Pressure, pressure, pressure.
That’s the mantra of the Curtis Vikings, who ran a full-court press from the opening tip until the final whistle of a 68-47 victory over Stadium in the quarterfinals of the 4A West-Central District boys basketball tournament Friday night at Auburn High School.
Curtis forced 26 Stadium turnovers while committing just five of its own. The Vikings forced 10 Stadium turnovers in the first 10 minutes, 15 seconds of the game — and did not commit their first until shortly after that point.
“It got to them — I don’t think they’ve ever seen anything like it,” said Curtis senior Andre Lewis. “Every day Coach (Tim Kelly) is on us about defense and playing hard, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Lewis scored 22 points to lead Curtis, while Isom Brown added 15.
Curtis (21-2) clinched a spot in the regional round of the state tournament with the win. Before that happens, the Vikings will attempt to win their third straight district title. Curtis plays Bethel in the semifinals tonight at 8 in Auburn.
Fresh of its first playoff win in 12 years, Stadium is not finished yet. The Tigers can still advance to the regional, but they need to beat Union today. That game starts at 6:15 p.m. at Curtis High School.
Eric Anderson-Connolly led Stadium with 12 points despite picking up four fouls in the first half and missing significant time.
Bethel 79, South Kitsap 53: The Braves buried the Wolves under an avalanche of 3-pointers, turning an early deficit into a rout at Auburn High School.
Bethel trailed at the end of a lethargic first quarter, but senior John Thompson changed the texture of the game by nailing a half-court shot, bringing life to the Braves.
“We weren’t having our best first quarter of the year; we were down 16-7,” said Thompson. “They passed it in to me with about two seconds left, I just took a couple of dribbles. … We practice it all of the time in practice. I guess it paid off.”
Thompson finished with 10 points. It was his long 3 that seemed to get all of his teammates on track.
Bethel outscored South Kitsap 25-8 in the second quarter, then drained six 3-pointers during a 26-point third quarter. Bethel led by as many as 34 points.
Joseph Johnson and James Moore each scored 19 points for Bethel, while Bryce Bowers scored 16.
Bethel (16-8) locked up a spot in the regional round of the state tournament. First, the Braves will play Curtis in the district semifinals tonight at Auburn.
South Kitsap was led by junior guard Ryley Callaghan’s 16 points. The Wolves play Mount Rainier at 8 p.m. today at Curtis High School. It will be a loser-out game for South Kitsap (15-8).