By David Krueger Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — Stanwood’s first half went pretty well. Too bad the Spartans had another two quarters to play.
It took about two minutes into the third quarter for all the momentum in Saturday’s 3A state regional game to shift to Franklin. The Quakers started the second half with an 11-0 run and outscored the Spartans 50-30 during the next 16 minutes to beat Stanwood 76-64 Saturday night at Glacier Peak High School.
Franklin, which trailed Stanwood 34-26 at halftime, scored 28 points in the third quarter thanks largely to Quakers’ senior Tim McMillon. He made three consecutive 3-pointers to quiet a loud Stanwood crowd that had been rocking the gym in the first half.
“McMillon hit those three 3’s and it seemed like that was kind of the turning point of the game,” Stanwood head coach Zach Ward said. “They definitely got some momentum going.”
McMillon finished with 14 points — 11 coming in the third quarter. The Quakers were led by senior wing Patrick Ball, who scored a game-high 25 points. Ball helped Franklin to a 22-13 fourth-quarter advantage.
“Credit to them, they made shots in the second half that they didn’t make in the first half,” Ward said. “They forced us to play their style a little bit. I thought at times we handled the pressure really well, but then at times we didn’t.”
Foul trouble also contributed to Stanwood’s second-half struggless. The Spartans had 11 fouls in the first half leading to 18 Franklin free throws. The Quakers were only able to make seven of those (39 percent). In the second half, Franklin (17-9 overall) improved its free-throw shooting, making 14 of 19 (74 percent).
“We had an incredible number of players in foul trouble,” Ward said. “They got to shoot 18 free throws in the first half. The flip side of that is we had just about everybody with two, maybe three fouls.”
Stanwood had two players foul out of the game, the first coming less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
Spartans’ senior Cannen Roberson led his team with a double-double in his final game as a Spartan. He scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Roberson, like his coach, thought the third quarter was key.
“I think we pretty much controlled the first half and then they came out, boom, 11-0. It was hard to recover after that,” Roberson said.
Seniors Mason Garcea (16 points) and Drew Sears (11 points, 10 rebounds) also had strong performances in their final games for Stanwood (18-6), which was academic state champions. The trio is part of a class of seven Spartans seniors.
“I’m just so happy for our seniors. And we have an incredible amount of seniors,” Ward said. “It’s going to be a different life without them. But you know, while they were here and while they wore the red and white they got plenty to hang their hat on. Over the last three years they got a couple of Wesco North championships, they got a district title, that’s going to feel a lot better as the years go on.
“I think they’re going to be able to enjoy that more than they do right now. Tonight’s tough. But one year, five year, 10 years down the road they’re going to be able to walk into the gym and see that and I anticipate that being a really proud moment for them.”
Roberson, who said this was his favorite year on the team, said that winning the district championship was “one of the greatest things of my high school career.” He said the season had a few twists and turns, but that in the end the Spartans were ultimately successful.
“It had its ups and downs but I think we really came together at the end got the district championship and that was our goal from the very beginning,” Roberson said. “So I would say all in all it was a pretty good year, pretty successful.”
Ward said for him the proudest moment of the season came after Stanwood went 1-2 at a holiday tournament in Idaho.
“I’m most proud of how they handled coming back after our trip to Idaho, after the first of the year,” Ward said. “We were in a spot where it could have gone south and they wouldn’t let it happen. We lost two games since the first of the year and that’s pretty incredible to only lose two games.”
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Franklin 14 12 28 22 — 76
Stanwood 22 12 17 13 — 64
Franklin–Eugene Artison 7, Patrick Ball 25, Darnell Berry 6, Michael Gbagonah 1, Kevin Grigsby 8, Arell Hennings 11, Tim McMillon 14, Keith Smith 4. Stanwood–Brady Garcea 4, Mason Garcea 16, Kurtis Hushagen 3, Cannen Roberson 18, Drew Sears 11, Drew Stang 2, Josh Thayer 5, Ian Zipp 5. 3-point goals–McMillon 4, Ball 1, Sears 1. Records–Franklin 17-9 overall. Stanwood 18-6.