Back in November when they walked into the first practice who would have thought that Kentwood and South Kitsap would once again be playing in a big game in March? Both had lost their star player, KW's Rodney Stuckey and South K's Jake Beitinger.
But here they both were, playing this time in the semifinals unlike last year's championship.
They met just a week or so ago with South Kitsap getting a little piece of revenge for their title game loss in 2004. But on this night Kentwood would again win the "big" game.
Senior Aaron Boyce scored 16 and got a double-double with 10 rebounds to lead the Conqs to a 43-36 win and a return to Saturday nights championship affair. Junior Toussaint Tyler (pictured at left) added 10 points and put the defensive clamps on SK leading scorer Derrick Webb. Webb averaged 25.5 points in the first two games at state but Tyler limited him to just 9 points. South Kitsap shot just 31.7% from the field while KW hit 52.8% of their shots in improving their record to 25-4. SK dropped to 26-2.
Kentwood will face Bethel for the title after the Braves held off Mountlake Terrace 47-44. 6-8 senior Brandon Moore (Eastern Washington) hit a pair from the foul line with 10 seconds left to make it a three-point game. Terrace had hit eight treys during the game but was unable to get off a shot to force OT and the 27-2 Braves moved to the championship for the second time since 2000.
Senior guard Jamil Moore led the Wolves with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Bethel beat Kentwood 59-52 in the SPSL championship game last month. Senior guard Jordan Sutton (pictured at right) led the way, scoring 16 points while Moore totaled 10 points and Jamil Turner added 10. Mike Boxley, a teammate of Bethel's Sutton, Moore and Alex Tiefenthaler on the Rotary Select squad, led Terrace with 13 points.
21-6 Terrace will play South Kitsap for third place Saturday afternoon. The Hawks last took home hardware in 1989, when they finished in fifth place at state. They lost to South Kitsap 55-52 at state a year ago on opening day.
The Prairie Falcons ended Roosevelt's season 55-51. Orlandor Westbrooks (pictured at left) scored 13 and Marshall Shaefer added 12. Westbrooks added 7 rebounds with 5 assists. Arizona-bound Marcus Williams ended his prep career with a 29-point effort with 7 rebounds, 2 assts and 3 steals. Prairie is 24-7 while Roosevelt finished 21-7.
Prairie will meet Inglemoor for fifth place Saturday. Inglemoor has never medalled at state. The Vikings stayed alive by topping Gonzaga Prep 61-48. Skyler Riley scored 19. Brandon Kennedy had 13 in the loss. Inglemoor is 23-3. G-Prep ends their season 19-10.
Eisenhower dumped North Kitsap 66-51 behind 29 points and 9 rebounds from 6-8 senior Brandon Johnson (pictured at right). Nate Gipson added 13 and 6-7 junior Jack Loofburrow 11. Ryan Young's 14 led the Vikings. Ike improved to 24-4 while North K ends their season 18-11.
The Cadets will play Snohomish, a 67-60 winner over Curtis, for 4th place. Jon Brockman scored 22 and cleaned the glass 18 times while Will Van Duine chimed in with 22 points of his own for the 20-7 Panthers. Curtis sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas dropped 26 points on the Panthers. The Vikings end their season 20-8.
The league breakdown through 3 days and 22 games is:
Big Nine 2-3