Panthers take fifth place

TACOMA – Sure, it wasn’t the most eye-pleasing basketball game ever played.

Actually, this one was far from it.

But by the time the Snohomish boys hoops team finished off a 50-41 victory over Kentwood on Saturday, the focus wasn’t on looking pretty. It was on being happy, and yet utterly exhausted.

“I’m so tired,” said Snohomish forward Tim Diederichs. “A lot of people would say that game’s ugly, but really it’s just two good teams, three games into the tournament, fighting for placing.”

Diederichs scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the second half, when Snohomish gradually pulled away en route to a triumph over Kentwood in the fifth/eighth-place game during the final day of the Class 4A state tourney at the Tacoma Dome.

Snohomish (25-3) committed 16 turnovers and was 9-for-18 on free throws. But it made 59.4 percent of its field goals and snared its fourth top-eight trophy since 2002.

The finish is Snohomish’s best since it was fifth in 1987. The Panthers placed seventh in 2002, 2003 and 2005.

“It wasn’t a real pretty game, but it was pretty enough,” Snohomish coach Len Bone said.

In the third quarter Kentwood tied it at 24-24 on Jake Wilcox’s three-point play. But Tanner Jenkins had two straight layins – both on assists from Zach Wilde (12 points, six rebounds, five assists, two blocks, two steals) – during a 6-0 Snohomish spurt, and the Panthers took a 35-31 advantage into the final quarter.

Kentwood (16-13) got within 39-36 on Cody Thueringer’s put-back bucket with 4:32 to go, but Snohomish closed the game with an 11-5 spurt.

Snohomish bounced back for three straight victories after a first-round defeat against Decatur on Wednesday.

“I guess winning is nice, to be fifth, but I’d be just as proud of ‘em if we weren’t,” Bone said. “It shows a lot about the way these guys do things. They’ve really been a pleasure to coach and be around.”

Diederichs struggled in the first half, going 1-for-6 from the field. But the 6-foot-8 senior finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

“I’m real happy,” said Diederichs, a Loyola Marymount University recruit. “Three wins (at state), great season – I had a blast. I had awesome teammates, awesome coaches, awesome program.”

Kentwood took its biggest lead of the first half (15-12) after Tre Tyler dropped in a floater in the lane and Jeremy Green sunk a foul shot. With a nice boost from its bench, Snohomish scored the final six points of the half and led 18-15 at intermission. Taking advantage of some rare playing time, Brad Low sunk two free throws and Chris Jorve scored inside.

Both teams looked tired, playing their fourth game in four days. Kentwood settled for outside shots throughout the first half. It was just 1-for-10 on 3-pointers and 4-for-21 from the field.

“I was just really proud of the way we came and we just kind of battled fatigue. It’s tough physically and it’s tough mentally,” said Bone.

“It’s tough,” Diederichs said. “You gotta just grind it out. … You gotta play with your heart.”

Snohomish was more patient and worked the ball inside, leading to foul trouble for massive Kentwood freshman Josh Smith. The bulky 6-foot-7 forward picked up three fouls in the first half, was whistled for a fourth early in the third quarter and played just 12:49 of a possible 32 minutes. Smith averaged 19.3 points through three rounds but had just six against Snohomish.

Winning usually puts smiles on the victors’ faces, but several Snohomish players, particularly nine seniors, were teary-eyed after emerging from the locker room.

“It’s tough knowing that that’s the last time you’re ever gonna take off that Snohomish jersey,” senior Kegan Bone said. “It’s been a great (season) and it’s been a great run.”

At the Tacoma Dome



Snohomish-Hansen 1, Cox 2, B. Low 2, Shilling 4, Bone 5, M. Low 1, Diederichs 14, Wilde 12, Jorve 2, Jenkins 7. Kentwood-Wilcox 10, Green 7, Carlson 5, Thueringer 10, Tyler 3, Smith 6. 3-point goals-Shilling 1, Wilde 2, Carlson 1, Thueringer 1. Records-Snohomish 25-3 overall. Kentwood 16-13.

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