for 18 points in the first half, but the team was led by Aqeelah Williams’ 11. Strother and Mackenzie Gardner kept the Vikings in the contest with 12 points each, but only two other players for the Vikings scored in the first half. Mount Rainier led 46-33 at the break.

Mount Rainier continued to play fundamentally sound basketball in the third, pushing their lead to as many as 19. It seemed as if the Rams got their hands on every entry pass to Strother, gathering the loose balls and getting out in transition. After three, Mount Rainier led 52-35.
Inglemoor needed a big run to get back into this game, down 17 entering in the fourth. They picked up their defense and the shots began to fall for the Vikings, who started the quarter on a 13-7 run. But it was too little too late. The Vikings won the quarter 22-12, but lost by seven, 64-57. The win for the Rams avenged an earlier season loss to the Vikings, a game Inglemoor won by 15.

Top Performers:
Inglemoor
Deja Strother – 25 points (11-15 FG), 18 rebounds (9 offensive), 2 blocks
Mackenzie Gardner – 14 points, 4 assists

Mount Rainier
Brittany McPhee – 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals
Jordan McPhee – 12 points, 4 steals

Bellevue Cruises over One Loss Stanwood

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Thursday March 6th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Stanwood 15 7 13 8 43
Bellevue 18 15 13 15 61

Bellevue Cruises over One Loss Stanwood
By Colin Caruso

3A state basketball heated up in the quarterfinal matchup between the Bellevue Wolverines and the one loss Stanwood Spartans. Bellevue, regarded as one of the top teams in the state, came into this contest at 20-4, with big wins over O’Dea and Lincoln down the stretch. Stanwood experienced their only loss of the season just two weeks ago against Shorecrest, but took down Foss in the round of 16 to advance to the dome.

Stanwood jumped out to a frantic pace and an 11-2 first quarter lead. The early lead did not phase the Wolverines, who remained calm and capitalized off Stanwood turnovers. The Wolverines closed the first quarter on a 16-4 run to take an 18-15 lead into the second.
The Wolverines scored the first 10 points to extend their 16-4 run to end the first to a 26-4 run spanning both quarters. Lakeside transfer Zack Moore heated up for the Wolverines in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his team’s 15 points. Bellevue led by as many as 14 in the second and took a 33-22 lead into the third quarter.

Stanwood finally stayed even with the Wolverines in the third, with both teams playing scrappier basketball than the first half. The Wolverines capitalized on easy baskets, setting good back screens leaving their teammates wide open under the hoop. The Bellevue lead excelled to fifteen early in the fourth, and they stalled every Stanwood run by great offensive execution. Bellevue controlled throughout, and will advance to the state 3A semifinal on Friday.

Top Performers:
Stanwood
Drew Stang – 13 points, 4 rebounds

Bellevue
Sharif Khan – 14 points, 3 steals, 3 assists
Kyle Foreman – 9 points, 4 assists, 2 steals

Eastside Catholic Handles University, Advances to Face Wilson in Semifinal

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Thursday March 6th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Eastside Catholic 15 14 11 13 53
University 11 7 14 7 39

Eastside Catholic Handles University, Advances to Face Wilson in Semifinal
By Colin Caruso

In the second game in Tacoma on Thursday, the University Titans battled the Eastside Catholic Crusaders to face off against the Wilson Rams in the Washington state 3A boys semifinal. University, with a tough regular season this year, won their last six to advance to Tacoma. Eastside Catholic took a different route, widely regarded as one of the top teams in the state, had only two losses on the season outside of their matchups against Rainier Beach, and came in at 21-5.

The discrepancies in records portrayed an imbalance on the floor early in this quarterfinal matchup. A much bigger Eastside Catholic team continued to pound on the interior, shooting layup after layup against an undersized University team. Eastside is typically not an interior scoring team; a good chunk of their points this season are on three pointers and they only attempted five threes in the first half. The Crusaders led 29-18 at the break.

University made a strong push to start the second half. Winning the third quarter 14-11 put them in striking distance going into the fourth. But Eastside was too strong defensively throughout, outscoring the Titans 19-1 on points off turnovers, the difference in the ballgame. Eastside cruised to a 53-39 win.

