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


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:
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