Beach Cruises to Another State Final

Beach Cruises to Another State Final
By Colin Caruso

Friday February 7th 2015 Boys 3A State
Tacoma Dome 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Rainier Beach 22 4 13 22 61
Eastside Catholic 10 7 10 6 33

Rainier Beach Senior Dejounte Murray

The big question most coaches ask when facing the back, to back, to back, state champs, “What can we do to stop them?” Coach Bill Liley and his Eastside Catholic Crusaders were faced with that question on Friday night in the Tacoma Dome.

The Crusaders fell to the mighty Rainier Beach Vikings twice during the regular season, both times by double digits. The goal of this contest was to keep Rainier Beach out of transition, force a half-court game, and knock down shots.

Unfortunately for the Crusaders, they were unable to keep Beach out of transition, and struggled from the perimeter. Rainier Beach took a 22-10 lead into the second, backed by an emphatic De’Jounte Murray alley-oop slam.

Rainier Beach failed to score for the first six minutes of the second quarter. This obviously played into the Crusaders hands, who started the quarter on a 7-0 run. In a low scoring second, Beach took a 26-17 lead into the break.

With the first six points in the third quarter, the Crusaders turned this into anybody’s game. Down just three, Eastside had the momentum and the Vikings struggles from the floor did not subside. But the shooting woes that plagued the Vikings transferred to the Crusaders, and they finished the third quarter with just 27 points.

Beach rolled in the fourth. Ivy Smith and Shadeed Shabazz began to knock down jumpers for the Vikings, as they extended their lead to as many as 28. Rainier Beach won the game 61-33, finishing the game on a 16-2 run. They will face off against the Bulldogs of Garfield for the 3A state title.

Top Performer:
Rainier Beach
De’Jounte Murray – 16 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals

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

Seattle Prep explodes in the second half, advances to regionals

Saturday- Feb. 16 2013 – 3A – SeaKing District
Bellevue College 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle Prep 7 18 25 22 72
Eastside Catholic 16 7 13 14 50

Seattle Prep explodes in the second half, advances to regionals
By Colin Caruso

In this loser out, winner to regional game, the Seattle Prep Panthers matched up against the Eastside Catholic Crusaders.  The electricity in the gym picked up in the first quarter, and Eastside responded with an early 16-7 lead.  Sophomore Mandrell Worthy led all scorers with eight points in the quarter and converted twice on and-ones.

Back to back threes for Panther sophomore Jack Stewart and eight straight points from senior DJ Fenner sprang Prep into the lead 21-18 in the second.  Eastside responded with five straight points from senior Austin Soukup, but Fenner was too much for the Crusaders in the quarter, finishing with 12 points.  Prep led 25-23 at the half.

The Prep offense exploded coming out of the locker room.  Six Panthers scored in the third, led by Stewart who had nine of the team’s 25.  Eastside could not find a way to stop the Panthers defensively, and Prep took a 14 point lead into the fourth.

The hoop resembled the Pacific Ocean for the Panthers in the fourth.  Fenner poured in another 12 points, which led the Panthers to a 22 point quarter.  Worthy for the Crusaders did his best to match, putting up eight in the final frame for Eastside.  But the game was in Prep’s hands by this point, and the Panthers ended the Crusader season with a 72-50 win.

Top Performers:
Seattle Prep
DJ Fenner (33 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks)
Jack Stewart (15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals)
Laurence Hicks (8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals)

Eastside Catholic
Mandrell Worthy (21 points, 8 rebounds)
Austin Soukup (15 points)
Max Hudgins (10 points, 2 steals)