RISE Black Headed to Florida After Convincing Northwest Showcase Victory

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April 9th 2017 7v7 Northwest Showcase Final
French Field Final
RISE Black 36
KT Prep Money (CA) 2

See game recap below
 


RISE Black Headed to Florida After Convincing Northwest Showcase Victory
By Steve Dion

The championship game at the 7v7 Northwest Showcase featured RISE Black from Washington vs. KT Prep Money from California. The winner would get a chance to represent their state at IMG Academy in Florida. RISE Black dominated the ballgame wire to wire in a 36-2 victory to claim the hardware. Watch the complete highlight package below.

7v7 Northwest Showcase Final
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Video – 2017 copyright ZUMA Media

The Final Score:
RISE Black 36, KT Prep Money (CA) 2.

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Hale Caps Off Historic Season, Claim 3A Hardware

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Hale Caps Off Historic Season, Claim 3A Hardware
By Steve Dion

Saturday- March 4th 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Garfield 13 16 11 11 51
Nathan Hale 15 11 23 19 68

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Nathan Hale Raiders

28 down, 1 to go.

Countless storylines heading into one basketball game.

The top ranked team in the country virtually all season long Nathan Hale led by first-year Head Coach Brandon Roy and touted prospect Michael Porter Jr. had one more box to check in his final prep game before following in his Roy’s footsteps and heading over to Montlake to play at the University of Washington.

To do so, they would have to take down a tough Garfield squad led by two future teammates Jaylen Nowell & Daejon Davis for the fourth time this season, the closest of which a four point win at Garfield on January 27th in a nationally-televised game. Could Garfield prevent the Raiders from rewriting the history books of Washington high school basketball?

A tightly contested opening two quarters were highlighted by the one-two punch of Porter and P.J. Fuller who combined for 17 points and 11 rebounds in a low scoring first half. The Bulldogs relied on their balance of playmakers including Jamon Kemp whose midrange game had early success for 9 early points. Both teams were held under 40% from the field. At the break, Nathan Hale found themselves in the rare position of trailing; a three point deficit.

The third quarter has been a friend of Hale’s all season long. Tonight was no exception. The notion that this was the time the Raiders would crumble was quickly wiped away when they exploded for 23 points in the eight minutes following intermission helping to secure a double-digit margin heading into the final frame. Jontay Porter’s size and strength were too much for the increasingly fatigued Bulldogs to contain. J’Raan Brooks kept the door cracked open for a miraculous comeback scoring 15 points leading Garfield, but the Raiders were able to close out with authority including a dunk of the ages by Porter which he tossed to himself off the backboard and followed up with a tomahawk slam akin to what you’d see on an NBA court. When the clock struck triple zeros, Nathan Hale finished the job many had dream was possible, but one that needed to be seen to believe.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 68, Garfield 51

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 27 points, 17 rebounds

Garfield
J’Raan Brooks- 15 points


Islanders Capture Gritty Win in 3A Title, Top Blanchet

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Islanders Capture Gritty Win in 3A Title, Top Blanchet
By Steve Dion

Saturday- March 4th 2017 Girls 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bishop Blanchet 12 11 10 14 47
Mercer Island 8 10 18 16 52

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Mercer Island Islanders

Championship Saturday tipped off with the Girls 3A Title Game between the Mercer Island Islanders & Bishop Blanchet Braves. It wasn’t until February 16th in the district semifinals that the then top-ranked Braves picked up their first loss of the season…to these same Islanders. It’s tough to beat a team once, could Mercer Island do it again with the championship trophy on the line?

The Braves found themselves up early as the Blanchet front court were dominant on both ends of the floor. Annie Maher recorded 8 of her team high 16 in the first two quarters and was complimented by 8 tough rebounds by Jillese Bush. The Islanders countered with a balanced attack, but lacked a clear-cut weapon to carry the weight. The highlight of the half for the Islanders was a buzzer-beating heave from near mid-court by Claire Mansfield. The Braves carried a 5 point lead at the break.

