Saturday, 3/3

Yakima SunDome Trophy Round

Game 23:  Championship

Lynden 57, W.F. West 53

Link to box score

ESN tournament MVP Christian Zamora and First-Team All-Tournament pick Clayton Whitman each scored 17 points as the Lions took the lead early and held off a determined bunch of Bearcats.  The Bearcats towering inside-outside threat Brandon White led W.F.West with 17 points, while Bailey Cooper had 14 and clutch performer Jordan Thomas, also a First-Team All-Tournament selection, finished with 12.

For two perspectives on the championship game, read more in both the Lynden Tribune and The Olympian.

Photo Gallery

Game 22:  Third Place/Fifth Place

Mark Morris 69, Foss 59

Link to box score

Blown out of the semifinals by eventual champion Lynden, the Monarchs came back less than 24 hours later to claim third place over the 2017 champion Falcons.

“There’s been a certain spirit about these kids all year,” said Mark Morris coach Bill Bakamus. “They’ve been as resilient as can be. They’re hard working. They stuck to a plan. We’ve had some ups and downs. The fact we got up off the mat after a disappointing loss yesterday speaks volumes about them.”

Mark Morris (20-7) got off to a strong start with Tanner Vaillencourt scoring the first eight points as the Monarchs grabbed a 17-10 lead after the first quarter. Vaillencourt finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists plus high praise from his coach.

“I’ve been associated with basketball for 36 years and he’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve been around,” Bakamus said. “He has a competitive level that’s unmatched by many of the kids who have ever worn a Mark Morris uniform.”

The Falcons got a tournament-high equaling 36 points from guard Demetrius Crosby, but for the second straight game could not draw a bead from 3-point range, going 2-for-21 from beyond the arc. They had shot just 2 of 22 in Friday night’s semifinal loss to W.F. West.

Nonetheless, the Falcons did lead a couple of times.

Late in the second quarter, a steal and layup by D’von Santa-Cruz put Foss up 24-23. They stayed in front until a barrage of fourth-quarter free throws by the Monarchs sealed the deal. Tyler Berger, who led Mark Morris with 19 points, fueled by 12-of-14 foul shooting, made a pair a minute into the final period to give the Monarchs the lead back, 51-50, and they never relinquished it.

“We knew we had to be more aggressive and not settle. We settled a little bit too much (Friday) night against Lynden and the shots weren’t falling,” Vaillencourt said. “As a team we knew we had height on these guys, they had quickness. We knew if we attacked we could get them in foul trouble and control the game. “If you take it to them before they take it to you, you’re going to win the game.”

That they did. Of Mark Morris final 22 points, all but a short jumper by Tyler Berger’s twin brother Garrett came from the free-throw line.

“Mark Morris is a good team,” Foss coach Mike Cocke said. “They run their stuff, the Berger twins are good, coach Bakamus does a great job. We had our hands full from the beginning, we wanted to speed the game up. We did that for a while, but we could only get one guy going offensively.”

Mark Morris had four players in double figures: Tyler Berger, Garrett Berger with 15, Zach Rismoen with 14 and Vaillencourt with 10.

It’s the Monarchs’ highest finish since 2008, when they also placed third. It also avenges last year’s first-round defeat to Foss.

Photo Gallery

Game 21:  Fourth Place/Sixth Place

Selah 58, Columbia River 51

Link to box score

Both Pepper brothers scored in double figures for the Vikings as ESN First Team All-Tournament selection Elijah tallied 20 and second-teamer Noah added 12.  Zack Donato contributed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Chieftains got a team-high 17 points from second-teamer Jacob Hjort, while Evan Dirksen scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Read more about the game in both the Yakima Herald-Republic and The Columbian


Friday, 3/2

Yakima SunDome Semi-Finals

Game 19:  Lynden 67, Mark Morris 43

Clayton Whitman and Christian Zamora were red-hot for the Lions.  Whitman scored 21 points, shooting 8-for-12 from the field while Zamora added 18 on 6-for-8 shooting.