Top Performers:
Eastside Catholic
Mandrell Worthy – 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
Matisse Thybulle – 12 points, 4 steals, 2 blocks

University
Ben Kuiper – 10 points, 9 rebounds
Robert Little – 11 points

Wilson Sneaks Past O’Dea in Round of Eight at State

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Thursday March 6th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Wilson 17 11 9 23 60
O’Dea 13 12 13 19 57

Wilson Sneaks Past O’Dea in Round of Eight at State
By Colin Caruso

What a way to kick off the state tournament! A team from the heart of Seattle against a team from Tacoma in a 3A boys battle. The Wilson Rams came into this contest with a 22-3 record and a regional win against Kennedy to advance to the final eight. The O’Dea Irish, at 17-10, advanced to Tacoma with a win over Shorecrest.

As a 9am game, both teams brought great intensity to the Dome despite the early start. Wilson held the edge early, taking the first quarter 17-13 and grabbing an 8 point lead early in the contest. But O’Dea answered in the second quarter with a significant 17-11 rebounding edge, to trail by just three entering the half, 28-25. O’Dea’s leading scorer Jacob Lampkin picked up his third personal halfway through the second quarter, forcing him to sit the remainder of the half.

With Lampkin back in for the third quarter, O’Dea began to click offensively. With offensive rebounds leading to easy baskets, the Irish took their first lead since early in the first. The Irish held the slightest of leads going into the final frame, 38-37.

The fourth quarter remained close throughout, with neither team grabbing more than a five point lead. With one minute remaining, O’Dea found themselves down three with a good look from the corner from sharpshooter Quinn Barnard. The shot missed just right and Wilson grabbed the rebound. O’Dea fouled on the next possession and Wilson missed both free-throws, leading to another O’Dea opportunity to cut the lead late. Jamar Kemp capitalized on a layup with under eight seconds to play, but the clock doesn’t stop on a made basket, and Wilson was able to trickle it down to three seconds before inbounding. Ivy Smith Jr for the Rams inbounded and was fouled two seconds later; he made both free-throws to bring the lead back up to three with just 0.8 on the clock. A last second heave from the Irish from well beyond half court missed long, and the Rams survived 60-57.

Top Performers:
Wilson
Alphonso Anderson – 21 points, 9 rebounds
Ivy Smith Jr – 16 points, 8 assists

O’Dea
Jacob Lampkin – 17 points, 13 rebounds
Jamie Orme – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks

Thayer Leads Stanwood Over Foss in Regional Matchup

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Sturday March 1st 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Kent Meridian High 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Stanwood 15 14 21 23 73
Foss 10 15 16 14 55

Thayer Leads Stanwood Over Foss in Regional Matchup
By Steven Dion

Entering the month of March, Stanwood has twenty-two wins thus far. Their lone blemish on the season was the most recent game played, a District championship thriller against Shorecrest. With a trip to state at stake on Saturday against a sneaky Foss squad out of a tough Narrows league, the pressure was clearly on the Spartans in their storybook season. Their enormous fan base traveled for this game creating a sea of red in the bleachers. Regardless, the Falcons who are no stranger to postseason basketball were eager to earn their state berth to play in the Dome in their home city of Tacoma.

It was evident Stanwood spent some time in the film room preparing for Foss, especially their star guard and Seattle University commit Armond Davis. To counter the Foss scoring machine, the Spartans put their leader Josh Thayer as the defensive assignment to Davis. Armond took advantage of his half a foot of height advantage by draining several fadeaways, but credit Thayer to making the 6’5 slasher work for every point. The first half featured matching scores for both sides. The exceptional rebounding of Skout Roberson gave Stanwood a huge boost offensively throughout the contest. At the half, SHS led the Falcons by a score of 29-25.

