Mariner’s Jailin Johnson (left) and Naser Motley walk to the bench dejected after losing to Olympia on Wednesday afternoon in Tacoma. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Mariner’s Jailin Johnson (left) and Naser Motley walk to the bench dejected after losing to Olympia on Wednesday afternoon in Tacoma. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Mariner boys’ season ends with state loss to Olympia

The Marauders battle to overcome a tough first half, but fall to the Bears 50-41 in the 4A loser-out game.

TACOMA — The Mariner boys basketball team scratched and clawed its way back from a brutal first half.

But in the end, the Marauders’ offensive woes were too much to overcome.

No. 6-seeded Mariner struggled to score for long stretches and suffered a season-ending 50-41 loss to No. 11 seed Olympia in a Class 4A Hardwood Classic first-round game Wednesday afternoon in the Tacoma Dome.

“I’m proud of us for playing hard,” Marauders coach Tevin Dillon said. “(But) we struggled to score the ball.”

Mariner, which was making its first Hardwood Classic appearance since 2009, went scoreless for the game’s first four minutes. The Marauders (16-10) suffered another long drought in the second quarter, going scoreless for the first 6 1/2 minutes of that period.

And after rallying to take a brief one-point lead in the fourth quarter, Mariner mustered just two points over the final 5 1/2 mintues as Olympia (24-5) pulled away to reach the 4A state quarterfinals.

The Marauders shot just 34.8% from the field, including 23.8% in the first half.

“I think running our offense, getting in our offense and moving the ball, sharing the ball — that’s where we struggled,” Dillon said. “We struggled with it all year. That’s kind of when we hit our downs — when we’re not moving the ball well.”

Mariner trailed 26-15 at halftime after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Olympia’s Parker Gerrits. At the break, the Marauders had made just five made field goals and committed seven turnovers.

“Painful,” Dillon said of his team’s first half. “Painful.”

But Mariner stormed out of the gates in the third quarter, using a quick 11-4 spurt to trim the margin. Senior forward Dakota Joseph scored six points in the period, helping the Marauders cut the deficit to 36-33.

Joseph then opened the fourth quarter with another interior basket. And senior point guard Tijan Saine followed with a pair of difficult finishes, including a contested floater that gave Mariner a 39-38 edge with 5:30 to play.

“We can go out there and put our foot down and give it everything we’ve got, or we can just call it a day,” Dillon said of his halftime message to the team. “So they came out and played hard. We fought.”

Olympia regained a one-point lead on a transition basket from Mason Juergens with 3:50 to go. The Bears then added a pair of layups off well-executed sideline inbound plays, which extended their lead to 44-39 with 1:34 left.

Olympia’s Mason Juergens blocks Mariner’s Jailin Johnson’s shot Wednesday afternoon in Tacoma. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Olympia’s Mason Juergens blocks Mariner’s Jailin Johnson’s shot Wednesday afternoon in Tacoma. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

“We were kind of overplaying them and trying to trap, and they were able to get those easy layups,” Dillon said. “And it ended up hurting us.”

Olympia sealed the game with free throws down the stretch and advanced to face No. 5 seed Tahoma in Thursday’s state quarterfinals.

Andreas Engholm, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, led the Bears with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Gerrits, a junior guard with Division I college offers, scored 10 points before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

Senior guard Caden Roth added 10 points and Juergens had eight points and eight rebounds for Olympia, which shot 54.1% from the field and overcame 20 turnovers. The Bears held a big advantage on the boards, outrebounding Mariner 33-19.

Saine and senior guard Naser Motley led the Marauders with 13 points apiece. Joseph finished which eight points.

“At this time of the season, everything has to be solid,” Dillon said. “We’ve gotta block out, we’ve gotta make layups, we’ve gotta make free throws. And that’s what we struggled with. It’s hurt us in games, and it hurt us tonight.”

Despite the loss, it was another milestone-filled season for Mariner in its program’s recent resurgence.

The Marauders claimed the Wesco 4A title, which marked their first league championship since 2002-03. And for the first time in 13 years, they reached the Tacoma Dome.

Mariner graduates four seniors in Saine, Motley, Joseph and forward Mohamad Camara.

“Those guys have worked hard, they’re good leaders and they’re a great group,” Dillon said. “… They make it easy to coach. I’m gonna miss them.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Brazilian skater Kelvin Hoefler jumps over the SLS sign during a Street League Skateboarding event. (Photo provided by SLS)
Ready to get radical in Everett

Street League Skateboarding is bringing some of the world’s top skateboarders to Angel of the Winds Arena this weekend.

Runners participate in the first annual Run For Your Life Suicide Awareness Run/Walk in 2021. (Photo provided by Austin Johnson)
Suicide awareness run/walk returns to Lake Stevens

Snohomish County native Austin Johnson developed the event to provide support for people battling mental-health struggles.

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez after his one run RBI double against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 29, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Mariners reinstate All-Star Julio Rodríguez from 10-day IL

Seattle also activates new catcher Curt Casali, options outfielder Jarred Kelenic to Tacoma and DFAs catcher Luis Torrens.

Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Vegas police: Marshawn Lynch was asleep in car before arrest

The former Seahawks’ vehicle was in “undriveable condition,” with no tire on the driver’s side front wheel, according to a report.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Late rally comes up short, AquaSox lose to Dust Devils

Everett gets the tying run to second in the ninth, but falls to Tri-City 3-2.

A korfball hits the edge of the basket Thursday evening at Mukilteo Beach on September 9, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Kamiak trio set for beach korfball worlds

Plus, Cascade grad Aubrey Peterson helps Great Britain earn softball silver and much more.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, center, passes as head coach Pete Carroll, left, and assistant quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph, right, look on, during NFL football practice Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Smith to start at QB in Seahawks’ preseason opener

Veteran Geno Smith remains in front of Drew Lock in the key position battle, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox hold off Dust Devils to snap 6-game skid

Mike Salvatore and Dariel Gomez provide key hits in Everett’s 4-2 win.

FILE - Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Saying “the countdown has begun,” 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, she is ready to step away from tennis so she can turn her focus to having another child and her business interests, presaging the end of a career that transcended sports.AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Serena Williams says she’s ready to step away from tennis

The 23-time Grand Slam champion indicates in an essay that she will stop playing after this month’s U.S. Open.

Most Read