TACOMA — Following a string of three straight wins facing elimination, the 16th-seeded Shorecrest boys basketball team ran into perhaps its biggest roadblock of the postseason in a 3A state tournament semifinal matchup against No. 2 Garfield.
The Scots fell 71-60 to the Bulldogs in a late-night battle on Thursday at the Tacoma Dome in a non-elimination game.
Shorecrest will face No. 3 Eastside Catholic in a loser-out game at 2 p.m. Friday as the Scots fight for a slot in the fourth-place game on Saturday.
After a 69-44 statement win over Rainier Beach on Wednesday, the Scots came out swinging in the first quarter against a stout Garfield roster, taking a 16-12 lead in the opening frame and going into the second tied at 19.
Star Shorecrest senior Parker Baumann delivered 20 of his game-high 27 points after halftime and added eight rebounds on 11-of-22 shooting while junior Anthony Najera added 15 points. Senior point guard Keaine Silimon contributed eight points and five boards.
Garfield’s arsenal of weapons took a physical toll on Shorecrest over the course of the contest, with 6-foot-9 senior Emmett Marquardt posting 14 points and seven boards. 6-8 UConn signee Jaylin Stewart had 13 points and eight rebounds, sophomore Legend Smiley scored 14 and senior Myles Damon chipped in 10 points to round things out for the Bulldogs.
A 17-0 Garfield run in the second quarter put the Scots in catch-up mode for the rest of the night, as their first points didn’t come until the 1:30 mark of the period.
“They’re a great team,” Baumann said. “They’re the number one team in the state and we came out here knowing we just had to play hard, try to stay in our bubble, play our game. They mucked it up for us a bit, that’s what Garfield does. They’re known for making people play fast and we fell into their game a little bit, but in the second half we started to come together and cut the lead down.”
The Bulldogs biggest lead of the night came with 2:40 left in the third quarter, when Shorecrest trailed 53-32 after 6-7 post Sherrell Mccullum Jr. (seven points, six rebounds) powered in a layup over defenders.
The Scots would shave the lead down to as little as seven late in the fourth at 67-60 with a gutsy effort to stay breathing, but Shorecrest’s bid to the semifinals was cut short in the end.
“We’re still very confident,” Baumann said. “We’re going for that fourth place banner, we wanna raise a banner in our school because that stays there forever. … “They came out with it at the end of the day, we just gotta continue to play hard and keep our heads up. I think we can do big things against Eastside Catholic and continue to move on for sure.”
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