Mercer Island emerged from the locker room determined and began to feed Luce who carried them against BB in their first meeting. An 18 point outburst by MI allowed them to take the lead heading into the final frame. Could they close the deal?

As the clock was reaching the end of regulation and the game was in the balanced, it was time for a playmaker to put their stamp on the game. Enter Kailee Yan. On two late trips, the guard knocked down a deep two followed by a step back 3 to grab the lead. Then, Mansfield converted on a handful of free throws when the Braves were forced to stop the clock. She netted enough to make the final possession moot and Mercer Island captured the 3A state title to begin Saturday slate of games.

The Final Score
Mercer Island 52, Bishop Blanchet 47

Top Performers:
Mercer Island
Anna Luce- 21 points, 10 rebounds

Bishop Blanchet
Annie Maher- 14 points, 5 rebounds


Hale Upends Abes, Title Game Bound

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Hale Upends Abes, Title Game Bound
By Steve Dion

Friday- March 3rd 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Lincoln 18 15 13 14 60
Nathan Hale 24 17 17 26 84

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Nathan Hale Sophomore P.J. Fuller

53 wins, zero losses.

That was the combined record of the two teams heading into the first of two 3A semifinals on Friday night at “The Woodshed” in Tacoma. Top ranked team in the nation Nathan Hale fresh off a quarterfinal win against Standwood squared off against Lincoln who delivered a gutsy win on Thursday night over Seattle Prep.

As he does seemingly every night, Michael Porter Jr. started his monster night with 18 first half points to go with 5 rebounds including a few highlight-reel dunks. Stellar sophomore P.J. Fuller also had an impressive showing as his 29 points on 11/13 field goals led all scorers. The Abes kept the score close in the first half with Trevante Anderson and Emmett Linton doing damage on both ends of the floor. An eight point deficit for Lincoln at the break put themselves in position to make things interesting in the second half.

Like clockwork, Hale dashed any hope for an upset by ramping up the pace of play and letting the tremendous athleticism on their roster. Tre’var Holland made some back-breaking plays with his crafty ball-handling as part of a 16 point, 5 rebound performance. Aubrey Shelton’s Abes battled to the final whistle, but the Raiders simply overpowered their competition for the 26th time this season.

Will they make it 27 in the most important of them all tomorrow?

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 84, Lincoln 60

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
P.J. Fuller- 29 points, 4 rebounds

Lincoln
Trevante Anderson- 20 points, 12 rebounds


Garfield Knocks Off Reigning Champs Beach

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Garfield Knocks Off Reigning Champs Beach
By Steve Dion

Thursday- March 2nd 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 11 15 12 20 58
Garfield 10 19 11 19 59

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Garfield Bulldogs

For the fourth time this season, legendary Washington hoops programs Garfield & Rainier Beach squared off. To say these teams are familiar with eachother is an understatement. The previous three meetings this season all led up to this decisive night as the winner would punch its ticket to semifinal Friday of the Hardwood Classic.

The star guard matchup of Kevin Porter Jr. for Beach and Jaylen Nowell of Garfield presented itself without surprise as the two matched buckets throughout the first two frames. They accounted for 17 and 16 points respectively in the first half alone. Garfield who was without utility man Curtis Walker saw increased minutes by Jalani Howard and Mekhi Metcalf to fill the void. The Bulldogs who lead the season series 2-1 led by three with sixteen minutes separating themselves from another trip to the state semis.

Drama grew quickly in the third quarter with every successive possession becoming more critical than the previous. Jaylen Nowell continued to attack the cup with ferocity and was aided by growing contributions by his fellow guards Daejon Davis & Eddie Turner who both scored in double figures. This contributed to a lead that continued to grow into the late stages of the fourth quarter. With a ten point deficit and under three to go, Beach needed stops.

