Lincoln’s dream of winning a state title for the first time since 2002 came crashing down on Friday night, as the Abes were blown out by Lakeside in a Class 3A state semifinal game at the Tacoma Dome.
Lakeside used a 3-point barrage to build an early lead and never looked back on the way to an 86-67 victory.
The Lions (24-4) will face Rainier Beach at 5p.m. today in the championship. The Metro League rivals squared off three times this season, with Rainier Beach prevailing twice.
Lakeside jumped out to an 11-2 lead, behind sharpshooting senior Matthew Poplawski and speedy guard Tramaine Isabell.
Poplawski hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first two minutes, and was 6-for-9 from behind the arc. He finished with 23 points.
Isabell was too quick for Lincoln defenders, leading the Lions fastbreak to a stream of easy baskets. He scored 21 points and dished out seven assists.
“I don’t know if that team can play any better,” said Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton of Lakeside. “After the first minute they were up 11-2 and we thought that was their best shot. They kept throwing in more shots and more shots — they were shooting NBA 3s and knocking them down.”
Two minutes into the second quarter, Lakeside held a 30-12 lead. Lakeside was 10-for-24 on 3-point attempts, including 8-for-14 in the first half.
Ahmaad Rorie led Lincoln with 28 points, while Tre’Shaun Fletcher had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Lincoln (22-4) will play Franklin (19-10) in the third/fifth place game today at 1 p.m.
“Our goal all year was to win state,” said Shelton. “We’ll see if we can bounce back tomorrow. We’ve had a really good season and we don’t want to end with two losses.”
Defending 3A state champions Rainier Beach is going for a repeat.
The Vikings advanced to the title by defeating Metro League rival Franklin in the other semifinal, 73-59.
Rainier Beach (24-4) was 4-0 against Franklin this season, with all four meetings coming in the past 10 games.
Senior guard Will Dorsey led the way for the Vikings, pouring in 21 points while dishing out four assists. Dorsey scored most of his points on layups off dribble penetration.
“It just came,” said Dorsey. “I tried to get my guys the ball, but I was open. When you are open you gotta make shots and you gotta take shots.”
The score was tied in the third quarter at 33, before Rainier Beach pulled away with a 21-4 run.
The Vikings bench contributed 40 of Rainier Beach’s points.
“Our bench is so deep,” said coach Mike Bethea. “We have 10 or 11 starters out there.”
Franklin held a 21-14 lead in the second quarter, but Shaqquan Aaron hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game heading into halftime.
Aaron, who has been hobbled by a groin injury, was held to five points on 2-for-9 shooting. The Louisville commit leads the Vikings in points per game.
“The kid is playing on pure guts right now,” said Bethea.
Arell Hennings led Franklin with 24 points.