Sedro-Woolley Faces off Against Lynden for 2A State Final By Steven Dion
The 2A final appears to have the best chance of becoming an instant classic. The interesting storylines heading into this game are seemingly endless. Lynden has won the last 3 titles including six of the previous 8 whereas Sedro-Woolley is in rare territory playing December football. Both teams hail from the highly competitive Northwest League that produce hotly contested games in the regular season. They squared off at Lynden on October 24th and the home team escaped with a 33-30 victory. I caught up with Dave Ward this week and he said Lynden’s ability to create a half-dozen big plays was a key factor in the first go-around and will be a point of emphasis on Saturday. Based on the quarterfinal and semifinal games, expect an enormous sea of blue in support of S-W and likewise for the Lions.
The playmakers that are bound to make a splash in this contest include Sterling Somers (QB) and his favorite targets Jordan Wittenberg and Scooter Hastings who stands 6’7”. The Lynden defense has been slightly more porous than in recent years allowing opponents to push them including a rare loss against Ferndale in mid-December. The Cubs boast a dynamic offensive weapon in Mason Elms who appears to play every position on the field. If he and fellow tailback Carter Crosby can tally over 80 yards on the ground and find the end zone, the Cubs have a good shot.
The strength of Sedro-Woolley is their linebacking corps. The speed and tenacity of Chad Wilburg, Jacob Farrell, and Jay Burger has the ability to hold talented offenses like Lynden, but will they put it together on Saturday to take down the champ? The action takes place on Saturday at 1pm at the Tacoma Dome.
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.
Fife Prevails Over Olympic in the Battle of Trojans By Steven Dion
In the quarterfinals of the District 3 2A Basketball Tournament, the third seed in Fife met sixth seed Olympic at Foss High School on Wednesday night. OHS defeated Steilacoom in the first round on Monday by the score of 54-42. Fife received a first round bye for being a top four finisher in league. The winner of this matchup would face the winner of Clover Park/Bremerton on Friday whereas the loser would take on team that failed to pick up the win on the aforementioned game.
FHS guard Austin Wood helped his team pick up some early momentum as he drew some charges under the rim to force turnovers. Olympic responded nicely by picking up their defensive intensity. The up-tempo offense Fife built early on was replaced with perimeter shots that were not falling regularly. A 10-2 run by OHS including 6 by sophomore post Jumier Johnson helped the Trojans from Silverdale take a 21-16 lead into the locker room.
When play resumed, impact bench player from Fife Jephthah Donker excited the crowd with highlight blocks and a bucket with foul on the offensive end. Olympic’s Makaleb McInnis despite only scoring 5 points had big contributions with aggressive play. The fourth quarter was a chess match with alternating possessions emptying the shot clock and back-and-forth trading of buckets. With thirty seconds left and a tie ballgame, Alex Lemoncelli intercepted an Olympic pass and took the ball to the hoop. The shot did not fall, but the senior drew a foul. He drained the second shot and that was the difference in the game as Fife won 37-36.
Top Performers: Fife
Alex Lemoncelli-11 points including game winning steal and FT
Austin Woods-10 points
Lynden Lions Follow Lynden Christian Win With a Victory of Their Own By Steven Dion
The northerly town of Lynden had two teams represented at the ShoWare Shootout on Saturday in Kent. After Lynden Christian defeated Cedar Park Christian, it was the Lions’ turn to keep the Lynden train rolling. Their recent playoff run in football leading to another state championship has certainly affected the quick transition to basketball, a team composed of many football players. Brett McDaniel and his Sumner team were eager to spoil the two hour trip north for their opponent Saturday afternoon.
Consistency was an issue for both squads in this game as momentum swings were abundant. Sumner was only able to put up five points in the first eight minutes. Fortunately for the Spartans, Lynden was only able to notch ten of their own. The tides turned in the next eight as Sumner’s full court press forced turnovers in the Lynden side of the floor. The absence of an undersized, ball-handling specialist on the big Lions roster was a weakness Sumner picked apart. A four-point second quarter by Lynden led to a lead change and a 18-14 Spartan lead at the break.
