TACOMA — It was a season of firsts for the Marysville Getchell boys basketball program.
A winning season, a trip to the 3A state regionals and an appearance at the Hardwood Classic were among the milestone accomplishments for the Chargers.
But unfortunately for Marysville Getchell, the first it chalked up Wednesday was the taste of defeat in the Tacoma Dome, and the storybook campaign is over.
The 15th-seeded Chargers fell behind early and struggled to get going on offense in the first half against a long, athletic Wilson squad and never made things close, falling 73-52 in a Class 3A Hardwood Classic first-round, loser-out game.
The second-seeded Rams (21-3) delivered a smothering defensive effort, holding Marysville Getchell (17-9) to just 5-of-27 shooting in the first half.
“They’re a really athletic bunch,” Marysville Getchell coach Corby Schuh said of Wilson, “and they have five guys on the floor that can just flat out get at it defensively and have a lot of athleticism that maybe we don’t see on a game-to-game basis.”
Wilson’s stellar showing on defense was complimented by an ultra-balanced offensive attack that finished the game an efficient 29-for-58 from the field. The Rams took advantage of their size in the post in the first half, then used their quickness and athleticism in their backcourt to penetrate and create open looks in the second half.
Wilson asserted itself early by opening the game on a 14-3 run. The Rams held Marysville Getchell scoreless until junior Josiah Koellmer drained a 3-point shot at the 4:04 mark of the opening period to cut Wilson’s advantage to 6-3.
Wilson took a 10-point lead into the second quarter and quickly doubled it with a 10-0 run to start the period for a 26-6 advantage. The Rams pushed their lead to 39-14 by halftime, with 6-foot-5 Dominique Ellison (12 points and five rebounds) and 6-foot-6 Jackson Dorsey (10 points and six rebounds) providing the first-half spark.
“That hurt us in the first half,” Schuh said. “Whatever defense we were trying, they found a way to get it into their big guys.”
The Rams held Marysville Getchell standout Malakhi Knight to just 3-of-12 shooting from the field in the first half.
“We played a defense where we didn’t want him to catch the ball and once he did, try and get it out (of his hands),” Wilson coach Mike Cocke said. “We knew coming in that … he’s their guy.”
After hitting just five shots in the first half, including a 1-of-13 performance from beyond the 3-point line, the Chargers started to find a little life on offense in the second half. Knight started to heat up, delivering 21 of his game-high 29 points over the game’s final 16 minutes, but Wilson seemingly had an answer for every Marysville Getchell bucket. The Rams’ lead never dropped below 21 points in the second half.
“I’m just proud of the way our guys fought and just continued to battle,” Schuh said.
Koellmer added 14 points for the Chargers.
Ellison led the Rams with 13 points, Dorsey and Malik Howard added 12, Cayden McDaniel nine and Emani Mitchell eight.
Wilson advances to a quarterfinal matchup at 10:30 a.m. Thursday against No. 1 seed Eastside Catholic.
Marysville Getchell, which graduates just two seniors, finished its season with a program-best 17 wins.
“(I’m) so proud of how much they grew over the course of the season,” Schuh said of his team. “How much they grew up and figured out how to win games and they stuck together. The family that they’ve built throughout the season is just really, really powerful.”