The No. 5-ranked Curtis Vikings took the first step toward their third straight West Central District championship, defending their home court in a 59-41 victory over Battle Ground on Wednesday night.
The first-round victory sets up a quarterfinal matchup against Stadium on Friday night. The game tips at 7:45 at Auburn High School.
Curtis (20-2) held a 12-10 lead late in the first quarter before going on a 16-2 scoring run that lasted well into the second quarter. Senior forward Isom Brown scored six points during the stretch.
The Curtis lead reached as many as 28 points late in the third quarter.
The Vikings played stifling defense, forcing the Tigers into 23 turnovers, which led to a number of layups.
“We were able to come out and set the tone early,” said Curtis coach Tim Kelly. “I think our pressure got to them.”
Senior guard Dominic Robinson led the way for Curtis with 20 points – most of which came on perimeter jumpers.
“He’s been really shooting the ball well,” Kelly said. “Our offense has been executing, getting him shots, and he’s knocking them down.”
Senior forward Andre Lewis added 14 points for Curtis.
The Vikings are attempting to become the first team to win three straight 4A West Central District titles since 1984, when Curtis also achieved the feat. The last non-Curtis team to do it was Bremerton, which won five straight from 1946-50.
Kelly isn’t thinking about three in a row just yet.
“Right now we’re worried about Stadium on Friday night,” Kelly said. “If we get the next one, it assures you of playing in a regional. The first two are the most important district games.”
Battle Ground (12-11) is still alive. The Tigers play Jefferson in a loser-out game at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Auburn Mountainview High School.
Jamie Ford led the Tigers with 11 points.