A freshly cut net dangling from his neck, Rainier Beach guard Marquis Davis promised he’d never forget the euphoria running through his body as he walked off the Tacoma Dome court.
“For the rest of my life,” he said. “This is the best that I’ve ever felt. I’m so happy.”
Davis poured in 30 points, leading the third-ranked Vikings to a 61-58 win over No. 2 Seattle Prep in the finals of the Class 3A boys basketball state tournament Saturday.
Davis was voted tournament MVP after after his 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
The title is the sixth for Rainier Beach and fourth since 2002.
“Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now,” Vikings coach Mike Bethea said. “It’s a special feeling.”
Play was fast and physical between the Metro League rivals.
Prep forward Mitch Brewe cut his chin and guard Jackson Clough’s mouth was bloodied. Forward Josh Martin banged his head on the court, trying to save a ball headed out of bounds and left the game for several minutes.
The Vikings’ aggressiveness cost them. They played much of the game in foul trouble and Kansas-bound guard Anrio Adams was limited to 19 minutes before fouling out.
With Adams on the bench, Davis took over.
The 5-foot-9 junior scored 16 of his 30 points in the first half. His baseline jumper with 4:21 left in the second quarter was the start of a 10-3 run that extended Rainier Beach’s lead to 38-25 a minute before halftime.
Bethea said Davis came to him in the locker room before the title match and declared himself ready for a big game.
“He said, ‘Coach, don’t even worry about it, baby, I’m bringing my game tonight,’ ” Bethea said. “He was big.”
Rainier Beach (27-3) maintained a double-digit lead through most of the third quarter, but Prep came alive in the final period.
Trailing 50-38 at the start of the fourth, the Panthers (24-6) whittled the margin to 56-52 when Prep guard D.J. Fenner hit a jumper with 1:38 to play.
“Fourth quarter is when we came together most,” Davis said.
Beach and Prep traded baskets until Davis made one of two free throws with 10 seconds to go, putting his team up 61-56. Prep forward Mitch Brewe scored on a put-back, but time expired as the ball dropped through the net.
Davis was the only Vikings player to score in double figures.
Rainier Beach guards Will Dorsey and Adams were named to the all-tournament second team.
Fenner paced Prep with 26 points and Brewe totaled 19 points and 14 rebounds. Both players were selected to the all-tournament first team.
The title game marked the fourth meeting between the teams this season. Rainier Beach won twice in the regular season and Prep toppled the Vikings in the finals of the Sea-King District tournament.
That loss stung the Vikings and provided motivation throughout the rest of the postseason.
“We didn’t want it to happen to us twice,” Davis said.
Doug Pacey: 253-365-2975 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/preps Twitter: @DougPaceyTNT