It took less than one minute into the third quarter for Foss to tie up the ballgame at 29 apiece and push reset on the game. This is when the Spartan big man Drew Stang stepped up. His emphatic blocks on the defensive end led to his four buckets in the third frame. A pair of Thayer three-balls helped give the Spartans a five point advantage into the final frame. For Foss to win this ball game, either Davis would have to continue his precision shooting, or the Falcons would need contributions from more than the five starters whom comprised all of the Foss scoring thus far. Stanwood did not allow either as Stang and Brady Garcea aided in a 23 point fourth quarter to propel Sparty to a 73-55 win. Stanwood advances to the state tournament in 2014 after falling one game short of doing so in ’13.

Top Performers:
Stanwood
Josh Thayer – 19 points, exceptional defense effort
Skout Roberson – 21 points

Foss
Armond Davis, Sam Dabalos-McMahon, Olashawan Miller (all double digit scorers-20, 13, 10 respectively)

Hockinson Soars Over Foster, Advances to State

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Sturday March 1st 2014 2A Boys Basketball
Kent Meridian High 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Hockinson 10 18 15 21 64
Foster 9 11 17 16 53

Hockinson Soars Over Foster, Advances to State
By Steven Dion

Kent-Meridian High School played host to regional Saturday for four win-or-go-home games to move on to championship weekend. The first contest of the day featured Hockinson from the Greater St. Helens league and Foster from the Seamount. With a trip to the Yakima Valley SunDome on the line, this interleague matchup was bound to supply plenty of excitement for the Hawk blue and Bulldog purple in the grandstands.

The first half got off to a high energy start as the tempo was fast and the scoring opportunities were plentiful. The amount of offensive rebounds each team recorded early on was noteworthy and led to chaos under the rim as each squad battled for boards. Hockinson established their precision shooting in the first sixteen minutes highlighted by a trio of three-pointers by Alan Haagen. Foster countered with effective perimeter shooting of their own by Cory Covarrubia, Patrick Straight, and Ben Mitchell. The matchup of forwards Austin Steimle of HHS and Ronnie Roberson of FHS was fun to watch as the bigs were very physical down low. The Hawks were able to build an eight point lead after one half of play at 28-20.

After the break, Foster understood they would need to find a leader that could step up and get the Bulldogs back into the game. Mitchell answered the call. The senior distributed the ball to teammates nicely and attacked the rim aggressively. Hockinson did not back down though as Jack Klodt made an acrobatic And-1 en route to a ten point third quarter. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Hawks held onto a six point lead and put on the finishing touches. Converting on several foul shots down the stretch, HHS was able to win convincingly by the final score of 64-53 largely due the high scoring volume of Klodt and Haagen with 24 and 22 points respectively. Congrats to the Hawks as they punch their ticket to the big dance.

Top Performers:
Hockinson
Jack Klodt – 24 points, 15/15 FT’s
Alan Haagen – 22 points, 13/14 FT’s

Foster
Cory Covarrubia- 12 points, 4-3pt. FG’s

Jackson Blasts Stadium in Regional Rout

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Friday February 28th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Everett Community College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Jackson 11 16 20 20 67
Stadium 6 17 4 6 33

Jackson Blasts Stadium in Regional Rout
By Steven Dion

The nightcap at Everett Community College on Friday night featured a matchup of the number one seed of District 1 in Jackson and the fourth seed of the District 3/4 tourney in Stadium. Jackson only has one loss on the season and was able to run through the playoffs up to this point with relative ease. Meanwhile, Stadium was able to pick up wins against Emerald Ridge and Curtis in districts to earn a regional berth. At stake in this game was a trip to the Tacoma Dome next weekend for the state tournament. Would Stadium find a way to upset the lethal Timberwolves squad in front of a huge Jackson crowd or would the perceived favorite earn another trip to championship weekend?

From the tip, the pace of this game would begin at a slow tempo as scoring was relatively non-existent in the opening minutes. T’Wolves senior Dan Kingma tested the smaller Tigers guard by attacking the rim with a surprisingly explosive first step off the dribble. Stadium demonstrated their preference to keep the game slowed down by making Lucious Brown the primary ball-handler. The big forward played all five positions on the floor with phenomenal handles and great footwork in the paint. The matchup of Jason Todd and Malik Mayeux was intriguing as the reigning state player of the year in Todd was unable to knock down shots using his signature “back up and lay up” move under the rim. T’Wolves guard Marcus Blake provided a defensive boost that loosened up his squad and helped JHS control the ball game. At the buzzer heading into the half, SHS senior Eric Tuttle hit a halfcourt shot to bring the deficit to only four points at 27-23.

