SAMMAMISH — In the first half, the biggest winner of the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association all-state boys basketball game was plain ol’ rust.
Many of these all-stars from the Class 4A and 3A squads played in the state championships two weeks ago. And it looked like they had not been on a court since.
But, oh, how it warmed up in a hurry.
Led by Lincoln’s Ahmaad Rorie’s playmaking and the scoring from O’Dea’s Jamie Orme and Mercer Island’s Kaleb Warner on the wing, the 3A team made a huge second-half comeback to pull off a 134-127 victory against the 4A squad Saturday at Eastside Catholic High School.
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Rorie led his team with 32 points and eight assists. Orme finished with 30 points, and Warner chipped in with 24 as the 3A squad scored 80 points in the second half.
And all of it was needed because Garfield’s Tramaine Isabell was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring 31 of his game-high 45 points in the second half.
“I never like to lose,” Isabell said. “I tried to play around, but in the end, I was going for the win.”
The 4A team went on a 10-0 run late in the first half to grab a 68-54 lead at halftime.
That is when Rorie, a Cal signee, came into the locker room and told 3A co-coaches Gary Wusterbarth and Pat Fitterer that the 3A squad would win the game.
It didn’t look great when Isabell opened the second half by scoring 15 points in the first 3 minutes, 35 seconds. But Rorie hit three 3-pointers to spark the comeback.
And a 3-pointer from Stanwood’s Josh Thayer with 7:15 to go gave the 3A team the lead for good – 106-105 – and sparked an 11-0 run.
“We were just trying to win,” Rorie said. “We were down by a lot, so we tried changing the game plan.”
Because Rainier Beach High School won the 3A title, Vikings coach Mike Bethea was scheduled to coach the all-state game Saturday. But he declined, saying that because of the upcoming Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament in New York, Metro League officials discouraged him from doing so. Two of his players – guard David Crisp and forward Djuan Piper – also did not play but attended the game. … Isabell, a Washington State University signee, said in the wake of Cougars coach Ken Bone being fired earlier in the week, he will talk to athletic director Bill Moos the next few days and then announce whether he will stay or opt out.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles