FINAL: Rainier Beach 74, Shadle Park 46
Rainier Beach has entered the 3A state tournament wearing a target before. But this year is different.
This year, the Vikings are not only playing as the heavy favorites to win their third straight state title, but they’re also playing for a chance to play in a national tournament in Madison Square Garden after the season. That opportunity is contingent on Beach finishing the season undefeated, and it came after a controversial decision by the WIAA to allow Beach to play in the post-season tournament.
“That’s the one thing is the focus because of all the attention,” Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea said after his team’s 74-46 win against Shadle Park (10-14) in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the 3A state tournament. “There are a lot of distractions.”
Beach (27-0) handled Shadle Park — the only team in the 3A field with a losing record — from the first few minutes. The Vikings roared to a 19-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, grew it to 43-16 by halftime and led by as many as 38 in the second half.
Four Vikings scored in double digits, led by 16 points from Elijah Foster and 14 from Dejounte Murray.
Beach plays Bellevue (21-4) in the semifinal on Friday.
“We came out with a sense of urgency,” Bethea said.
But Bethea wasn’t pleased with how his team finished the game. Shadle Park played Beach relatively even after halftime.
“I’m happy with the win,” Bethea said. “No doubt about it. But just the effort pissed me off down the stretch. We didn’t have it in the second half.”
Beach’s defense was swarming early, and Shadle Park shot just 27 percent for the game. Beach, meanwhile, was able to attack the basket and get a lot of points near the rim in the first half.
In the second half, despite never losing grip on the game, Bethea thought his team let up some.
FINAL: Bellevue 61, Stanwood 43
Well, that changed in a hurry. Stanwood jumped out to an 11-2 lead to start the game before Bellevue came roaring back — and then some. Bellevue guard Kyle Foreman helped spark the comeback, rattling off seven straight points for the Wolverines in the first quarter and lifting Bellevue from a 13-9 deficit to a 16-15 lead. Zack Moore also chipped in seven straight points for Bellevue in the second quarter to grow that lead.
Meanwhile, Stanwood went six minutes without scoring between the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter. Bellevue led by 11 at halftime, and the Wolverines maintained a lead right around there for the rest of the game.
It marked an early exit for a Stanwood team that won its first 22 games of the season. The Spartans lost just one game all year, but they’ve now lost two of their last three games.
Sharif Khan led the way for Bellevue with 14 points while Moore added 12 and Kyle Foreman had nine.
Josh Thayer led Stanwood with 16 points while Drew Stang added 13.
Bellevue (21-4) will play the winner of Rainier Beach-Shadle Park in the 3A semifinals. Stanwood (23-2) will play the loser of that game.
FINAL: Eastside Catholic 53, University 39
Eastside Catholic didn’t exactly cruise to a win in the 3A state quarterfinals against University, but the Crusaders also never really struggled.
A couple things worth pointing out in the first half of this game — one dealing with scoring the ball and the other dealing with not scoring the ball. First, the scoring. Mandrell Worthy and Matisse Thybulle carried the Crusaders offensively. The pair was efficient and effective and combined for 36 points; Worthy finished with 24 points while Thybulle added 12, including 10 in the first half.
Now, the not-scoring-the-ball part. University didn’t score in the first four minutes of both the first, second and third quarters, allowing Eastside Catholic to pull away. The Titans were able to close that gap in the first quarter — after falling behind 8-0, they tied the game at 11 — but they couldn’t do so later in the game. University had 20 turnovers compared to just eight for Eastside Catholic.
Robert Little led University 11 points, including three 3-pointers, while Ben Kuiper added 10.
FINAL: Wilson 60, O’Dea 57
For a moment in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Fighting Irish were going to advance to the 3A state semifinals just a year after missing the state tournament for the first time in four years. A slumbering offense finally showed some life as sharp-shooting guard Quin Barnard buried a pair of 3-pointers to give O’Dea a 7-point lead.
But the youthful Wilson Rams — just three seniors on their roster — stormed right back and wrestled the game away in the final minutes. O’Dea’s Jacob Lampkin’s put back with 54 seconds left cut Wilson’s lead to 56-55, but Wilson answered. David Jenks scored on a layup with 22 seconds left after a nice dump-off pass from big man Alphonso Anderson.
Lampkin led O’Dea with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Jamie Orme added 12 points and Barnard had 11, including three 3-pointers after halftime.
For Wilson, Anderson led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds while Ivy Smith Jr. scored 16 points and had eight assists.
Wilson (23-3) will play the winner of Eastside Catholic and University in the 3A semifinals. O’Dea is 17-11 and will play the loser of the Eastside Catholic-University game.