Elijah Foster had 16 points, 13 rebounds, Shaqquan Aaron had 14 points and David Crisp added 10 as the Rainier Beach boys basketball team cruised to a 74-46 victory against Shadle Park on Thursday to send the Vikings to the state semifinals.
Beach (27-0) will face No. 3 Bellevue at 5:45 p.m. on Friday.
With wins against nationally-ranked teams such as Whitney Young (Il.), Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and Bishop O’Connell (Va.), Rainier Beach’s victory against Shadle Park (10-14) – the only team in the tournament with a losing record, and a team that finished sixth in the Greater Spokane League – isn’t one that raises eyebrows.
But what it does is move the Vikings closer to a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association record three consecutive state titles – something no 1A or higher school has ever accomplished.
“You can’t think about a team’s record,” Aaron said. “You still have to come out and play hard. You can’t coast. You can’t have that mindset. If we play hard this game, we’ll be ready to play hard the next game.”
Rainier Beach took all it could handle in its regional game against Mercer Island last week, hanging on for a 61-55 victory. So the Vikings took out some vengeance against Shadle Park.
They led 41-14 just before halftime.
“At halftime, coach was still yelling at us, and we were up 30,” Aaron said.
Skyler Kelley led Shadle Park with 16 points. Dale Hagen added 10.
A state tournament victory would make Rainier Beach eligible for the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. A win over Shadle Park was a start.