SPSL rivals Bethel and Puyallup got it on in the first quarterfinal. The Braves won both of the regular season affairs, once by 2 points, the other by 5. But this is state and none of that matters anymore.
The Braves got out to a quick 5-0 start but Puyallup rallied to tie it at 8-8 by the end of the quarter. Bethel had it to 14-8 with a 6-0 run to start the second quarter.6-8 senior Caesar Rayford made it an 8-0 run and 16-8 with a put-back at 3:00 of the quarter. 6-2 junior guard Jamil Turner pushed it to 11 points at 20-10 with another put-back. 6-8 junior Brandon Moore came up with another timely block as the quarter ended with the Braves holding the 20-10 advantage. Turner scored 7 points in the half to lead all scorers. Puyallup shot just 16% in the half hitting only 4 of 25 attempts from the field.
Bethel kept it at an 8-10 point game and when Tiefenthaler got bottom with a trey at the horn the Braves led 32-21 with 8:00 left. 6-4 senior Jacob McKinney cut the lead to 7 points at 35-28 on a breakaway. McKinney got it to 36-30 at the 2:42 mark. After a Jordan Sutton 1-for-2 trip to the line, Justin Terry's drive into traffic cut it to 37-32 at 1:51. After Turner missed twice from the line Johnny Spevak hit a running bank shot that made it 37-34 with 1:23 to go. Tiefenthaler went to the line, missed the first, made the second, 38-34 1:11 to go. The Braves had gone 2-for-6 from the line in a minute and a half. Moore boarded a Viking miss on the other end and was fouled. He missed one, 39-34 passing 1:00. Puyallup missed from deep and fouled Desmond Meray. He missed one, made one, 40-34. Terry cut it to 40-36 with 26.6 to go. Bethel turned it over in the back court and terry was fouled with 17.3 to go. He made both, 40-38 with 17.3 left. Turner was fouled on the inbounds, missed the first, made the second, 41-38 16.3. Sophomore guard Austin Kilpatrick drilled a trey to tie it with 3.4 to go. Sutton's shot at the horn was short, time for OT.
Tiefenthaler put Bethel back in front 43-41 with a pair from the line to open the scoring in OT and followed that with a steal on the defensive end. But the Braves turned it over leading to a Spevak bucket to tie at 43-43 with 1:45 remaining. McKinney came up with a steal on the Bethel end and was fouled. He missed the front end of the bonus. Sutton's fifth foul sent Terry to the line where he hit both to put the Vikes on top for the first time 45-43 with 53.3 to play.
Terry fouled Meray going for the steal. Meray made both, 45-45. Spevak's drive was off and Ryan Purugganan was fouled on the rebound. He went to the missed the first, made the second, 46-45 Bethel 32.4 showing. Moore blocked McKinney's shot inside, controlled the swat, was fouled and walked the length of the court to shoot a pair. Moore hit both, 49-46 with 20.6 to go. Puyallup took a time out with 17.3 to set for a final play. Spevak scored with 4.3 to go and Puyallup called a quick T-O. But they had no timeouts left. Meray shot two techs, hit one and Bethel inbounded with 4.3 to go and a 49-47 lead. But only after another time out; this game might never end. Tiefenthaler was held on the play, stepped to the line and the clock still showed 4.3. Tiefenthaler missed the first, made the second. Spevak's three-pointer at the horn rimmed off. Bethel advances 50-47.
Tiefenthaler scored 17 to go with 9 rebounds. Turner added 11 points and Moore had 7 points with 11 boards and 3 blocked shots. Spevak's 15 points led Puyallup.
Walla Walla and South Kitsap took the floor for the second quarterfinal. South Kitsap led 12-10 after one period with 6-8 Jake Beitinger and 6-7 Adam Bennett getting it done against the shorter Blue Devils.
But the Devils had the great equalizer, the home run shot, and when Craig Mettler and Matt Thomas canned a pair from long range the Devils had gone on top 24-23 with 2:00 left in the half. Beitinger and Bennett scored on consecutive possession and SK led 27-24 with 30 ticks left in the half. That's where it stayed as we went to the break. Time for some of that milk they've been pitching for the last two weeks.
