EVERETT — Before this season began, Tulalip Heritage boys basketball coach Marlin Fryberg Jr. issued a warning to his team: You’re going to work hard.
But he also promised a big payoff if they did.
Consider Spokane that reward.
Ayrik Miranda scored 22 points and Keanu Hamilton added 19 points and nine rebounds as Tulalip Heritage jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back in a 81-64 win over Wilbur-Creston in the 1B state regionals at Everett Community College on Friday night.
Tulalip Heritage advances to the 1B/2B state tournament at Spokane Arena next week for a quarterfinal matchup to be determined.
“The first day of practice I told the guys you’re going to work hard; I’m going to push you,” Fryberg said after Friday’s win. “They were receptive to that and it shows. Twenty-six and 1. That’s the best record in the history of our school. This is a special group of boys.”
Fryberg felt the need to chat with his team before the season because of the heartbreak in the regional round last season. He owned the loss and told his team that if they worked hard they’d see a different result in the regionals this year.
They did. And it started early. Despite feeling nerves coming into the game, Hamilton hit two 3-pointers in the game’s first 2 minutes and Shawn Sanchey added another as the Hawks jumped out to an 11-0 lead.
“When it came to today I was shaking and I thought I was hungry, but I was nervous,” Hamilton said. “But nothing can match this feeling.”
Wilbur-Creston closed the gap to four points early in the fourth quarter, but a Hamilton jumper and a pair of free throws extended the Hawks’ lead back to eight points. Miranda and Robert Miles hit a 3-pointers a few possessions later to extend the lead to 69-57 and all but end the game.
Also key in the fourth quarter was the play of guard Bradley Fryberg, who had a couple of key steals and made some nice passes to set up teammates for easy baskets as the Hawks pulled away. Fryberg finished with six points and eight assists.
Miranda, Tulalip Heritage’s sixth man, finished 8-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-7 from behind the arc.
“Ayrik’s our secret weapon,” Fryberg said. “A lot of teams haven’t seen him before but he’s a shooter.”
At Everett Community College
Wilbur Creston 15 14 23 12 — 64
Tulalip Heritage 22 20 16 23 — 81
Tulalip Heritage—Dontae Jones 2, Brandon Jones 5, Bradley Fryberg 6, Ayrik Miranda 22, Trevor Fryberg 2, Robert Miles 11, Shawn Sanchey 14, Keanu Hamilton 19, Anthony McLean 0, Willy Enick 0, Mike Leslie 0, Alan Enick 0. Wilbur-Creston—Tucker Odegaard 0, Brent Rosman 7, Dorian Jaeger 5, Nick Densley 19, Joe Rosman 5, Jacob Clark 1, Colton Magers 19, Garet Townsend 4, Kyle Bodeau 0, Donovan Colvin 4. 3-point goals—Miranda 4, Miles 2, Sanchey 2, Hamilton 2, B. Rosman, Densley, Magers. Records—Tulalip Heritage 24-1. Wilbur-Creston 14-10.