Lincoln edged by Bellevue to fall short of Dome

// Wilson state-bound, Lions and Falcons fall

Bellevue took control with an early run in the second half, and Lincoln could never catch up, falling 60-55 to the Wolverines on Feb. 28 in the 3A state regionals at Mount Tahoma High School to see their season come to an end.

“That’s a very good team,” said Lincoln head coach Aubrey Shelton. “They’re probably the second or third-best team in the state. It’s very unfortunate that we win districts and that’s our reward…But you know, if we want to win state, those are the types of teams you have to beat.”

The teams went to halftime tied 28-28, as the Abes' Josiah Barsh fed Cameron Collins – who scored all 11 of his points in the first half – for a layup at the buzzer to level the score.

But Bellevue went on a 10-2 run in just over three minutes in the third quarter, as Sharif Khan's three-pointer made it 38-30 with 4:38 left in the period.

From that point on, the Wolverines had an answer every time Lincoln tried to make a charge. Barsh drove for a layup to cut the deficit to 52-47 with 1:49 remaining in the game, but Bellevue forward Jack Walton – who finished with team highs of 14 points and 14 rebounds – fed Kyle Foreman for an open layup to respond at the other end. Trevion Brown nailed a desperate three-pointer in the final minute, and Ahmaad Rorie converted three free throws with 18 seconds to keep the Abes within 58-55, but the Wolverines salted the game away at the free-throw line.

Rorie led the Abes with 15 points, while Barsh added 10 points, Brown scored eight points and Justice Martion finished with eight points and eight rebounds. But the Abes finished just 18-for-56 from the field and 4-for-17 on three-pointers.

“I felt like there was a lid on the hoop,” Shelton said. “We missed layups we normally make. We missed free throws we normally make. We missed threes we normally make.”

A 45-minute delay late in the first quarter due to the fire alarm going off forced the entire gym to be emptied, with both teams heading to their locker rooms.

By Jeremy Helling

WILSON PUNCHES TICKET WITH STRONG SECOND HALF

When your team is at the “one-and-done” stage of the season, oftentimes the enormity of the game ramps of the physical nature of the contest. The Wilson boys had their hands full with a big, strong Mountlake Terrace team bent on taking away the inside game of the Rams and moving onto the 3A State Hardwood Classic.

A packed Mount Tahoma gym witnessed Wilson make the right adjustments at the half and pull away from the Hawks for a 58-38 victory on March 1 to secure a trip to the Tacoma Dome.

In the first half, Wilson (22-3) found it difficult getting to the basket or posting-up on the low block. Mountlake Terrace (17-8) threw two 6-foot-6 players and a 6-foot-7 center into the paint, and were stifling much of what the Rams were trying to do on offense. Wilson ended the second quarter with just a 26-21 lead after junior guard Ivy Smith Jr. dropped a 14-foot jumper with two seconds remaining.

The second half would be a different story.

The Rams came out quick and determined, slapping a full-court press on the Hawks and moving their offense to an outside jumper/slash-to-the-paint attack. The combination began to break down the Hawks’ game plan, if not their will to take the game away from Wilson.

It looked like Wilson wanted the victory more. After ending the third quarter with a 43-31 lead, Mountlake Terrace returned to the floor looking deflated and unsure how they would get back into the ballgame. They were unable to muster any sort of push to close the gap. The Rams outscored the Hawks 15-7 in the fourth.

David Jenkins led all scorers with 16 points for the Rams, while Smith Jr. added 15 points. Sophomores Montre Brown and Jamal Welch finished with nine and seven rebounds, respectively.

Wilson ranked No. 4 in the AP-rankings, faces No. 10 O’Dea (17-10) on March 6 at 9 a.m. at the Tacoma Dome in the opening match-up of the 3A State Hardwood Classic.

By Justin Gimse

BELLARMINE’S SEASON ENDS AT REGIONALS

The surprising Bellarmine Prep boys basketball season came to a close on Feb. 28 at Puyallup High School in the 4A State Regional Tournament. The Lions were unable to keep up with a quick and talented squad from Issaquah, going down 64-46.

Bellarmine scratched and clawed their way through a tough season, but would not overcome the absence of their all-Narrows League guard Mar’kese Jackson, who went down with a torn ACL the prior weekend against Stadium.

While the Lions (15-12) kept pace with Issaquah for most of the first half, an 8-0 Eagles run in the last 2:30 pushed their lead to 35-25 at the break and Issaquah (18-6) never looked back. Issaquah converted 13 of 23 shots in the second half and had success on the defensive end, contesting nearly every pass, dribble and shot from the Lions, ultimately snuffing any chances of a comeback run.

“We had quite a few injuries to overcome along the way this year,” said Bellarmine head coach Bernie Salazar. “Losing Mar’kese Jackson last week didn’t help matters. They (Issaquah) outplayed us and were a step or two quicker than us tonight.”

Issaquah’s Ty Gibson led all scorers with 22 points, and teammate Brian Watson added 18 points. Bellarmine was led by Rex Bodoia’s 16 points, with Will Wolf and Carson Hollyoak each tallying 11 points.

Salazar seemed upbeat and proud of Bellarmine’s journey this year. “At the beginning of the season it was our expectation to make it this far,” said Salazar. “We were in last place in the Narrows the second week of January, and to make it all the way to the state tournament is pretty good.”

By Justin Gimse

STANWOOD PULLS AWAY FROM FOSS

There is a reason that Stanwood has just one loss on the season so far, and Foss found that out the hard way. The Falcons hung tough well into the third quarter, but the Spartans pulled away to earn a 73-55 win in the 3A state regionals on March 1 at Kent Meridian High School to end Foss’ season.

“I credit them,” said Foss head coach Mike Cocke’. “We knew coming in that they have chemistry like nobody we’ve played this year. The ball moves.”

The Falcons' Ar'Mond Davis scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, including a three-pointer with two seconds until the break to pull within 29-25. But Stanwood guard Josh Thayer – who finished with 19 points – applied pressure defense to limit Davis’ opportunities in the second half.

Sam Dabalos-McMahon scored nine points in the third quarter to keep Foss close, including a jumper a minute into the third quarter to tie it 29-29. But Thayer drained his fourth three-pointer of the night early in the fourth quarter to complete a 26-14 run and give Stanwood some space. The Spartans' Skout Robertson was dominant in the middle, scoring 21 points and adding 11 rebounds.

Dabalos-McMahon finished with 13 points for Foss, while senior forward Olashawan Miller added 10 points and Chris Reynolds tallied eight points.

“Our seniors gave it everything they could until the end,” Cocke’ said. “They competed until the end, and I was proud of their effort.”

By Jeremy Helling

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