Beitinger scored 11 in the half, Bennett 6. Mettler's 9 points led the Devils.
South K used a 9-0 run to take a 42-36 lead with 2:00 left in the third quarter. Back-to-back steals leading to lay-ins fueled the run. The Wolves made it a 12-0 run to lead 45-36 at the end of the third period.
Beitinger made it a 14-0 run with a nice move inside to start the fourth quarter and push the lead to 11, 47-36. Pendleton hit a trey to get it to 47-39 and Tim Lally's bucket cut it to 47-41. Mettler boarded a miss, was fouled, hit a pair and with 5:39 to play Wa-Hi had it down to 47-43. Jamil Moore's pair from the line got it back to 6 points at 49-43.
Ryan Mitchell hit a pull-up jumper from 12 feet and it was 49-45. Beitinger's basket got it back to 51-45 with 4:44 left. Pendleton hit a trey from the right wing to cut it to 51-48 with 3:17 to play. Tyler Carter's baseline cut basket got it to 51-50 with 1:54 showing. The Devils were on a 14-4 run. Beitinger made it 53-50 on a long pass from Moore after a Wolve time out. Derrick Webb boarded a miss, was fouled and stepped to the line with 1:26 to go. He hit both to make it 55-50. Mitchell's left-wing deep trey cut it to 55-53. Michael Lizama was fouled, hit both and with 29.8 to go SK led 57-53. Pendleton's long bomb was off, Lizama got the rebound, he was fouled, hit one, 58-53, 10.7 to play, fat lady sings. South Kitsap, the only team to beat Bethel this year, will play the Braves in the first semifinal.
Beitinger scored 21, Moore 14. Mettler had 14, Pendleton 13 in the loss.
Bring on Kentwood and Mount Tahoma for a rematch of their WCD game. KW senior Rodney Stuckey brought his "A" game. After Mount Tahoma scored off the opening tip Stuckey ran off a 7-0 run on his own and scored the first 10 Kentwood points for a 10-4 lead 3:00 in. Mount Tahoma was double-teaming Stuckey out to 25 feet from the basket. The Conqs led 16-13 at the end of the first quarter.
They traded baskets and leads and when junior guard Blake Solomon scored on a bank shot and followed that with a pair of treys from the left side KW was in front 28-24. Junior wing Aaron Boyce's basket on a bounce pass form Stuckey sent the Conqs to the break with a 30-26 lead.
Stuckey scored 11 in the half on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. 6-8 senior Julio Feliciano had 10 for the T-Birds. And word was spreading, UW 91, UCLA 83. My oh my.
Kentwood built a lead as big as 8 points but when 6-5 sophomore post Marice Tolliver canned a bucket in the final seconds of the third quarter Mount Tahoma found them out of the hole and on top 46-44.
Kentwood re-took the lead 47-46 on a Stuckey freebie after a Matt Mgebroff basket in the paint. Feliciano gave it back to the T-Birds with a pair from the line at 5:44. Anthony Tennyson hit a jumper to extend it to 50-47. Senior guard Darius Joseph made it 52-47 with a runner at 3:35. Stuckey cut it to 52-49 with a power drive into traffic. Solomon tied it with a three from the left corner at 1:22. Gary Ward's drive put MT back in front 54-52 and after a KW turnover the T-Birds took a time out to talk about the final 27.9 seconds. Joseph was sent to the line with 20.1 on the clock. He bounced in the first, missed the second and Stuckey boarded. KW took a T-O with 13.8 remaining to set their last shot. Stuckey took the inbounds pass in the left corner, elevated, twisted and fired; nothing but net with 7.7 left. Feliciano's trey at the horn hit rim, went straight up, hung, and bounced off the right side. OT once again.