Garrett Berger led the Monarchs with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but the rest of his team mates shot only 27 percent.  Tyler Berger added 12.

Read about the game in both the Lynden Tribune and the Longview Daily News


Game 20:  W.F. West 53, Foss 50

There were some dicey moments near the end, but ninth-ranked W.F. West never trailed, built as much as a 14-point lead and held on.

“We’ve been tough all year but it’s really started to gel these past few weeks,” said Bearcats coach Chris White.  “These guys are resilient.  They love each other and believe in each other.  They loved the process and the journey.”

In their first round win over North Kitsap and a quarterfinal defeat of top-ranked Selah, the Bearcats had to come from behind.  This time, W.F. West (23-4) played consistently, scoring 14 points in each of the first three quarters and holding off the Falcons (21-4), even after they cut the lead to a single point, 51-50, near the end.

“I was so proud of my seniors’ mental toughness,” White said.  “It’s like a storm when you’re playing against (Foss pressure) defense.  They have tremendous speed and athleticism we can’t simulate in practice.  It is like a 98-mph fast ball, you have to just be tough and stand in there.”

The Bearcats played some defense of their own, leading 14-3 after one period and not allowing a field goal until a Demetrius Crosby drive to the basket early in the second quarter.

“We weren’t who we are during the first 16 minutes tonight,” said Foss coach Mike Cocke.  “You play 25 games and you get here and forget what those first 25 games were like.  We fouled too much, gave them 16 free throws in the first half.”

By the time the game was over, four W.F. West players had each made six free throws, including Brandon White, who led the Bearcats with 18 points, Bailey Cooper who scored 14 and Jordan Thomas, who just reached double figures with 10.  White, who made 4 of 7 three-point attempts and didn’t take a shot inside the arc, also added 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Crosby led Foss with 23 points while Micah Pollard added 11 and Kenzel Massey 9.

Brandon White has always been confident, but appreciates the way the 2A tournament has played out. “We all wanted to play for the state championship and we worked hard to get here,” he said.  “But I don’t think we really believed until we started playing here.”


Consolation Bracket Games:

Game 17:  Columbia River 64, Renton 44

Evan Dirksen led all scorers with 17 points and grabbed six boards. Nasseen Gutierrez added a double-double—12 points and 12 boards— while Jacob Hjort contributed 16 points, thanks to 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.

Jaloni Gardner paced the Indians with 12 while Deondre Russ added 9. Read more about the game in the The Columbian


Game 18:  Selah 72 vs. Liberty 70

Jake Elfstrom nailed 6 three-point baskets on his way to a tournament-high-game-equally 36 points, but it wasn’t enough as Liberty was knocked out of trophy contention.  Stephen Hei added 11.

Four Vikings reached double figures to down the Patriots:  Noah Pepper led with 20 while Calvin Hertlin added 17, Elijah Pepper 15 and Zak Donato 12.  Elijah Pepper added 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

Read more about the game in the Yakima Herald-Republic

Thursday, 3/1

Yakima SunDome Quarterfinals

Game 13: Mark Morris 44, Renton 43

Zach Rismoen hit a layup with 3.1 seconds to give Mark Morris the lead for good.  Tyler Berger scored 16 points to lead the Monarchs while Garrett Berger added 13 for the Monarchs, who move on to a semi-final at 7:15 Friday against top-seeded Lynden.

Renton, which will play a 12:15 p.m. consolation game against Columbia River, was led by Malik Coats 11 points and 10 more from Romero Otero.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in Longview Daily News

Game 14:  Lynden 44, Columbia River 33

Christian Zamora had 14 points and 8 rebounds as the top-seeded Lions move into a 7:15 Friday semi-final against Mark Morris.  Clayton Whitman added 12 points and 6 rebounds.

