Top-ranked Jackson settles for fourth place with win over Gonzaga Prep

Staff writerMarch 8, 2014 

Finally, the No. 1-ranked Jackson Timberwolves showed up at the Tacoma Dome in their Class 4A state tournament matchup against Gonzaga Prep. After losing to Curtis in Class 4A championship last year, the Wolves (25-2) were the favorites heading into the Dome. But a misstep Thursday against Issaquah forced Jackson to settle for a fourth-place finish after defeating the Bullpups, 61-44. After the game, Jackson coach Steve Johnson expressed disappointment his team didn’t finish with the championship as expectations have been high throughout the season. “The irony is we were favorites because we were so good last year,” Johnson said. “We were favorites because of our own expectations because of our own success. I’d be lying if I said a 9:30 a.m. game for fourth-place was my ultimate goal” “At some points during the season we were the best team in state. But right now we might be playing like the fourth best in state.” The win left Jackson emotionally drained after the game, as the senior driven team came to realize their high school run together has come to an end. Star forward Jason Todd (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Dan Kingma (22 points, 6-for-9 on 3-pointers) left the locker room in tears. “They’ve done some major things for us … they’ve been huge,” Johnson said. “(They’re) two great kids and great role-models. In terms of this senior group, it’s been great. You don’t always see all of them on the floor, but they still showed up in (our) practices. A lot of seniors don't do that if they're not getting the minutes.”

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