Rainier Beach Downs Wolverines For SeaKing Title

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Rainier Beach Downs Wolverines For SeaKing Title
By Steven Dion

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


Rainier Beach Vikings

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Score: Rainier Beach 70 Bellevue 56

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Dejounte Murray-22 points

Bellevue
Gunther Klimes-15 points

King’s Captures 1A District Title Over Seattle Academy

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King’s Captures 1A District Title Over Seattle Academy

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



King’s Sophomore Corey Kispert

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

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

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

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

The Final Score: King’s 48 Seattle Academy 31

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

Seattle Academy
Ben Gerke-13 points

Henn’s Explosive Second Half Propels Bellevue Past Crusaders

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

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


Bellevue Senior Kyle Foreman

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

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

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

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

The Final Score: Bellevue 69 Eastside Catholic 47

Top Performers:
Bellevue
Mikey Henn-21 points

Eastside Catholic
Max Hudgins-14 points

Bellevue Girls Advance in SeaKing District Tourney Over Lakeside

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

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


Bellevue Senior Dejah Rogers

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

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

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

The Final Score: Bellevue 62 Lakeside 43

Top Performers:
Bellevue
Mandy Steward-18 points

Lakeside
Kimijah King-16 points

Rainier Beach Holds Metro League Champion Title for Another Year

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

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


Rainier Beach Senior Ivy Smith

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

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

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

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

The Final Score: Rainier Beach 84 Garfield 81

Top Performers:
Rainier Beach
Shadeed Shabazz-25 points

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell-33 points

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rainier Beach Advances to Metro Final


Rainier Beach Advances to Metro Final
By Colin Caruso

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rainier Beach Handles Prep on Senior Night


Rainier Beach Handles Prep on Senior Night
By Colin Caruso

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

King’s Caps off Perfect League Record Against Archbishop Murphy

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

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


King’s Sophomore Corey Kispert

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

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

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

The Final Score: King’s 56 Archbishop Murphy 44

Top Performers:
King’s
Corey Kispert-27 points

Archbishop Murphy
Abraham Lucas-9 points

Monster Second Quarter Propels Roosevelt Over Lakeside

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Monster Second Quarter Propels Roosevelt Over Lakeside
By Steven Dion

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


Roosevelt Senior Lewis Gregerson-Spencer

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Score: Roosevelt 70 Lakeside 61

Top Performers:
Roosevelt
Cam Haslam-26 points

Lakeside
Isiah Brown-30 points