The battle-tested Viks were able to turn the ball over multiple times to draw the game within one possession and ten seconds to go. Kevin Porter Jr. and Tijohn Rodde figured heavily into the comeback with N’Keil Nelson & Khalil Shabazz fouled out. Jaylen Nowell went to the line to shoot a pair of free throw which he converted on both attempts. Rainier Beach had one final attempt to hit a game-tying 3-pointer, but the shot fell short and Garfield breathes a massive sigh of relief as they head into semifinal Friday.

The Final Score
Garfield 59, Rainier Beach 58

Top Performers:
Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 24 points, 5 rebounds

Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 28 points, 13 rebounds


West Seattle Bounces Wilson in Quarterfinal Bout

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West Seattle Bounces Wilson in Quarterfinal Bout
By Steve Dion

Thursday- March 2nd 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Wilson 14 7 13 20 54
Rainier Beach 15 10 15 22 62

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West Seattle Senior Nate Pryor

The penultimate Hardwood Classic quarterfinal matchup on Thursday featured an increasingly less unknown West Seattle squad against locally-based Wilson Rams. After facing the likes of Nathan Hale, Rainier Beach, & Garfield on several occasions in recent weeks, it was certainly a nice change for Keffrey Fazio’s Wildcats squad to test its meddle against other top Washington talent.

The matchup of length pitted Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Nathaniels Stokes for Wilson against the Mohamed brothers of West Seattle and the pairs of forwards figured heavily in the offensive output of the ballgame. Neither team gained a significant lead in the opening two quarters. Matthews accounted for the bulk of Wilson’s output netting 13 in the first half alone. West Seattle employed a more balanced attack with five Wildcats reaching the score sheet before intermission.

As the game wore on, Yusuf Mohamed continue to wreak havoc on both sides of the floor finishing with 23 points and 8 boards including a few highlight jams. Nate Pryor quietly added 13 and 7 in total as the Rams were outscored in all four quarters, thus never cutting down the deficit. The win earns the Wildcats a semifinal showdown with the victor between Garfield and Rainier Beach.

The Final Score
West Seattle 62, Wilson 54

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Yusuf Mohamed- 23 points, 11 rebounds

Wilson
Emmitt Matthews Jr.- 20 points, 6 rebounds


Hale Motors Past Stanwood in Tourney Opener

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Hale Motors Past Stanwood in Tourney Opener
By Steve Dion

Thursday- March 2nd 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Stanwood 10 14 18 21 63
Nathan Hale 20 22 27 17 86

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

The Tacoma Dome is not a familiar destination for the Nathan Hale Raiders. Similarly, a team with talent like Brandon Roy’s Raiders is equally rare.

The human highlight reel Michael Porter Jr. demonstrated his elite skills in the first half netting 20 of his 36 point total. PJ Fuller made his presence felt as well by tallying 13. The scrappy Spartans battled as senior leader A.J. Martinka reached double figures before halftime. However, an 18 point lead against the top team in the country would be a steep hill to climb for Stanwood.

It didn’t take long for Hale to seal the deal in the second half as more of the Raiders weapons including Jontay Porter, Fred Brown, and Tre’var Hollard joined Porter Jr. in the scoring spree. Stanwood showed tremendous fight with Cameron Plautz among others recorded strong figures as the game wore on. A decisive victory for Hale sets them up for a Friday night contest against also undefeated Lincoln.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 53, Stanwood 36

Top Performers:
Nathan Hale
Michael Porter Jr.- 36 points, 15 rebounds, 4 steals

Stanwood
Chase Strieby- 15 points, 8 rebounds


Lincoln Hands Prep Quarterfinal Exit

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Lincoln Hands Prep Quarterfinal Exit
By Steve Dion

Thursday- March 2nd 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 8 17 21 12 58
Lincoln 14 11 26 19 70

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Lincoln’s Willie Thomas & Emmett Linton

In a classic battle of Tacoma vs. Seattle, undefeated Lincoln took a short trip down the road to take on suddenly streaking Seattle Prep. Could the dynamic Panthers attack send the Abes packing with their first defeat of the season?