Tennyson scored off the tip, 57-55 MT. Solomon answered on a dime from Stuckey, 57-57. And we were only 12 seconds into the overtime. Stuckey hit a trey from the left wing, 60-57 KW. Gary Ward's trey from the left wing tied it with 2:05 to go. It was looking like a game of H-O-R-S-E. Stuckey was fouled on a drive, fell hard and had his right calf cramp up. After a KW time out Stuckey stepped to the line, hit the pair and the Conqs led 62-60 with 1:26 to play. Stuckey then went high to steal an inlet pass. He was fouled on the other end, again hit a pair and it was 64-60 with 58.4 left. Ward missed, Stuckey got the board, was fouled and once again the star senior was headed to the line with 43.9 remaining. He hit the first, missed the second but the Conqs had it right back as Feliciano was unable to control the ball and it went out of bounds under the KW basket.
Boyce made it 67-60 with twin freebies at 36.7. Tennyson's off-balance trey went off the top of the backboard with KW regaining possession. Solomon took the long pass, scored for 69-60 and the chants started. The Conqs are headed to the semifinals with a 71-63 win. Stuckey showed why he is the single-most dominating player in the tournament, scoring 30, grabbing 11 boards, dishing out 7 assists and getting 6 steals. Not a bad line and all that in front of one of his future college coaches. Solomon added 15 points. Feliciano had 14, Gary and Baree ward 13 each and Tennyson 12 in the loss.
And one more game to go as Bellarmine Prep and Auburn came on to play a re-match of their WCD affair, that one won by the Trojans 54-52.
The Lions came out smokin' and led 14-7 after one quarter. BP's speed was once again causing an opponent fits. The lead grew to 11 points at 25-14. But Dan Stafford and Jeremi Regis began to heat up and when Regis got a trey the lead was 30-27 with 1:20 remaining in the half. Back to back steals and baskets by Jermane Easterlin and Brandon Stout allowed Bellarmine to take a 35-27 lead into the half.
Stout scored 12 in the half. Stafford and Regis had 7 points each.
Bellarmine wasted no time it getting it back to 10 points at 39-29 in the first minute of the third quarter. By the 2:00 mark the Lions led 48-35.It was 50-39 heading to the final quarter and I'd taken a charge from Auburn's Daniel Carpenter as he crashed into the media table and almost took out my Dell. My right hand saved the mouse.
Just a minute and a half into the fourth quarter Auburn Coach Ryan Hansen was calling a T-O after Bellarmine scored on back-to-back possessions to take a 53-39 lead. Each time Auburn would cut into the lead, Bellarmine would answer. Stout made it 61-47 at 4:35 off another long defensive rebound, quick outlet and lay-in. Thomas Ward made it 63-47 with 4:20 to play with a pair from the line. Ward again went to the line, hit one and with 3:32 to go Bellarmine was on cruise control with a 64-47 lead. Stout made it 66-47 at 3:10 with a pair of freebies.
Stafford got it to 67-55 with a pair of baskets, the second a 3-point play at 2:29. How physical was it? Stafford's jersey was being held on by a piece of tape. Stout got it to 71-55 with a pair of technicals at 1:50.
The Lions continued to make their free throws and will move on to face Kentwood in the second semifinal, getting the "W" 76-65. Said Coach Bernie Salazar, "we'll have our hands full tomorrow.
Stout finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Stafford led Auburn with 21, Regis added 20. Bellarmine shot 58.7% from the field.
The re-run theme came straight out of the gate as Franklin and Pasco opened consolation play in a repeat of their 2003 quarterfinals classic. The Bulldogs ran out to a 13-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended their lead to 32-18 at the half. Pasco hit 10 of 12 free throws while the quicker Quakers got to the foul line just twice. 6-5 senior Roby Clyde scored 7 points in the half to go with 5 rebounds. 6-7 junior Richie Phillips led all scorers with 10 in the half.
The foul situation continued to play a big role, both from a scoring point of view and as far as any flow to the game. Pasco had been whistled for 2 fouls, Franklin 8 in the first 4:30 of the third quarter. At that point Franklin had been dinged 19 times, Pasco 6.
