The Sideline

It’s that time of year again! March Madness is back, and it looks like this year’s tournament is setting up to be one of the wilder tourneys in recent history. The action starts off with two full days of games on March 21-22. We here at Tacoma Weekly invite you to fill out a bracket and compete against our staff. The top overall bracket wins four tickets to the Seattle Mariners game vs. the Houston Astros on June 10 at Safeco Field!

Here’s how it works. Print out the bracket below, fill it out and either scan and email it to jeremy@tacomaweekly.com or fax it to our office at (253) 922-5305. Send in your bracket by Wednesday, March 20th at 4 p.m. for consideration. Make sure your full name and contact info (phone number or email) is on the page. We will post your bracket up on our website at www.tacomaweekly.com/brackets/ along with our staff’s picks. Check back throughout the tournament to see how you are doing.

The scoring system is as follows: 1 point for each correct first-round pick, 2 points in the second round, 3 points in the Sweet Sixteen, 4 points in the Elite Eight, 6 points in the Final Four and 10 points for the correct national champion.

Here is the bracket we will be using. http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/college-basketball/PDF/2013-ncaa-tournament-printable-bracket.pdf.

Lions pour on runs against Falcons

The powerful 3-4 punch of shortstop Andrew Patubo and third baseman George Foley helped Bellarmine Prep continue their hot start to the baseball season as the Lions cruised to a 15-2 win at Foss this afternoon.

Patubo finished 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, three runs batted in and two stolen bases, while Foley added four RBIs while going 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored to power the offensive attack from the cleanup spot.

Tied 1-1 in the third inning, Foley’s two-run single scored Patubo and Brandon Thompson – who finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored – to trigger a four-run outburst. The Lions tacked on five more runs in the fourth, starting with Patubo’s single to score Thompson. Nine straight Bellarmine players reached base at one point in the inning, as Nathan Heath’s run-scoring single gave the Lions a commanding 10-2 lead. They added five more runs for good measure in the top of the sixth, with Patubo and Foley notching back-to-back two-run singles.

Paul Huiras added two runs batted in for the Lions, while starter Hayden Doscher and reliever Jonathan Bjerknes pitched three innings apiece in combining to allow just one hit.

The Falcons tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second on a groundout by Brady Todhunter to score Sam Aown. Shortstop Mike McCoy registered the other RBI on a fielder’s choice to score Omar Morris – who had doubled for the Falcons’ lone hit – in the third. Morris picked up the loss in pitching three innings and giving up five runs - four earned.

Spring season is upon us!

What a weekend it was at the Hardwood Classic. But with the conclusion of basketball that means winter sports are now over, and spring sports are quickly approaching.

Just wanted to pass along a quick note about our spring previews. We will begin previewing the spring season with our boys soccer preview in this week's (March 8) issue, taking a look at the six Tacoma public schools and Life Christian Academy.

Next week (March 15), we will have our baseball and fastpitch previews, along with our annual All-City Boys Basketball Team. The All-City Girls Basketball Team will be published in the March 22 issue of Tacoma Weekly.

Throughout their very successful four-year run through the 3A Narrows League, the Wilson Lady Rams have many great memories that they will take with them for the remainder of their basketball careers. But one that they will not soon forget will be the 10-point lead they let slip away in the second half of the 2013 state semifinals, as the Seattle Prep Panthers rallied for a 36-33 win in a game that was marred by a controversial ending.

“I told the girls before the game that (Seattle Prep was) a real battle-tested team, and that it would probably come down to the last possession,” said Wilson head coach Michelle Birge. “But in the end, we missed a lot of good opportunities.”

Bethany Montgomery led all scorers with 15 points. The game had it’s rough edges in the first half, with both teams failing to connect from anywhere on the court. Prep connected on just 21 percent and Wilson shot a paltry 19 percent from the field in the opening half. With Tia Briggs struggling from the field, Kapri Morrow decided to take matters into her own hands, scoring six third-quarter points to take a 25-15 lead. But the Lady Panthers would score eight of the final nine points in the quarter to cut the lead to 26-23 going into the fourth quarter.

Trailing by three points with seven seconds left, Montgomery prepared to hoist a three-pointer, but a timeout was granted to Birge just before she was fouled beyond the arc. After a pair of Prep free throws restored the three-point Panther lead, Montomery got set to launch another three with 0.9 seconds left. With her foot clearly behind the line, the shot caught nothing but net for a supposed three, but the shot was ruled a two-pointer. Montgomery was called for a technical foul after throwing her jersey in frustration, and Holly Tonry hit the two foul shots to seal it for the Panthers.

“It’s so heartbreaking to lose like this,” Montgomery said. “I’ve been through so much here at Wilson. We played so hard tonight but let that lead slip away.”

The Rams will now take on Bellevue on Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m. with a third-place finish at stake.

Lakeside jumped right out of the gates, taking a quick nine-point lead and never letting Lincoln recover in an eventual 86-67 win over the Abes in the 3A boys semifinals tonight at the Tacoma Dome.

Matthew Poplawski - who scored a team-high 23 points - hit three three-pointers in the opening three minutes as Lakeside jumped out to a 14-6 lead. The lead kept on growing from there. Zack Moore's three at the start of the second quarter made it 23-8, and Poplawski's fourth three made it 30-12 with 5:34 until halftime.

Ahmaad Rorie, meanwhile, did his best to help the Abes stay in it by scoring 12 points in the second quarter, but the Lions held a 45-24 lead at the break.

The closest the Abes got in the second half was withing 73-55 on Tre'Shaun Fletcher's dunk after Josiah Barsh's steal with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. After a slow first half, Fletcher finished with 14 points for the Abes. Justice Martion added 10 points for Lincoln, while LaTravion Satterwhite tallied eight points. Tramaine Isabell scored 21 points for the Lions.

Lincoln will try to rebound in the third-place game tomorrow, where they will meet Franklin at 1 p.m.

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