O'Dea, Mark Morris to 3A championship

Just when you thought it was all about the Metro, some pesky, tough, smart guys from Longview stepped up and would not let history repeat itself. Just three years ago, when these seniors were freshmen, Mark Morris had been to the semifinals and lost to eventual champion Rainier Beach.

That was 2002. It's 2005 and Mark Morris got the "W" this time, 56-44, to wipe out any chance of a 2004 championship rematch between the Vikings and O'Dea. Chris Hutton scored 18 and Josh Wilson (Northern Arizona University) added 14. Senior point guard Mickey Polis had another outstanding overall performance, scoring 9 while dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 5 boards. Tyler Hayes also scored 9 and had 6 boards. Future Louisville Cardinal Terrence Williams scored 25 in the loss.

In the second semifinal, Columbia River stayed close to defending champion O'Dea, trailing just 25-20 at the half. 6-6 junior forward Michael Duty's (pictured at left) rebound and put-back just before the horn gave the Irish the 5-point lead heading into the break. The first half featured 6 lead changes and a pair of tied scores with 5 points being the largest lead either team held in the half.

O'Dea used a 9-3 run in the first 5:00 of the third quarter to push the lead to 11 points at 34-23 but Chris Bolton hit a three ball, was fouled, converted a 4-point play. Seconds later Bolton added another bucket and River had it back to 5 points at 34-29.

The Chieftains got to within 4 points but senior forward Conor Mullen hit three buckets and the Irish led 49-39 with a minute and a half to play. It stayed at 10 for a 51-41 final with Mullen scoring 17. It will be O'Dea and Mark Morris for the big gold ball Saturday night.

In the consolation bracket Hanford ended Renton's run at state 55-49. Admir Beribak dropped 18 on the Indians, with three treys, while Wes Bird added 14. Big Melvin Samuel scored 17 and grabbed 8 boards in the loss. Beribak hit nine of 10 from the foul line, ya gotta love that.

Hanford shot just 32.6% from the floor, 21.4% from three-point range while Renton was hit just 37.3% and 22.2% from outside the arc. That darn T-Dome. Renton also won the battle on the boards 37-33. But the Falcons snagged 11 steals and hit 24 of 37 shots from the foul line. Renton was seven of 13 from the stripe.

Renton's three opponents during this tournament shot 101 free throws compared to Renton getting to the line for 53 free throws. They were outscored 71-38 from the foul line. In their two losses, one by three points, the other by six, the numbers were even more indicat8ive. Renton shot 30 FTs compared to their two opponents' 74. They were outscored 50-18 from the line, a 32-point difference. Coach Rick Comer's teams play a tough brand of get-up-on-you defense. At state you run into officials from outside your area who may call a tighter game than what you are used to. The WIAA has also mandated their officials to eliminate physical play. Renton may have been bitten by that mandate.

The 24-4 Falcons will play 22-6 Squalicum for fifth and eighth places as the Storm eliminated North Thurston 67-55. Squalicum had a 16-point lead entering the fourth quarter before NT got hot and cut it to six points at the 2:00 mark. Chad Clark went six-for-six from the charity down the stretch to hold off the Rams. Senior guard Dustin Jones scored 17 and fellow senior John Ellingson (pictured at right) added 16 and 12 boards for a double-double. Colton Monti scored 31 in the season-ending loss. Coach Mike McKee's Storm will take home the school's first state tournament trophy Saturday.

Sedro-Woolley eliminated Kennedy71-61 to earn a trip to the 4th place game. Sedro came out on fire and hit their first three tries from the field and as well as their first two from the line for a quick 8-3 lead. An 8-0 run in a 2 minute stretch of the final 3:00 got it done for the Cubs. Adam Wardell scored 25 while Tygue Howland added 24. DeAngelo Jones and Bobby Gentry scored 16 each for the Lancers.

22-4 West Valley (Spokane) knocked out Clover Park 73-56 to move to the 4th place game. Tyler Hobbs dropped in 24 and Rashad Toussaint added 19 for the Eagles. Zach Griffin had 16 in the loss.

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