Franklin had a 5-0 run, senior guard Lyndale Burleson with a bucket, freshman guard Venoy Overton with a three, to cut the lead to 41-34 in the first minute of the fourth quarter. 6-5 senior wing John Rogers made it 7-0, 41-36 on the next possession. Rogers made it 9-0, 41-38 with 5:15 to go. Clyde ended the run on a nice feed from Eric Mattox. Following a Mattox free throw Burleson made it 44-40 at 3:35. 5-9 junior guard Jerome Houf made one of two from the line and after a Houf steal Roby's lay-in made it 47-40. Rogers cut it to 47-42 with an even 3:00 remaining. Burleson cut it to 47-44 off a Jordan Daisy steal and dish and after another turnover the Quakers Burleson tied it with a three ball from the left wing. Clyde's put-back had Pasco back up 49-47 and after boarding a Franklin miss Clyde was at the line, hit a pair and the Dogs had it back to 4 points at 51-47, 1:11 to.
Rogers' put-back cut it to 51-49 with 52.6 to go. Houf dribbled around the defense and scored on a drive on the weak side to put it back to 4 points, 53-49. Zach Williams cut it to 53-50 with a freebie at 12.9 ticks showing and Clyde was quickly fouled and sent to shoot a pair. He missed the first, hit the second, 54-50, 11.4 to go. Williams' put back made the final 54-52. Pasco stays, Franklin goes.
Clyde finished with 18 points and got another double-double with 10 rebounds. Burleson's 15 paced the Quakers while Rogers also got a d-d with 11 points and 10 boards. Franklin was whistled for 26 fouls, Pasco 11 with the Bulldogs shooting 30 free throws, making 22 while Franklin was 4-for-8 from the stripe.
On came Mountlake Terrace and Central Kitsap. Terrace has been in a "let's play from behind" mode of late but as we have seen in the last two weeks no lead is enough against the Hawks. CK found that out, jumping out 16-9 at the end of the first quarter and taking a 31-19 lead into the locker room. 6-4 junior Glen Perkins had 9 points in the half.
But keeping with what's been working, 6-7 junior Leigh Swanson and junior guard Luke Hammond scored a pair of buckets in about 5 seconds as part of a 10-0 run and heading to the last 3:00 of the third quarter it was a 2-point game 31-29.
In the fourth Terrace got it to single point at 43-42 but Perkins, Brice Brooks and Neil Fryer scored consecutive baskets and with 3:09 to go CK led 49-42. I had to ask, did the rear-running Hawks have the Cougars right where they wanted them? Nope, CK holds the Hawks at bay and will play another day. Final score 58-49.
Fryer scored 14, Brooks 13, Perkins 12 to go with 9 boards. Swanson's 15 points led Terrace. The Hawks shot a dismal 25.5% from the field, 16.7% in the first half.
About this time something happened that had not happened at the 4A tournament as long as I can remember. Some of the hoops bubbas stopped by and asked if I wanted to take a lunch break and head up to the restaurant to watch some of the Cougs basketball game. Earlier Eastern Washington assistant Coach Carl Howell had stopped by and talked about the Eagles big win last night that had put them in the NCAA tournament. And there was tons of talk about the Huskies and their chances of getting to the big dance. I had to pinch myself and ask "is this heaven?" Nope, it's Tacoma and its high school basketball at its best. But I digress…
Redmond and Davis were next. Tempo was quick with the smallish Pirates liking to push the ball and Redmond content to run with them. Davis led 19-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Pirates led 34-26 at the break with senior guard Jeremy Mangum scoring 11 in the half. Christian Yeager's 10 points led the Stangs. Davis, with no starter over 6-1, led the battle on the glass 13-10.
The third quarter was more of the same, fast and furious, and when Mangum scored at the horn the Pirates had a 56-45 lead heading into the final 8:00. Speed kills, Davis survives 73-64. KingCo goes 0-4. Mangum finished with a tournament-high 31 points while Umberto Perez added 18. 6-8 senior Stephen Ishmael scored 24 to go with 11 boards while Yeager added 23 points in the loss.
Mount Vernon and Richland closed out the consolation bracket with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 9-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Mount Vernon led 20-13 at the break with 6-4 senior forward Shane Gibbons scoring 8 points in the half. Senior guard James York matched his 8 points for Richland. The Bombers were cold as ice, shooting just 19% from the field in the half.
The Bulldogs kept their lead throughout the second half and held off a late Bomber charge to play another day 48-37. Junior guard Jake Moore finished with 12, Gibbons 11 along with 9 rebounds. York had 14 in the loss.