Lincoln took advantage of the home cooking early with leading scorer Trevante Anderson netting a dozen in the first half. Prep countered with another strong showing by Collin Welp whose recent performances have been gradually peaking. Additionally, Jaxon Woodward provided a nice boost to help bring the game to a 25-25 heading into intermission.

The intensity of the ballgame grew as the game wore on with physical play leading to critical calls on the floor and big momentum swings. The Abes ability to contain Prep sharpshooter Aaron Nettles played a major role in the outcome as the senior was limited to 10 points in the contest. Collin Welp continued his strong play, but his comrade in the paint Nic Lynch struggle to find a rhythm.

There were four Licoln players in double figures as Emmett Linton, Le’Zjon Bonds, and Willie Thomas joined their leader Anderson. The Abes did not waver in the closing minutes and walked away a dozen ahead of the Panthers. The win earns Lincoln a Friday night bout in front of their hometown crowd.

The Final Score
Lincoln 70, Seattle Prep 58

Top Performers:
Lincoln
Trevante Anderson- 17 points, 4 assists

Seattle Prep
Collin Welp- 20 points, 9 rebounds


Snohomish Wins Panther Battle, Ousts Prep

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Snohomish Wins Panther Battle, Ousts Prep
By Steve Dion

Thursday- March 2nd 2017 Girls 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 3 8 11 14 36
Snohomish 15 15 9 14 53

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Snohomish Panthers

The lunchtime quarterfinal matchup in the girls 3A bracket featured Metro representative Seattle Prep fresh off a win against the defending champs Bellevue against 4A runner-up last season Snohomish. The winner would earn a trip to the semis and play the winner of Mercer Island against Kamiakin.

Snohomish jumped out of the gates ready to compete taking advantage of Kyra Beckman’s strength in the low block. She led all scorers with 17 points in the ballgame. Seattle Prep was limited to a single field goal in the first quarter and were trailing by double digits early. As the half progressed, Prep was unable to find a rhythm and at the break found themselves trailing by 19.

When play resumed, Snohomish kept the pedal down and were able to maintain a sizable lead. Katie Brandvold and Maya Duchesne added 11 apiece. Seattle Prep got a baker’s dozen from Marie Hauck who battled for a tough 31 minutes, but the lack of scoring options around her caused them to fall short. With the victory, Snohomish continues its quest to follow up last year’s second place finish with a title.

The Final Score
Snohomish 53, Seattle Prep 36

Top Performers:
Snohomish
Kyra Beckman- 17 points, 7 rebounds

Seattle Prep
Marie Hauck- 13 points, 8 rebounds


Beach Opens Title Defense Victorious, Garfield Next

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Beach Opens Title Defense Victorious, Garfield Next
By Steve Dion

Wednesday- March 1st 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Bellevue 4 12 7 15 38
Rainier Beach 20 27 9 13 69

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It’s never a question of whether Rainier Beach will be here, it’s how far they’ll go. In the last handful of seasons, Mike Bethea’s has built a dynasty compiling 4 of the past 5 state titles. This season, the road to hoist the hardware will be a much tougher challenge. The Vikings quest for another title run began Wednesday night with a matchup against perennial KingCo power Bellevue. The winner would earn a quarterfinal matchup with Garfield on Thursday.

The defending champs made quick work of a young Wolverines squad from the opening tip. N’Keil Nelson’s toughness in the paint was too much for Bellevue’s interior defense and allowed the Beach wing to record 13 first-half points as part of a game-high 20. Additionally, Khalil Shabazz’s lock-down defense forced several turnovers leading to transition buckets for Kevin Porter Jr. who finished with 18.