The third quarter was the pivotal part of the game where Jackson created insurmountable separation. Their 7-0 run to start and a 20-3 overall quarter foiled Stadium’s potential plan to gain a lead at some point in this contest. A steal by Kingma that was dished to an airborne Todd and fed to a driving Brian Zehr for a two-handed slam got the crowd on their feet and was a symbolic end to this game. The fourth quarter was merely procedural as the T’Wolves emptied their bench and ran the clock down. Stadium was able to get their freshman Hillis some minutes late in this game. The reserve not even listed on the roster has a bright future as a Tiger with a strong family tradition of Stadium basketball as his brother was part of the state team in the early 2000s. When the dust settled, Jackson cruised to a 67-33 victory. Look for the Timberwolves to avenge their loss in the state championship game last season by winning it next weekend at the Tacoma Dome.

Top Performers:
Jackson
Dan Kingma-22 points (8/8 FT’s), 3 steals, 2 assists

Stadium
Malik Mayeux-6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks

Tulalip Earns Ticket to State with Win Over Wilbur-Creston

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Friday February 28th 2014 1B Boys Basketball
Everett Community College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Tulalip Heritage 22 20 16 23 81
Wilbur-Creston 15 14 23 12 64

Tulalip Earns Ticket to State with Win Over Wilbur-Creston
By Steven Dion

Win or go home. This is the nature of the regional round leading up to the state tournament next week. The fate of Tulalip Heritage’s and Wilbur-Creston’s seasons would be decided on Friday night at Everett Community College. The winner of this game would receive their ticket to the state tournament at Spokane Arena next week and be three wins away from a championship. The loser would end their season in the sweet sixteen round.

Tulalip wasted no time getting their momentum rolling as they started the game on an 11-0 run. The Hawks shot the ball extremely well out of the gate, especially from downtown. Four players scored in double figures for Tulalip which presented matchup problems for Wilbur-Creston throughout the game. The Wildcats were able to rally midway through the second quarter from a double-digit deficit by feeding Colton Magers. The junior forced his way through the Hawks defense to put up shots in the paint en route to 19 points. However, THHS closed the quarter strong and took a 42-29 lead into the locker room.

When the third quarter began, Tulalip continued to be the aggressor in this contest as their precision passing in transition led to a number of buckets at the rim. The Wildcats were tentative in their shot selection, which prevented them from grabbing a lead in this game. Bradley Fryberg started to loosen up in this game for Tulalip in the second half as his gritty defense highlighted by eight steals deflated the WC attack. Fryberg was slinging the rock to teammates like a quarterback down the stretch, many of which were no-look passes. The junior’s command of the court helped Tulalip’s leading scorers in Ayrik Miranda and Keanu Hamilton pick up an 81-64 win and a trip to state.

Top Performers:
Tulalip Heritage
Keanu Hamilton-19 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists

Wilbur-Creston
Colton Magers-19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks

Ghebremichael Shines As Scots Take Down Undefeated Stanwood

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Saturday February 22nd 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Jackson High 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Shorecrest 13 9 19 22 63
Stanwood 15 10 16 17 58

Ghebremichael Shines As Scots Take Down Undefeated Stanwood
By Steven Dion

It is rare to be undefeated in late February as the state finals are right around the corner. For the Stanwood Spartans, part of a blemish-free record is the target on their backs every game and the pressure-cooker to keep the streak alive. With berths to the regional round already secured, the Scots from Shorecrest Senior High School were able to play with a “nothing-to-lose, everything-to-gain” mentality and challenge for a district title. The player responsible for deciding this game in the waning minutes would be completely unexpected.

