SHORELINE — The Glacier Peak High School boys basketball team’s perfect season remains intact, and Saturday night the Grizzlies did it with a flourish.
Glacier Peak turned on the style as the Grizzlies blew past the Auburn Trojans 69-43 in a Class 4A state regional game at Shorewood High School.
Not only did the victory earn the Grizzlies a bye into the state quarterfinals, the manner of the victory reinforces Glacier Peak’s credentials as a state championship contender.
“It’s so crazy to think about,” Tristen Bates, who scored 15 points, said about Glacier Peak’s perfect season to date. “Nobody predicted us to go 24-0.
“We played really well tonight,” Bates added. “We were rotating the ball fast, we were playing good defense, rebounding, pushing it and hitting shots.”
Glacier Peak (24-0), the No. 2 seed and one of two unbeaten 4A teams in the state along with top-seeded Union, will face the winner between No. 8 Gonzaga Prep and No. 9 Sumner at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.
Auburn (23-6), the No. 7 seed, plays a first-round game against No. 10 Olympia at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Glacier Peak received contributions from the usual suspects. Brayden Quantrille played a tremendous floor game, tallying 19 points, six rebounds and four assists as he regularly beat Auburn in transition. Tucker Molina was a calm hand initiating the offense, registering 12 points, including a pair of athletic jams that brought the Glacier Peak crowd to its feet.
But the Grizzlies also received major contributions from their support players. Bates provided an additional threat from deep, draining three 3s, and he chipped in seven boards. Pierce Darlington was a warrior down low as he grabbed eight rebounds.
And Glacier Peak’s defense prevented Auburn from doing what it does best. The Trojans tried to get to the hoop with dribble penetration, but the Grizzlies cut off all driving lanes, with Molina (four blocks) and Darlington playing key roles.
“Holding them to 43 was a challenge,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter said. “They’re such good shooters that it makes it that much more difficult to keep in front of you. It’s hard to run someone off the 3-point line and also contain them off the dribble. I thought in the second half we did a really good job of staying in front, forcing difficult shots and making them earn it.”
Glacier Peak played from the front most of the way, as three treys in the first four minutes staked the Grizzlies to an early 13-6 lead. Auburn had a brief burst early in the second quarter when Dae’Kwon Watson, who scored a team-high 18, went on an eight-point spurt as the Trojans went ahead 22-19. But Glacier Peak finished the half on a 10-1 run, pushed its advantage to double digits early in the third quarter, then turned it into a rout in the fourth.