The Lincoln Abes continue to carry the torch for Tacoma 3A schools, advancing to the semifinal of the state tournament with a 68-47 win Thursday over Mountlake Terrace.
Lincoln is the uninvited guest at the Metro League’s Tacoma Dome party. Each of the three other semifinalists is a member of the Seattle city league.
After winning the Narrows League and West Central District titles, now Lincoln has to run the gauntlet of Metro League elite.
“Metro has been dominant for a long time, and they’ve got some great teams,” said Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton. “We’re trying to represent the 253 and knock one of them off.”
Lincoln will continue the quest for its first state title since 2002 in the semifinal against Lakeside tonight at 9.
Lincoln senior forward Tre’Shaun Fletcher scored 29 points and had 13 rebounds Thursday against the Hawks, and he said he went into the game with a Metro League mindset.
“We came in expecting every team to play like Rainier Beach,” says Fletcher. “That’s our goal: We want to play Beach.”
Today, Fletcher will be doing something he hasn’t done much of in his high school career: looking up.
Fletcher is likely to draw the defensive assignment on Lakeside 7-foot center Peter French. Lakeside advanced with a 69-58 win over University on Thursday.
On the other side of the bracket, Rainier Beach faces a familiar foe in Franklin tonight at 7:15.
Amazingly, it will be the fourth time Rainier Beach and Franklin have played each other in a span of nine games. Rainier Beach has won all three previous meetings.
“It’s about not coming in overconfident because we’ve had three big wins against them,” said Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea. “They’re going to come out focused.”
Rainier Beach advanced to the semifinal by knocking off Seattle Prep, 60-52. The Vikings may be without star Shaqquan Aaron, who was ineffective in seven minutes on Thursday due to a strained groin.
Lacey’s Timberline High School was pushed into the consolation bracket by Franklin. The Quakers broke open a close game in the third quarter, pulling away for a 78-55 win despite 30 points from Blazers star Donaven Dorsey.
Timberline (16-10) was the Cinderella of the 3A West Central District playoffs – Thursday’s loss was just their third in the last 11 games after an 8-7 start to the season. Timberline plays Seattle Prep today at 12:15, with the winner advancing to the fourth/sixth-place game.
Mountlake Terrace faces University in the other consolation game at 2 p.m.