The Wolverines were able to string together a more competitive second half even though the damage was done. Spencer Birkeland was able to reach double figures, but the experience Vikings held BHS to 38 points in the ballgame. Mike Bethea was able to get 9 Vikings in the scoring column in this convincing opening-round win.

Rainier Beach opens the Hardwood Classic in dominant fashion, but the road quickly gets tougher. They’ll battle the Bulldogs of Garfield tomorrow for the fourth time this year. A win would even the season series at two apiece, but at this stage, it’s win or go home. Make sure to catch the live broadcast of Thursday’s primetime matchup at www.theFinalScore.TV!

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 69, Bellevue 38

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

Bellevue
Spencer Birkeland- 10 points


Seattle Prep Deals Timberline Defeat, Advance to Quarters

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Seattle Prep Deals Timberline Defeat, Advance to Quarters
By Steve Dion

Wednesday- March 1st 2017 Boys 3A Hardwood Classic
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 18 13 25 15 71
Timberline 7 14 19 13 53

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Seattle Prep Panthers

Early March is the optimal time for a team to be peaking with its best play. For the Seattle Prep Panthers, they are doing just that.

The opening round of the Hardwood Classic featured 11th seeded Prep battling against counterpart to the south in the Timberline Blazers. Which team would advance to the quarterfinals to face undefeated Lincoln?

Mike Kelly’s Panther squad jumped out to a big lead early scoring a dozen before the Blazers found the scoreboard. It wasn’t until late in the first quarter when Timberline recorded its first points on an Erik Stevenson bucket in the paint. Collin Welp’s dominant effort in this ballgame was evident early as the senior post’s jump shot was falling in addition to controlling the paint. Despite leading by double digits at the break, a late surge by Timberline when the Prep attack stalled put the game within reach heading into the second half of play.

When play resumed, the pace increased and the change favored Seattle Prep whose strong transition game led by Kalu Stricklin & Collin Gale contributed to a 25 point outburst in the third. Additionally, Welp buried some shots from the perimeter and Nic Lynch added a dozen in the low block to extend the lead. Timberline tried to keep pace with some tough shots by Tariq Romain and Hunter Campau but the fate of the game gradually became clear.

The final frame was dominated by a gradual increase in reserves inserted to play by both sides to run down the clock with Prep’s victory looming. When the dust settled, the Panthers won in convincing fashion as they move on to face the Abes tomorrow.

The Final Score
Seattle Prep 71, Timberline 53

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
Collin Welp- 22 points, 7 rebounds

Timberline
Tariq Romain- 12 points, 3 steals


Hale Clips Beach Second Straight Saturday

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Hale Clips Beach Second Straight Saturday
By Steve Dion

Saturday- February 25th 2017 Boys 3A Regionals
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 21 17 11 22 71
Nathan Hale 17 17 19 27 80

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

Déjà vu.

It was at this same gymnasium in Bellevue one week ago when the top ranked team in the country Nathan Hale defeat defend Rainier Beach by 4 points, its lowest margin of victory this historic season. That game determined the district championship. Tonight, the stakes were raised as a first-round bye in the state tournament next week was on the line in addition to a favorable route to championship Saturday. Could the Vikings stun the Raiders in their third meeting of the season?

Rainier Beach began its attempt to knock off undefeated Hale early as crafty guard Khalil Shabazz netted 15 first-half points to lead the Vikings in the first half. The highly touted Michael Porter Jr. recorded 14 of his own including some thrilling dunks and acrobatic jumpers. At the break, Beach led 38-34.

A staple of Hale’s success this season is their ability to execute in the second half and that’s exactly what they did in this contest. Porter continued to carry the load adding another 10 in the third frame as the Raiders gained the lead heading into the final quarter. In addition, P.J. Fuller ignited the crowd with a huge block and 16 massive points to go with it.

Much like last week’s matchup, Beach fought back with N’Keil Nelson attacking the cup to add to his scoring total which finished at 18. However, a late Porter triple served as the dagger which sealed the victory for Brandon Roy’s still undefeated Hale squad. They retain their top seed heading into the state tourney which sets them up nicely for a clear route to the championship game.

