Here are three thoughts from No.6 Rainier Beach’s 78-64 win against No. 6 Lakeside on Tuesday:
1. Rainier Beach is really good defensively. OK, that might be stating the obvious, but the Vikings can be a lockdown defensive team. They play a fast-paced style of basketball, and when they’re rolling defensively – as they were in their last two games against O’Dea and Lakeside – it leads to turnovers in bunches. Beach gets plenty of credit for its offensive firepower (there’s a lot of it), but the Vikings can be just as dominant on defense.
2. Shaqquan Aaron and Marquis Davis are as good a one-two punch as there is in the state. Aaron has settled into a groove lately, rattling off 20- and 30-point scoring nights with consistency. Davis returned to the lineup on Saturday after sitting out for disciplinary reasons, but he showed on Tuesday why he is so valuable: He scored 13 points, including 11 in the first half, and is one of the state’s best defensive guards. Those two together can be deadly.
3. Don’t count out Lakeside. There is no shame in losing to a Rainier Beach team that will probably be ranked first or second in the state when the next polls are released. The Lions knocked off then-No. 5 Franklin on Saturday despite not scoring for more than five minutes in the fourth quarter. Lakeside is a talented enough team with Tramaine Isabell, D’Marques Tyson and a solid supporting cast to make a serious push down the stretch. But the Lions must regroup quickly: They face a second-ranked Seattle Prep team on Friday that just lost its first in-state game against O’Dea.