The No. 9-ranked Curtis Vikings are angry.
That’s what happens when the team that has won three consecutive West Central District 4A tournaments gets knocked into the consolation bracket.
On the heels of Saturday’s loss to Stadium, Curtis faced Auburn in a loser-out game Tuesday at Auburn High School.
It was over quickly.
Curtis jumped out to a 30-11 halftime lead, and went on to a 52-38 victory.
“We wanted to come out angry,” said junior guard Jayson Williams. “Coach told us about a college team that said every day they come out angry.”
Williams scored 12 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, helping lead an outstanding defensive first half for the Vikings.
Sophomore Aushanti Potts-Woods added 18 points for Curtis, which led 16-2 at the end of the first quarter.
“That loss to Stadium helped us,” Williams said. “It got us motivated, and it definitely got us angry.”
Curtis (20-4) faces South Kitsap in a winner-to-regionals, loser-out game on Thursday.
Tipoff is set for 7:45 at Mount Tahoma High School.
After being down by 19 points at halftime, Auburn put forth a better effort in the second half.
Energized by seniors JJ Ruffin and Marquise Prater, the Trojans trimmed the Vikings’ advantage to 44-36 on a 3-pointer by Rio Paul with 4 minutes, 45 seconds to play.
That was as close as the Trojans (13-11) would get in their season finale. Ruffin’s 22 points led the way for Auburn.
SOUTH KITSAP 71, FEDERAL WAY 61
The Wolves earned a date with Curtis and a chance to advance to regionals with one more win by defeating the Eagles at Auburn High School.
Caulin Bakalarski scored 33 points to lead South Kitsap. The senior shooting guard went 6-for-8 on 3-point attempts, while also making a steal and streaking for a dunk to set the tone in the first quarter.
Bakalarski was hot from the opening whistle, nailing a pair of 3-pointers while scoring 12 of South Kitsap’s first 14 points.
South Kitsap (17-7) took the lead midway through the first quarter and never relinquished it.
Federal Way lost senior starting guard Adrian Davis to a sprained left ankle just 55 seconds into the first quarter. Davis iced his ankle throughout the game and did not return.
Junior guard Malik Montoya led the Eagles, who finished the season at 18-5, with 21 points.
BATTLE GROUND 73, PUYALLUP 65
Nick Gutierrez scored 20 points, and D.J. Winter added 17 for the Vikings (14-10), who whittled a 12-point deficit to two points in the second half before falling to the Tigers at Mount Tahoma High School.
EMERALD RIDGE 63, UNION 59
Guillermo Alcaraz and Jake McCoy made four free throws in the final 20 seconds, and the Jaguars held off the Greater St. Helens League champion Titans in a loser-out game at Mount Tahoma.
Emerald Ridge (13-11) led 58-52 with 45 seconds to go before the Titans cut it to one point, but Union got no closer.