TACOMA — Edmonds-Woodway transfer Tre’var Holland was the third-leading scorer for the Nathan Hale boys basketball team Friday night, finishing with 16 points as the No. 1-seeded Raiders advanced to the Class 3A state-title game with a 84-60 semifinal win over No. 5-seed Lincoln in a matchup of unbeatens in the Tacoma Dome.
“Aggressive,” Hale coach Brandon Roy said of his 6-foot-1 senior point guard’s performance. “We’ve been telling Tre over the last month now, when he’s aggressive, he puts a lot of pressure on defenses.
“He’s such a good kid (that) he’s like, … ‘I’m going to share it,’” Roy added. “But we’re like, ‘Tre, you’re our point guard. If you don’t play well, we look bad.’ So he played aggressive tonight and I thought he did a really good job.”
Sophomore guard P.J. Fuller scored a team-high 29 points for Hale (28-0), the nation’s top-ranked team according to multiple outlets.
University of Washington-bound Michael Porter Jr., ESPN’s top-ranked senior recruit, added 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Raiders while delivering his usual array of highlight-reel plays. The McDonald’s All-American powerfully swatted a Lincoln shot attempt out of bounds and threw down a thunderous one-handed, fast-break slam with a defender in his face.
Fuller, Porter Jr. and Holland combined for 72 of Hale’s 84 points.
Lincoln (26-1) trailed by just eight points with less than three minutes left in the third quarter, but the high-powered Raiders pulled away to punch their ticket to Saturday night’s state-title game against perennial powerhouse Garfield. It will be the fourth time the Metro League rivals have squared off this season, with Hale winning all three of the previous meetings.
3A girls finalists well-acquainted
The Bishop Blanchet and Mercer Island girls basketball teams are already plenty familiar with each other.
And with both earning semifinal wins Friday, the Braves and Islanders will be squaring off yet again. When No. 1-seeded Blanchet and No. 8-seeded Mercer Island play for the Class 3A state title Saturday afternoon, it will be the teams’ third meeting in the last 16 days.
Mercer Island (23-6) handed Blanchet its lone loss of the season Feb. 16 with a six-point district-semifinal win. Blanchet (25-1) returned the favor Feb. 24, edging the Islanders for a one-point state-regional victory.
Yet the familiarity extends beyond this season. Mercer Island coach Gillian d’Hondt is a Blanchet alumna who played for the Braves back when current Blanchet coach Brett Hecko was an assistant.
“They know us, we know them,” Hecko said. “If it goes like the first two games did, it will be a battle, an absolute grind.”
Both teams beat Snohomish County squads on their way to the title game. Blanchet edged Lynnwood for a 58-57 win in Thursday’s quarterfinals, while Mercer Island beat Snohomish 60-51 in Friday’s semifinals.