Mariner’s Jailin Johnson (2) fights for the ball during a 3A boys game in the Hardwood Classic between Gonzaga Prep and Mariner at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The Marauders fell, 79-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Mariner’s Jailin Johnson (2) fights for the ball during a 3A boys game in the Hardwood Classic between Gonzaga Prep and Mariner at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The Marauders fell, 79-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Mariner boys can’t overcome slow start in loss to Gonzaga Prep

The Marauders fall behind early and suffer a season-ending 79-69 loss to the Bullpups in the 4A state round of 12.

TACOMA — The Mariner High School boys basketball team rode its grit and determination all the way to another trip to the Tacoma Dome, but the Mauarders couldn’t overcome a rough first quarter in their round-of-12 matchup with Gonzaga Prep.

The 12th-seeded Marauders struggled with turnovers and couldn’t keep the fifth-seeded Bullpups off the offensive glass or out of the paint in the early going as they fell 79-69 on Wednesday in the Class 4A Hardwood Classic.

Gonzaga Prep (22-4) advances to face third-seeded Olympia at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.

“I think we came out kind of slow, which we’ve done before, but Gonzaga Prep is super disciplined so it’s hard to get within striking distance,” Mariner coach Tevin Dillon said.

Senior Makai Bloomfield knocked down six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 27 points to the Marauders. Senior Jailin Johnson had 16 points and six rebounds, junior Isaiah Cuellar added nine points and senior Macky James chipped in eight points.

Henry Sandberg led a balanced attack for Gonzaga Prep with 19 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the field. Ryan Jackson scored 16 points, Jamil Miller had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Jayce Swanson netted 15 points and Jackson Floyd chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.

The Bullpups shot 56.4% (31 of 55) from the field and 45.5% (5 of 11) from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded Mariner 38-22, which helped lead to a 10-2 advantage in second-chance points, and held a 20-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

“They shoot a high percentage and they were scrappy on defense early,” Dillon said. “We didn’t capitalize on our turnovers early. That hurt us as well. They’re a tough team.”

The Bullpups took control early and looked well on their way to a big victory while piling up points in the paint and running out to a 27-13 lead after the first quarter.

Gonzaga Prep pushed its lead to as many as 18 in the second quarter, taking its biggest advantage at 40-22 late in the second on Swanson’s layup.

Mariner hung around early in the third and eventually cut the deficit to 11 on a pair of free throws by Johnson and again on a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer from Bloomfield that made it 54-43 heading into the final period.

The Marauders kept pushing in the final period but couldn’t quite break through with the run they needed to overcome a deficit that hovered around 10 points for most of the fourth. Bloomfield eventually cut it to 77-69 with a layup but less than 30 seconds remained and Mariner ran out of time.

“We struggled to continue our runs and they did a good job stopping them,” Dillon said.

Mariner, which claimed a share of the Wesco 4A title and made back-to-back trips to the Tacoma Dome for the first time since a run of three straight from 2007-2009, finishes its season at 16-9.

“Obviously this is super defeating. It hurts,” Dillon said. “But this is just a really good group of kids and I’m proud of them. I want them to keep their heads high. They achieved a lot.”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Everett High School’s Shukurani Ndayiragije is a contender to win all three jumping events at the Class 3A state boys track and field meet. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Power rankings: Who has the best shot at prep state titles?

Ranking the local athletes and teams who have the best chance during this weekend’s state events.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 13-19

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 13-19. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Mountlake Terrace players react to a run during a baseball game between Mountlake Terrace and Bishop Blanchet at Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Mountlake Terrace won, 12-7.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mountlake Terrace baseball’s season ends in state quarters

The Hawks beat Bishop Blanchet 12-7 in the morning, but fall 10-9 to West Seattle in the afternoon.

Prep roundup for Saturday, May 18

Prep roundup for Saturday, May 18: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson players react to beating Kamiak to win the 4A district championship on Friday, May 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jackson softball rallies past Kamiak for district title

Yanina Sherwood dominates in the circle, striking out 10 in the 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Wolfpack carrying on, despite AFL turmoil

The rebooted league contracts, changes commissioner in the wake of unpaid obligations.

Prep roundup for Friday, May 17

Prep roundup for Friday, May 17: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Why being mad on the mound is good for Andrés Muñoz, M’s

The Mariners’ closer is dominating, and a lot of that is because of his attitude.

Everett players celebrate during a Class 3A District 1 softball championship game between Snohomish and Everett at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett, Washington on Thursday, May 16, 2024. Everett won, 10-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett softball upsets Snohomish for district championship

Freshman Mia Hoekendorf leads the way as the Seagulls defeat the top-seeded Panthers 10-0.

The members of the Snohomish High School boys golf team (from left to right): Cade Strickland, Tyson Olds, Palmer Mutcheson, Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson and Jackson Dammann. (Photo courtesy of Mark Myers Photography)
Senior-led Snohomish takes aim at state boys golf

Five of the six Panthers who will play at state are seniors who attended elementary school together.

Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16

Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Snohomish's Hannah Wells, right, celebrates during a Class 3A District 1 girls tennis tournament at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Shorewood girls tennis claims third straight district trophy

Rylie Gettmann leads the way for the Stormrays, winning her third district singles championship.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.