When the teams took the floor, the similarities between the two squads were strikingly apparent. Both featured small guard corps as each team had three starters under 6’. The favorite Spartans jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead in the first quarter. Scots’ coach Brian Fischer called a timeout to rally the troops and calm his team down. They responded nicely by quickly closing the gap back up. The clash of centers Masamba Njadoe of ‘Crest and aptly named Drew Stans of Stanwood was intriguing as both players were the prominent forces down low. The Spartans took a 25-22 lead into the locker room as the final few minutes of the half turned into a track meet as the court opened up and the teams ran up and down it.

The third quarter started with a rainstorm in the form of Brady Garcia three pointers. This allowed Shorecrest to grab an early lead in the second half. The momentum carried to the defensive side for the Scots as well through a handful of highlight blocks by Njadoe. However, Stanwood’s leading scorer Josh Thayer started heating up and his fifteen points in the final sixteen minutes helped his team pick up a lead of six with only three points remaining. Enter Daniel Ghebremichael. A non-starter from the Shorecrest lineup finished this game in a fashion that it will be night he will never forget. After the timeout, he grabbed a steal, took it to the rim for a bucket and the foul. With a minute remaining and a tied ballgame, Ghebremichael spotted up for a contested three that went through the net flawlessly. Stanwood’s desperation shot to tie it up clanged off side-rim and was rebounded by Gheb who was promptly fouled. The Scot from the bench scored 13 points in the game, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter. The District 1 title goes to Shorecrest with a shocking 63-58 victory.

Top Performers:
Shorecrest
Daniel Ghebremichael-13 points off bench (11 in 4th quarter including game winning 3-pointer)
Masamba Njadoe-10 points, huge defensive impact

Stanwood
Josh Thayer-20 points (3/3 FT’s)

Mountlake Terrace Grabs Final Playoff Spot Against Marysville-Pilchuck

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Saturday February 22nd 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Jackson High 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Mountlake Terrace 18 16 15 21 70
Marysville-Pilchuck 16 14 16 7 53

Mountlake Terrace Grabs Final Playoff Spot Against Marysville-Pilchuck
By Steven Dion

Jackson High School served as host for two playoff games for District 1 from the Wesco League. The first was the 3A contest between Mountlake Terrace and Marysville-Pilchuck. In a seemingly wide-open classification moving forward in the state tournament, the winner of this game has a fair shot of continuing their run in the next round. With a nice crowd in hand, everyone in the building was in for an exciting game.

Mountlake Terrace established their variety of scoring options early as six Hawk players scored in the first quarter alone. This was largely due to MP’s inability to contain the interior. Terrace had an advantage from the three to five positions on the floor as their trio of forward/post combos at 6’6 or bigger were matched with Pilchuck’s smaller centers at around 6’4. The Tomahawks were able to get a boost from nice shooting from their guards Bryce Juneau and Josh Bevan. The pair combined for 19 of Pilchuck’s thirty first-half points. With a four point lead after the first half, Mountlake Terrace’s ability to feed a seemingly unblocked Greg Bowman would set the tone for the rest of the game.

When play continued, the Hawks continued their trend of cashing in on offensive rebounds. Crashing the boards in the attacking zone provided many of Terrace’s buckets. Marysville-Pilchuck got their shooting rolling as Michael Painter and Juneau produced the majority of their team’s scoring. Bryce Juneau at 5’10 and only a sophomore showed senior-like poise in this game as he led his team with 20 points. Carrying only a three point lead into the final quarter, Mountlake Terrace opened the fourth with a 14-0 run to essentially dash any hopes of MPHS rallying back. Loren Lacasse played a large role in that impressive run down the stretch. At the end of regulation, Terrace walked away with a 70-53 victory.

