Thoughts from the first Tuesday of the New Year:
Kentwood buries Auburn. As long as big man Josh Smith plays for Kentwood, there will always be a question as large as he is looming over the Conquerors: can their guards win the game when Smith gets smothered in the middle? On Tuesday night, the answer was yes. As Sandy Ringer wrote last night, Tre Tyler and Alec Wilson combined for five-three-pointers and 31 points in a 64-43 win against Auburn. Kentwood’s making a solid case to be the third-best team in the West Central District (behind Federal Way and Decatur).
Wroten returns to Washington, helps bail out Garfield against Inglemoor. When Inglemoor took a 45-44 lead with 5:13 left last night, Garfield coach Ed Haskins reminded his team about how Duncanville of Texas allowed Garfield back in the game last week, a game the Bulldogs ended up winning. “That could be you,” he told them, and Garfield went on a 10-0 run, led by Tony Wroten. Wroten looked tired — and admitted he wasn’t always up to game speed — but in the final five minutes, he made all the plays Garfield needed. Get used to stat sheet stuffer nights like this: 20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals.
Franklin and Beach roll. No. 1 Franklin beat Ingraham 82-50, and No. 2 Beach beat Bishop Blanchet 83-48. It’s most likely neither of these teams will stumble in Metro until they play Jan. 23 at Franklin, their only meeting of the regular season. Rainier Beach expects to have LSU-bound guard Aaron Dotson back from his knee injury by then.
Gonzaga Prep goes to 9-0. The Bullpups, who have dismantled just about every team they’ve faced this season, are by far the favorites in Spokane. Expect to see them in Tacoma in March.