MILL CREEK — With his team’s season on the line, Glacier Peak boys basketball coach Brian Hunter dialed up a sideline inbound play for senior standout Bobby Martin.
“I looked at him and said, ‘You’ve got one more in you,’” Hunter said. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got it.’”
Martin drove baseline for a tough go-ahead basket with 4.3 seconds to play, lifting the 10th-seeded Grizzlies to a 50-49 win over 15th-seeded Skyline in a loser-out Class 4A state regional game Saturday at Jackson High School.
“He’s the best player on the floor, and you give the best player the ball when you need a basket,” Hunter said. “He made an unbelievable play. He’s a winner.”
The victory earned Glacier Peak (21-3) its second consecutive trip to the Tacoma Dome for the Hardwood Classic. The Grizzlies will face second-seeded Skyview in a loser-out first-round game Wednesday for a spot in the state quarterfinals.
“We push our kids hard, they buy in and (this) is the reward for doing that,” Hunter said. “I’m so happy for our players that they get to go down to Tacoma and be (among) the best of the best.”
Martin scored a game-high 25 points — including 11 in the third quarter — and contributed to a key defensive stop in the game’s final minute.
With the Grizzlies trailing 49-48, Martin rotated over to block a corner 3-pointer. Junior post Noah Forman then blocked another shot just moments later to help Glacier Peak get the ball back, and the Grizzlies dribbled across halfcourt before calling a timeout with 9.9 seconds to play.
Forman received the ensuing inbound pass on the right side of the court and handed off the ball to Martin, who used Forman as a screen while driving to the baseline. Glacier Peak’s 6-foot-3 star stopped a few feet from the hoop before muscling in a contested shot for the game-winner.
Skyline (18-7) then missed a last-second jumper as the Grizzlies ended a string of seven consecutive state-tournament losses.
Glacier Peak overcame a nightmarish start on offense that saw the Grizzlies held scoreless for the game’s first five minutes. Yet despite not making a field goal in the first quarter, Glacier Peak trailed just 6-4 after the opening period.
Junior post Evan Mannes, who finished with 16 points, sparked the Grizzlies in the second quarter with nine points in less than three minutes.
Martin hit a pair of 3-pointers to help Glacier Peak end the half on an 8-0 run, including a corner 3 in the closing seconds that gave the Grizzlies a 26-20 halftime lead.
Glacier Peak led 48-43 near the midway point of the fourth quarter, but Skyline senior Ashish Manda hit a pair of 3-pointers to give the Spartans a one-point edge with 2:35 to play.
That remained the margin until Martin’s game-winner, which ended a five-minute scoring drought for the Grizzlies.
Manda hit four 3-pointers and scored all of his team-high 14 points in the second half. Nigel Seda, a sophomore, added 13 points for the Spartans.