The third quarter proved to be a pivotal turning point in the game as Sumner was unable to protect their lead, conceding seventeen points to their opposition while only scoring seven. Sumner was going to need to stage a comeback in the final quarter to pull out a victory. The Spartans high energy offense provided ample opportunities to knock down shots. However, shots were challenged by the likes of Scooter Hastings and Jaremy Martin. Even though Sumner won the fourth quarter, they were unable to win the ballgame as 5 and 7 point first and third quarters dug a hole for the Spartans they could not dig themselves out of. At the final buzzer, Lynden won 43-40.
Lady Monarchs Sting Hornets in ShoWare Shootout By Steven Dion
Steve Rooklidge and his Mark Morris squad had plans to make their two hour trek north to Kent from Longview worthwhile at the ShoWare Shootout against White River from the SPSL. The Monarchs wasted no time finding their groove as their pesky defense caused numerous turnovers leading to transition buckets. The ball movement by Mark Morris was phenomenal throughout the entire contest; making the extra pass, finding the open shooter. After one frame, Mark Morris built a seven point lead. White River certainly knew their size disadvantage going into this game would create matchup problems throughout and they would have to find other ways to battle the Monarchs. Unfortunately, Mark Morris’ sizzling shooting continued through the rest of the first half. Going into the break, the Hornets trailed by eighteen points.
MMHS picked up where they left off in the second half as their jump-shots continued to fall and the stops on the defensive end led to high percentage shot in the frontcourt. Coach Rooklidge said he was pleased and even surprised how well his team was able to execute on both sides of the floor. Their ability to handle a talented White River team the way they did is a testament to an experienced Greater St. Helens League frontrunner. Both teams were able to finish with four players in double-digit scoring. However, the Eaton duo of Mark Morris both registered double-doubles as Kourtney knocked down 16 points and 11 assists while Karley scored 21 and grabbed 11 rebounds. Final score 75-53 in favor of the Monarchs.
Top Performers: Mark Morris
Karley Eaton – 21 points (9/17 FG’s 2/2 FT’s), 11 rebounds, 5 assists
Seahawks Soar Over Hornets in SPSL Showdown By Steven Dion
The first boys matchup of the ShoWare Shootout featured two South Puget Sound League squads in White River and Peninsula. The Seahawks donned the letters DWWD on the backs of their jersey which according to coach Jack Jackson represents their commitment to “Do What We Do”. This motto carried Peninsula to a 4-2 record heading into their matchup Saturday which was their win total a year ago. However, the Hornets were anxious to go toe-to-toe with their opponent from a high classification to finish strong going in the holiday break.
Nerves appeared to affect both squads early as scoring was minimal and players were reluctant to shoot and create scoring opportunities. After the first frame the Hawks led 8-6. The energy picked up in the second quarter as the McLaughlin brothers JaQuori and O’Shea of Peninsula began to carry the bulk of the Hawks offensive output. The pair scored a combined 33 points on the contest including 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. Despite being undersized the Hornets were aggressive on the boards including 10 from senior guard Brandon Dove. Going into the break, both teams shot 42% from the field and PHS carried the slimmest of leads at 25-24.
This league showdown remained tight for the majority of the contest as one or two possessions separated the teams. In total, there were seven ties and sixteen lead changes throughout the game. Coincidentally, both teams notched 13 apiece in the third so the one-point Peninsula lead carried into the final period of play. The Hornets prolific offensive effort yielded an impressive 34 shots in the second half to PHS’s 18, but only 8 fell through. Meanwhile JaQuori Parker converted on some critical buckets down the stretch in addition to his flawless shooting from the charity stripe. The Hawks built their biggest lead of nine points in the fourth and didn’t look back. When the dust settled, the Hawks picked up a 55-48 victory. They are now 5-2 on the campaign.