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 80, Rainier Beach 71

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

Rainier Beach
Khalil Shabazz- 24 points

Nowell’s Second Half Explosion Silences Stanwood

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Nowell’s Second Half Explosion Silences Stanwood
By Steve Dion

Saturday- February 25th 2017 Boys 3A Regionals
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Stanwood 18 17 9 32 76
Garfield 17 14 26 26 83

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Garfield Senior Jaylen Nowell

In the final day of playoff hoops leading into the state tournament, second-seeded Garfield found themselves matched up with an always tough WesCo counterpart Stanwood. How would these strong programs hailing from different leagues perform against one another?

Stanwood showed they were ready to run with the Bulldogs as they found themselves outscoring their opponent in both of the opening quarters. Chase Strieby was opportunistic on his offensive trips and Quinton Borseth provided a massive boost from the bench. In fact, he ended up leading all Spartan scorers. Jaylen Nowell & J’Raan Brooks recorded modest first-half scoring figures, but below what they’ve shown they’re capable of. Could Stanwood hold off the talented Garfield squad for another two quarters and complete the upset?

Jaylen Nowell answered the question for them.

A 16 point outburst by the University of Washington bound senior leader recorded a sweet sixteen points in the third quarter as part of a game high 32 including an emphatic dunk in transition which dashed the Stanwood momentum that was built in the first half. Curtis Walker added himself into the mix with a handful of gritty buckets as he’s accustomed to.

AJ Martinka found his groove in the fourth quarter by netting 11 in the quarter as part of a 32 point frame by the Spartans, but it proved too late as Garfield held on to a 83-76 hard-fought win leading into tournament week in Tacoma.

The Final Score
Garfield 83, Stanwood 76

Top Performers:
Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 32 points

Stanwood
Quinton Borseth- 20 points

West Seattle Chops Timberline in Regional Rout

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West Seattle Chops Timberline in Regional Rout
By Steve Dion

Saturday- February 25th 2017 Boys 3A Regionals
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Timberline 12 8 7 11 38
West Seattle 16 10 14 20 60

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West Seattle Senior Yusuf Mohamed

In the 1pm Saturday afternoon state tournament seeding regional matchup at Bellevue College, West Seattle squared off against Timberline with a first round bye at the Dome on the line.

A closely contested first quarter featured a showcase guard matchup between Nate Pryor & Tariq Romain with the pair matching a half dozen in the opening frame. As the half wore on, the Wildcats were able to create separation as Anthony Giomi made his presence felt by knocking down a pair of triples which marked the margin held by West Seattle at halftime.

The third quarter began with key fouls to West Seattle’s Yusuf & Abdul Mohamed which forced Keffrey Fazio to put in reserves for the majority of the third quarter. Unfortunately for Timberline, this opportunity to capitalize was not taken advantage of and they found themselves trailing by double digits heading into the fourth even with a strong effort by Blazers leading scoring Erik Stevenson entering double figures in the game.

Nate Pryor put a stamp on the contest in the final frame by netting five more points including a deep three en route to a game-high 21 as West Seattle’s Cinderella season continues next Thursday at the ‘Woodshed’ with the first-round bye earned with the win over the Blazers.

The Final Score
West Seattle 60, Timberline 38

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 21 points

Timberline
Erik Stevenson- 10 points

West Seattle Punches State Ticket with Resounding Regional Win

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West Seattle Punches State Ticket with Resounding Regional Win
By Steve Dion

Saturday- February 25th 2017 Girls 3A Regionals
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Edmonds-Woodway 4 7 20 10 41
West Seattle 20 11 13 19 63

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West Seattle Sophomore Jasmine Gayles

Bellevue College served as the site for a full day of Regional round basketball starting with a winner-to-state contest between the West Seattle Lady Wildcats & Edmonds-Woodway Warriors. Which team would earn its spot at the Dome next week?