Top Performers:
Mountlake Terrace
Four players in double figures-Greg Bowman (23), Loren Lacasse (20), Yoel Tekle (12), Gabe Altenberger (10)

Marysville-Pilchuck
Bryce Juneau-19 points

Rainier Beach Escapes the Islanders, Advances to Final Eight

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Friday Feb 28th 2014 3A Boys Basketball
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Mercer Island 15 4 20 16 55
Rainier Beach 19 13 15 14 61

Rainier Beach Escapes the Islanders, Advances to Final Eight
By Colin Caruso

When a team plays with passion and intensity on the basketball floor, it captivates your attention and compels you to watch more. When a team has the capability of playing for a national title if they win our state tournament, it compels you to watch them. This was the case in the capstone contest on Friday night at Bellevue College. The first mentioned passionate team, the Mercer Island Islanders (18-7 on the season) battled the undefeated, 25-0 Rainier Beach Vikings.

Throughout this season the Vikings have dominated their opponents, scoring over 100 points nine times on the season. But recently teams have keyed in on their scoring, sat back in zones, played slow basketball, and prayed that the lights out shooting Vikings were somehow cold. Mercer Island took this route, matched the intensity of the Vikings, and made this one a battle until the finish.

A 19-15 first quarter in favor of Rainier Beach can be classified as a Mercer Island win. The Islanders took good shots, played good defense, and senior guard Kaleb Warner scored seven on 3-3 from the field. The second quarter was not as pretty for the underdog Islanders, as a four point effort sent them into the locker room down 13. But Mercer Island did not go away.

A 20-15 third quarter put them in striking distance of the lesser aggressive Vikings. Baskets from Andrew Pickles and Jake Stenberg kept the dream alive for the Islanders, who never stopped fighting for the entire 32 minutes.

The fourth quarter again belonged to the Islanders, who trimmed the mighty Viking lead to just two points with two minutes to play on back to back three pointers by Warner. But the next two possessions resulted in turnovers, and the Vikings scored three points in their next two possessions, pushing this one ever so slightly out of reach.

A phenomenal effort by one of the states finest in Mercer Island, but conquering the mighty is such a difficult task. Beach moves on to Tacoma, with action beginning on Thursday, March 6th.

Top Performers:
Mercer Island
Kaleb Warner – 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
Andrew Pickles – 12 points, 7 rebounds

Rainier Beach
Djuan Piper – 17 points, 5 rebounds
David Crisp – 18 points
Dejounte Murray – 17 points

Edmonds-Woodway Clinches Last Regional Berth with Win Over Snohomish

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Thursday Feb 20th 2014 4A Boys Basketball
Mountlake-Terrace High 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Edmonds-Woodway 13 22 17 14 66
Snohomish 12 10 15 20 57

Edmonds-Woodway Clinches Last Regional Berth with Win Over Snohomish
By Steven Dion

There was one ticket to the sweet sixteen, the regional tournament. There were two teams: Edmonds-Woodway and Snohomish. The coveted spot would be awarded Thursday night at Mountlake Terrace High School. One of these two 4A Wesco squads would get the opportunity to host the third seed from KingCo on Saturday to finalize seeding for the next round. With the season on the line, the crowd at the MTHS gym was in for an exciting battle.

The first half featured back-and-forth scoring, including some nice dishes by Trey Holland of the Warriors. The freshman guard of EWHS was able to get penetration into the paint and find open shooters on the perimeter. Snohomish countered with efficient jump-shooting by the likes of Collin Kane and Josh Baird. The Warriors were able to create some separation midway through the second quarter with some triples by Jordan Rice. After sixteen minutes of play, Edmonds-Woodway picked up a double digit lead at 35-22.

When play resumed, Snohomish showed urgency to climb back into the contest early in the second half. Unfortunately, the Panthers suffered a tough wrist injury to Collin Kane in which he was unable to return from. E-W responded to the delay of play by continuing their sprint to the finish line. A dunk by Travis Bakken and sharp shooting by Jason Smarr continued the Warrior assault. The long, contested shots thwarted Snohomish’s attempt to climb back into the game, despite Andrew Ivelia and Kane’s continued scoring. When the buzzer sounded, Edmonds-Woodway won their ticket to regionals in convincing fashion by the score of 66-57.

