After three days, the smell I can only explain as the Tacoma Dome funk is fading away. After two weeks — about 100 hours — inside the neon 80s-retro wonder of the Northwest, it takes some time to adjust to the real world.
But thank goodness there was some basketball. Lots of it, at the Class 4A and 3A state tournaments. And so, after all of that basketball, Sandy Ringer has helped me recall some of the top moments of March in high-school basketball. Sandy has answered the girls questions, and I have answered the boys.
Boys: Columbia River 52, Bellevue 51 (OT). It wasn’t only that this game went to overtime, or that it ended up as one of the most unforeseen upsets of the two weeks. This game will be remembered north of Vancouver for the final 52 seconds of regulation, when Bellevue incredibly scored 13 points and overcame an 11-point Chieftain lead. And that becomes even more incredible when you factor in that Bellevue had scored only 11 points in the entire second half until those final 52 seconds. Aaron Bright started the run, but it ended with senior Matt Olson, who hit a near-NBA-distance three to tie it.
But then credit Columbia River, which came back in overtime and, on Zack Bjork’s runner with 16 seconds left, took back the win it thought it had in regulation.
Girls: I had to thing long and hard about this one. There were a few stinkers in both tournaments, either in terms of being a blowout or poor shooting by one or both teams. In the 4A tournament, Kentwood’s semifinal against Federal Way and championship game against Snohomish both were very competitive, but so many fouls were called.
I’d have to say the 3A championship game might have been the most entertaining all-around. Kennedy obviously came in as the favorite, but the outcome was in question until the final minute.