The Metro League runner-up Wildcats used their trusted formula of tenacious defense leading to transition buckets from the opening tip including 11 first-half points by Jasmine Gayles who matched the Warriors first-half score. The lead progressively ballooned as the half wore on and by intermission, West Seattle found itself up by 20. Bailee Chynoweth provided a spark for Edmonds-Woodway, but she would need an explosive second half to propel her team back into the ballgame.

It didn’t take long for the second half to become a matter of clock management as the potent full-court attack of West Seattle continued to push the lead built in the first two quarters. Edmonds-Woodway increased its offensive output in the third frame with Ingrid Fosberg knocking down a pair from the perimeter, but the Wildcats matched Woodway bucket-for-bucket and the margin never reached a point of jeopardy. A total of eight Wildcats players scored in the ballgame which included a 14-2 run midway through the fourth quarter put the game on ice. With the win, West Seattle is T-Dome bound.

The Final Score
West Seattle 63, Edmonds-Woodway 41

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Jasmine Gayles- 17 points

Edmonds-Woodway
Bailee Chynoweth- 11 points

Nic Lynch Shines as Prep Rolls to State

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Nic Lynch Shines as Prep Rolls to State
By Steve Dion

Friday- February 24th 2017 Boys 3A Regionals
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Spanaway Lake 10 8 11 16 45
Seattle Prep 14 13 16 21 64

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Seattle Prep Junior Nic Lynch

Regionals weekend at Bellevue College tipped off with a matchup between Metro & South Puget Sound as the Seattle Prep Panthers & Spanaway Lake Sentinels squared off to determine their placement at the Tacoma Dome next week.

The big man tandem for the Panthers of Nic Lynch and Collin Welp played a pivotal role in the ball game as the pair nearly outscored Spanaway Lake in the first half; Sentinels 18, Prep bigs 15 after one quarter. Despite having a half dozen scorers in the first half for Spanaway Lake, there was not an explosive performance by any one in particular like Prep’s Lynch. An Alex Flor 3 at the halftime buzzer sent the Panthers into the locker room with a 27-18 lead.

As play continued, the crafty guard Aaron Nettles made his presence felt by burying three from downtown to extend the lead. Isaiah Turner carried the Sentinels on his shoulders down the stretch scoring a game-high 21, but it wasn’t enough as another Nic Lynch surge in the fourth put the ballgame on ice. With the win, Seattle Prep will return to the Tacoma Dome next week.

The Final Score
Seattle Prep 64, Spanaway Lake 45

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
Nic Lynch- 21 points

Spanaway Lake
Isaiah Turner- 21 points

Seattle Prep Walks Tightrope to TDome

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Seattle Prep Walks Tightrope to TDome
By Steve Dion

Friday- February 24th 2017 Girls 3A Regionals
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Prairie 11 19 6 17 53
Seattle Prep 11 18 11 15 55

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Seattle Prep Senior Chinwe Ezeonu

The nightcap of Regional play at Bellevue College on Friday night featured Seattle Prep & Prairie. The winner would earn itself a berth to state championship weekend at the Tacoma Dome in the first week of March.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with both teams firing from long range effectively. Brook Walling recorded 17 first half points for the Falcons including a four-pack from beyond the arc. Prep countered with 9 from senior leader Chinwe Ezeonu. After a thrilling first two quarters, the Greater St. Helens representative Prairie led by a single point 30-29.

When the teams returned from intermission, the game entered a lull that lasted throughout the third quarter and ultimately dictated the outcome. The Falcons were only able to string together a half dozen points in the frame and the Panthers capitalized by taking a lead entering the fourth and final quarter. In the closing minutes, Ezeonu took the game into her hands by netting tough buckets down low as part of her team-high 21. Prairie’s Jozie Tangeman countered with a strong fourth frame to keep her team within striking distance.