Columbia River dropped into the consolation bracket and will play Renton at 12:15 p.m. on Friday.  Jacob Hjort had 16 points for the Chieftains.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in The Columbian

Game 15:  Foss 76, Liberty 62

Micah Pollard scored 22 points and Demetrius Crosby had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double as the Falcons advanced to a 9 p.m. Friday semi-final against surprising W.F. West.  Damani Kelly added 18 for Foss.

Four Patriots reached double figures as Liberty dropped into a 2 p.m. Friday consolation game with Selah:  Nick Chung 20, Stephen Hei 13,  Jake Elfstrom 11 and Chris Hanson 10.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in The News Tribune

Game 16:  W.F. West 57, Selah 54

Brandon White compiled a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double as W.F. West stunned second-seeded Selah to move into a 9 p.m. Friday semi-final against Foss.  Bailey Cooper added 14 points and Jordan Thomas 10 for the Bearcats.

Selah got 26 points from Elijah Pepper and moves into a 2 p.m. Friday consolation match-up with Liberty.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in The Olympian

Wednesday, 2/28

Yakima SunDome Loser Out Bracket

Game 9: Renton 46, Pullman 38

The Indians shot just 29 percent in the first half and trailed at the break, 23-20, but upped their accuracy to 50 percent after intermission and pulled away in the fourth quarter to assure themselves of a slot in the quarterfinals, Thursday at 3:45 p.m. against Mark Morris.  Pullman is out.

Malik Coats led Renton with 12 points while Jaloni Gardner added 9 points and a team-high 5 rebounds.  Jake Wells had 13 points for Pullman before fouling out.  Ethan Kramer added 7 points.  Zane Wilson had six points and 9 rebounds.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Game 10: Columbia River 58, Fife 51

Fife staged a furious fourth quarter rally, outscoring the Chieftains, 24-12 in the fourth quarter but wound up eliminated after falling behind by 20-plus early.  Columbia River moves on to face top-seeded Lynden in a quarterfinal Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Jacob Hjort led Columbia River with 16 points, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and also had three assists.  Nate Snook added 13 points and Evan Dirksen had 12.  Malachi Afework paced the Trojans with 16 points while Gannon Gannis scored 11 and had 8 rebounds.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in The Columbian

Game 11: Liberty (Issaquah) 64, Mountlake Terrace 48

The Patriots rallied from an 8-point deficit after a quarter to blast the Hawks and move on to a 7:15 quarterfinal game Thursday against Foss.  Mountlake Terrace was eliminated.

Stephen Hei led the game with 27 points and 8 rebounds for Liberty.  Nick Chung added 14 points and 7 assists; Jack Elfstrom 10 points and 7 rebounds.  For the Hawks, Brendan Hayes led with 16 points and 7 rebounds while Khyree Armstead contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in the MLT News

Game 12: WF West 60, North Kitsap 59

Jordan Thomas sank a free throw with less than two seconds remaining in overtime to give the Bearcats the victory.  They move into a 9 p.m. quarterfinal with Selah on Thursday night.  North Kitsap is out.

Thomas scored 16 points and had 9 rebounds, but Brandon White was W.F. West stats leader with an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double.  Bailey Cooper added 10 including a pair of key overtime free throws.  Connor King led the Vikings with 14, Kai Warren had 12, Zac Olmsted 10 and Shea Humphrey 10.

Link to box score

Read more about the game in The Olympian

Regional Winner’s Bracket (Winner to Top 8; Loser to Wednesday Loser Out Game)

Game 1: Lynden 73, WF West 46

Game 2: Selah 75, Columbia River 69

Game 3: Foss 56, Pullman 44

Game 4: Mark Morris 66, Mountlake Terrace 48

Regional Loser Out Bracket

Game 5: North Kitsap 68, Cheney 50

Game 6: Fife 70, Burlington-Edison 49

Game 7: Renton 58, Clover Park 49

Game 8: Liberty (Issaquah) 60, West Valley (Spokane) 55



By paulb

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