The Enumclaw Hornets had the height advantage up and down the roster, starting no player shorter than 6-foot-3.
But it didn’t help much against Timberline High’s relentless ball pressure Wednesday night — and did little to slow down star junior point guard Brandell Evans.
The Blazers forced 11 turnovers during the third quarter, and Evans scored a game-high 26 points as Timberline defeated Enumclaw, 69-61, in a Class 3A West Central District quarterfinal game at Washington High School.
Timberline (13-9) advances to the semifinals, where it will take on Lincoln at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Rogers High School.
After trailing 32-29 at halftime, the Blazers dialed up the pressure on the Hornets (19-4). As the turnovers started to pile up, Timberline found its groove, taking a 41-39 lead on Evans’ layup in traffic with 1 minute, 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Our idea was to pressure them, (and) get the ball out of (Drake) Rademacher’s hands,” Evans said. “Just attack, attack, attack.”
Although star forward and University of Washington recruit Donaven Dorsey picked up his fourth foul with 1:21 left in the third, the Blazers still closed the quarter on a 5-2 run, taking a 48-42 lead into the fourth.
Timberline pushed the lead to as many as eight, but the Hornets rallied and took the lead at 56-55 on a putback with three minutes to play by Rademacher (17 points, nine rebounds).
But Dorsey came alive down the stretch. He answered with a 3-pointer on the next possession, then stole a pass and finished hard at the other end, making a free throw to cap a 3-point play that pushed the lead to 61-56. The big man then dunked in a miss one possession later.
The Blazers also got key contributions from Tyler Gartner (nine points) and sophomore Jarryn Bush (eight points).