With under a minute to play, Bea Franklin connected on an off-hand scoop shot to put the Lady Panthers up four. The Falcons were able to cut the lead down to one possession, but a late steal by Prep was enough to kill the clock and send the Lady Panthers to the state championships next week.

The Final Score
Seattle Prep 55, Prairie 53

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
Chinwe Ezeonu- 21 points

Prairie
Brook Walling- 23 points

Hale Survives Late Scare, Wins SeaKing District

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Hale Survives Late Scare, Wins SeaKing District
By Colin Caruso

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

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Jorell Saterfield & Michael Porter Jr.

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

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

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

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 88, Rainier Beach 84

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

Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 34 points

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

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

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

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

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

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

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

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 62, West Seattle 52

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

West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 31 points

Mercer Island Stuns Undefeated Blanchet in SeaKing Semis

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Mercer Island Stuns Undefeated Blanchet in SeaKing Semis
By Steve Dion

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

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Mercer Island Islanders

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

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

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

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

The Final Score
Mercer Island 50, Bishop Blanchet 44

Top Performers:
Mercer Island
Anna Luce- 26 points

Bishop Blanchet
Annie Maher- 14 points

Beach Boys District Finale Bound

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Beach Boys District Finale Bound
By Steve Dion

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

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Rainier Beach Vikings

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

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

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

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

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 65, Seattle Prep 51

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

Seattle Prep
Collin Welp- 15 points

West Seattle Knocks Off Reigning Champs in District Semis

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

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

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Jasmine Gayles & Ellie Turk – West Seattle

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

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

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

The Final Score
West Seattle 47, Bellevue 37

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Grace Sarver- 12 points

Bellevue
Annika Prins- 15 points

Rainier Beach Downs Garfield in SeaKing Opener

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Rainier Beach Downs Garfield in SeaKing Opener
By Steve Dion

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

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Rainier Beach Junior Fred Roberson

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

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

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

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

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 66, Garfield 57

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

Garfield
J’Raan Brooks- 17 points

Hale Ends League Title Drought with Resounding Win Over Garfield

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

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

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Nathan Hale Senior Michael Porter Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 91, Garfield 58

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

Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 18 points

Garfield Conquers Rainier Beach, Plays Nathan Hale in Metro Final

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

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

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Garfield Senior Jaylen Nowell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Score
Garfield 76, Rainier Beach 70

Top Performers:
Garfield
Jaylen Nowell- 28 points

Rainier Beach
Kevin Porter Jr.- 23 points

Hale Survives Scare By West Seattle in Metro Semis

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

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

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Nathan Hale Junior Jontay Porter

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

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

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

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

The Final Score
Nathan Hale 72, West Seattle 59

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

West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 26 points

West Seattle Outlasts Beach, Metro Title Game Bound

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

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

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West Seattle Wildcats

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

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

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

The Final Score
West Seattle 51, Rainier Beach 45

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Jasmine Gayles- 16 points

Rainier Beach
Karizma Loeffler- 13 points

Beach Boys Set to Take Off for Alaska Airlines Arena

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

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

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Kevin Porter Jr. Defending Eastside Catholic’s Inbound Pass

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

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

The Final Score
Rainier Beach 89, Eastside Catholic 55.

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

Eastside Catholic
Brock Mackenzie- 19 points

Pryor, Sarver Send West Seattle to Semifinals

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Pryor, Sarver Send West Seattle to Semifinals
By Steve Dion

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

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West Seattle Wildcats

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

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

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

The Final Score
West Seattle 53, Seattle Prep 49.

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Nate Pryor- 21 points

Seattle Prep
Aaron Nettles- 18 points


Pryor, Sarver Send West Seattle to Semifinals
By Steve Dion

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

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West Seattle Wildcats

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

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

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

The Final Score
West Seattle 71, Cleveland 52.

Top Performers:
West Seattle
Grace Sarver- 18 points

Cleveland
Jazzeem Bethea- 17 points