Top Performers:
Edmonds-Woodway
Travis Bakken-19 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks
Jason Smarr-21 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists

Snohomish
Collin Kane-19 points

Blaine Cruises Past Eatonville in District Matchup

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Thursday Feb 20th 2014 1A Girls Basketball
Lynnwood High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Blaine 14 18 19 9 60
Eatonville 7 8 12 17 44

Blaine Cruises Past Eatonville in District Matchup
By Steven Dion

Game two of three in the slate of girls Tri-District matchups on Thursday night at Lynnwood High School was a meeting between the Cruisers of Eatonville and a clever name for the school that essentially sits between the United States and Canada, the Blaine Borderites. These schools are separated by a few hundred miles so it would be interesting how unfamiliar opponents from different districts would match up with one another.

The Borderites caught EHS on their heels early as a handful of opening possessions led to easy buckets in the Cruiser zone. This forced an early timeout called by Davina Serdahl to wake up her team. When play resumed, Blaine kept their foot on the pedal as Eatonville was trailing 14-3 to start the game. Alexis McElwain and Taylor D’Vovec eached scored a dozen in the first half which outscored the entire EHS scoring output by nine points. Cruiser senior Lauren Pate countered with aggressive play by scoring all but two of Eatonville’s second quarter points. At halftime, Blaine grabbed a commanding lead at 29-15.

Down by double digits with sixteen minutes of play remaining, the Cruisers needed to go on a big run to climb back into the contest. Kaelyn Voss answered the call to an extent by commanding the EHS attack. She was able to notch seventeen of her team’s 29 second half points, including three from downtown. However, McElwain and Mandy Hayes kept their scoring output rolling down the stretch to preserve the Blaine lead. The Borderites’ ability to collapse into the interior when Eatonville attacked the rim prevented and disrupted many scoring opportunities. Credit the Cruisers for hanging tough despite giving up a big lead early and Blaine for not wavering after grabbing the initial momentum. When the buzzer sounded, Blaine earned a 60-44 victory.

Top Performers:
Blaine
Alexis McElwain-24 points

Eatonville
Kaelyn Voss-22 points

Bremerton Sneaks Past Clover Park in District Quarterfinals

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Wednesday Feb 19th 2014 2A Boys Basketball
Foss High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bremerton 14 14 10 17 55
Clover Park 13 10 11 19 53

Bremerton Sneaks Past Clover Park in District Quarterfinals
By Steven Dion

Game two on Wednesday night in Dalesky & Black Gymnasium at Foss High School featured the second seed in Bremerton against Clover Park at number seven. The winner would take on Fife who won the game played prior to this one. Additionally, the loser would face Olympic in the consolation bracket. The ability of the Knights to limit the scoring Warrior senior and recently named 2A player of the year Philip Winston would play a big role in the result of this contest.

This game was exciting from the start as both teams were able to get multiple looks in the offensive zone. There were a handful of possessions where a flurry of putbacks were thrown at the rim by the attacking team. CPHS senior Anthony White was a monster on the boards and was there to pick up some rebounds on misses from his shooters. Surprisingly, Winston had trouble finding his shot early in this ball game and it would continue throughout. Bremerton guard Tarez Tyree Mason had an impressive second quarter, scoring ten points in the eight minutes, primarily through steals on defense and picking apart the suspect interior defense of the Warriors. At the half, Bremerton led 28-23.

Upon resuming this game, both teams had a tough time finding their groove. Clover Park made several errors on both sides of the ball. Fortunately for them, the Knights failed to capitalize on many of those occasions. BHS’ leading scorer through the season Deonte Dixon showed his athletic ability as a lob near the rim was caught in the air with his back to the hoop and slammed to the rim. A highlight dunk was ruined by a slight miss getting it through the hoop. Dixon still scored a game-high 20 points. CPHS climbed back in the game late with some threes by Trey Martin and Martino Smith. The Knights missed free throws down the stretch and gave Winston a chance to tie it up in the final seconds. His drive to the hoop resulted in a tough up-and-under that caught a lot of rim, but did not fall. Bremerton escaped by a deuce by the score of 55-53.

Top Performers:
Bremerton
Deonte Dixon-20 points

Clover Park
Philip Winston-17 points