The Rainier Beach Vikings won their third straight Class 3A state championship with a thrilling 47-45 win against Eastside Catholic on Saturday.
The Vikings trailed for the early portion of the fourth quarter, but Djuan Piper hit a mid-range jumper with five seconds left that gave Beach a 47-45 lead. Eastside Catholic’s Mandrell Worthy rushed the ball up the court, but he was stripped at midcourt and Beach picked up the ball and the win.
Shaqquan Aaron led Beach with 22 points and David Crisp added 10, including 8 in the first half. Aaron scored 16 of his points in the second half and carried Beach down the stretch. Piper scored only six points but he scored the final four points for Beach.
With the win, the Vikings finish their season undefeated and will now go to Madison Square Garden to play in a national championship tournament after the season. That appearance was contingent on Beach winning the state title and finishing undefeated.
Worthy led Eastside Catholic with 21 points. The game was played at a slow pace, which is exactly how Eastside Catholic wanted it to be played. Matisse Thybulle added eight points for the Crusaders.
Beach beat Eastside Catholic four times this season.