TACOMA — The Shorecrest boys basketball team took matters into its own hands at the Hardwood Classic late Wednesday night.
After coming up with state regional loser-out wins against Stadium and Gig Harbor, the No. 16 Scots downed No. 8 Rainier Beach 69-44 in a Class 3A round of 12 state tournament game at the Tacoma Dome.
With the win, Shorecrest moved onto the quarterfinal round against No. 2 Garfield (22-2) at 9 p.m. Thursday.
The Scots (19-6) used a 25-6 third-quarter rally, including a 19-0 run in the frame, to knock off the Vikings (14-9) of the Metro League and eliminated them from the tournament.
“I’m ecstatic,” Shorecrest head coach Eddie George said. “The guys just truly believed in themselves. We started to turn the corner over the last five games of the season. I truly believe if the guys just follow our game plan, stick together, play together (and) win together, we’ll be just fine.”
Reigning Wesco 3A/2A League MVP Parker Baumann delivered 20 points, 15 rebounds and four assists in what was Shorecrest’s 10th win in the last 11 games. Senior point guard Keaine Silimon collected 15 points, six boards, four assists and two steals in a hard-nosed effort on both ends.
The Scots got contributions across the board, with sophomore Disma ‘Junior’ Kagarabi, junior Anthony Najera and senior Addarius Hilliard adding eight points apiece. No Viking broke double digits in the scoring column.
A hard-fought opening quarter of the Day 1 nightcap ended with high energy plays, as junior Darek Usitalo converted a four-point play in the corner with 3.9 seconds left in the first period. First-team All-Metro-League guard Miles Gurske fired right back for Rainier Beach, launching up a 30-footer which banked in at the buzzer.
Up 21-15 to start the second, the Scots marked the lead up to as much as 10 in the quarter before going into halftime nursing a 33-26 lead.
In the third, Shorecrest popped off. After giving up the first basket of the second half, the Scots found themselves ahead 52-28 with 2:44 left in the period. Najera and Baumann each hit both their 3s in the quarter and Baumann scored 10 of his points as the lead would balloon to as much as 28 on the night.
In the fourth, the Scots finished it out and earned at least two more contests at the Dome in the process.
“We came in feeling like they’re just another team,” Silimon said. “We didn’t come in here like they’re a Metro team and we’re a Wesco team, at the end of the day we feel like we’re just all basketball players that love to play. We’re not gonna come in here scared, we’re gonna come in aggressive. You saw what happened, we ended up doing our thing.”
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