If you attempted to come watch Garfield and Rainier Beach last night, there’s a decent chance you were turned away. Unfortunately, if you were one of those fans that missed the game, it lived up to the hype.
A reader emailed me this morning saying she was turned away due to capacity at 5:30 p.m. with about 300 in line behind her. The game was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but didn’t tip until about 7:20 p.m. There was already a large crowd waiting from the previous game, in which Franklin beat Cleveland.
And after three games, a gym that was packed so full people were sitting in the aisles and plenty of hype, it felt like a main event. In the end, Garfield came away with an 84-67 win, handing Rainier Beach its first in-state loss since Lakeside upended them during districts in 2013.
“I think any time you play against a team like Beach, it’s like playing against a team like Kentucky at the college level,” Garfield coach Ed Haskins said. “I think what happens is you put into perspective the potential of your team. We didn’t play our best basketball tonight. We still have a lot of things we have to do execution wise, defensively, rebounding wise — we gave up way too many offensive rebounds — I’m just naming a few. There are numerous things we have to do to get better, and I think we can get better.”
The man of the night was Alphonso Anderson, as the Garfield forward scored 35 points and 19 rebounds. Rainier Beach had no answer for him inside, something the Bulldogs knew, and set up a game plan to exploit. Anderson was aggressive inside, and used his size and athleticism to own the paint.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Garfield with a game at No. 3 Eastside Catholic on Friday.