t.cotterill@thenewstribune.comMarch 7, 2014 

Elijah Foster had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Shaqquan Aaron had 14 points, and David Crisp added 10 as the Vikings cruised to the victory over the Highlanders that sent Rainier Beach to the semifinals.

The top-ranked Vikings (27-0) will face No. 3 Bellevue at 5:45 p.m. on Friday.

With wins against nationally ranked teams such as Whitney Young (Ill.), 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.”

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.

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