Londrell Hamilton punched the Wilson High School boys basketball team’s ticket to the state tournament.
And he did so from about 70 feet away from the basket. His last-second heave banked into the hoop as time expired.
Wilson defeated Kelso, 62-59, on Friday at Olympia High School and clinched its fourth consecutive 3A state tournament berth and a trip to the semifinals of the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament.
With 30 seconds remaining in the game, the Rams took the ball up the court and tried holding it to drain the clock. But the Hilanders stole the ball with five seconds left to go.
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Some quick Wilson defense forced the ball out of bound under their hoop, and Hamilton found himself with the ball.
With less than a second left and the senior guard just a quarter of the way up the court, he launched the ball and it banked in to win the game for the Rams.
Hamilton and teammate Emmitt Matthews, Jr. led the Rams in scoring with 17 points each, and Anthony Stokes put up 15 as well.
The Hilanders were led by Shaw Anderson, who scored a game high 23 points.
The Rams advance to face Spanaway Lake in the district semifinals at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday at Timberline.
Lincoln 67, Central Kitsap 55: Despite the Abes trailing by a five entering the second half, they were able to pull ahead thanks to Trevante Anderson.
Anderson led all scorers with 23 points, and Willie Thomas had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“They were ready for us tonight,” Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton said. “We can’t wait to play defense especially if we are playing better teams every week. This will be a good wake up call.”
But the win secured a second consecutive trip to the Tacoma Dome for Lincoln (22-0), which is ranked fifth in the WIAA’s RPI. The top eight-ranked teams to qualify for the state tournament are guaranteed a spot in the Tacoma Dome.
RJ Secrest and Jayden Upshaw both scored 20 points for the Cougars. Lincoln will play Timberline in the bidistrict semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Olympia.
Timberline 80, Prairie 66: The Blazers were able to take advantage of strong shooting from the outside to give them the edge over the Falcons and secure a state berth.
"We came out a little flat and in the second quarter, because they were in a zone, our shooters, Erik Stevenson, Eli Morton and Hunter Campau really started making shots from the outside to get us right back into the game," said Timberline Head Coach Allen Thomas.
Stevenson went on to score a game high 27 points while Campau scored 17 and Morton got 8. After that, the team was able to take the wheel and secured a decisive win.
"We got their big guy in foul trouble and that kinda sealed the deal a little bit,” said Coach Thomas.
Peninsula 71, Stadium 59: Seth Kasteler scored 17 points and Elijah McLaughlin added 16 points as the Seahawks survived elimination.
Peninsula advances through the consolation bracket and will face Kelso in another loser-out game at 7:45 p.m. Monday at North Thurston.
Stadium’s season ended with the loss.
North Thurston 72, Gig Harbor 60: Christian Clay took over the game in the fourth quarter to lead the Rams over the Tides to keep their state hopes alive.
Clay led all scores with 23 points, and Tim Tenkley added 13 to the mix as well.
“The kids battled hard and did a good job moving the ball around,” said coach Tim Brown. “Clay was able to get to the hoop and make good shots. Our kids played very well tonight.”
Leading Gig Harbor was a pair of 11 point scorers in RJ Green and Avery Jones as the Tides’ season ended with the loss.
2A WEST CENTRAL BOYS
Foss 71, White River 55: ‘Welcome to the playoffs’ is what Foss coach Mike Cocke’ told his players at halftime Wednesday at Wilson High School.
After routing every opponent in the 2A SPSL Mountain Division — including White River twice — this season on its way to an undefeated league title, second-ranked Foss had its first close call.
The Falcons led, 28-25, at halftime and the Hornets held tight until late in the third quarter.
“It’s the playoffs,” Cocke’ said. “We’ve got three core guys back who have played these types of games, but we’ve got seven guys who never have.… Regardless of how White River got here, they’re a scrappy team, they play hard, they’re well-coached”
But the Falcons found their rhythm late in the third, and Boise State commit Roberto Gittens threw down a dunk at the end of the quarter to give Foss a 48-38 lead.
“I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy win, so I’m glad we turned it on in the second half and played the way we know how to play.”
Gittens scored a game-high 24 points for Foss. Micah Pollard (15 points), Demetrius Crosby (13) and Donald Scott (10) each scored in double-digits for the Falcons
Cameron Cawley led White River with 13 points, while Alex Wallen had 12 and Joe Flanigan had 11.
Foss (18-5) guaranteed a 2A state regional berth with the win, and hosts Kingston (16-6) in the 2A West Central District tournament semifinals at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.
“For us, I think they’re going to be very similar to teams we’re going to see down the line,” Cocke’ said. “It will be a good test for us.
“We’re excited that we qualified for regionals, but obviously we’d still like to win the district title.”
Kingston 60, River Ridge 54: The short road to the Class 2A state regionals turned into a long one for the Hawks.
Following an upset loss to Kingston, River Ridge has to win twice to secure a trip to the state playoffs for the 11th consecutive season.
“When we’ve got everything clicking and we’re controlling the pace of the game, we’re a real unstoppable team,” River Ridge guard DeNero Washington said after scoring a game-high 14 points. “But tonight we just couldn’t do it.”
Kingston, which gained a state-regional berth, gave the Hawks fits from wire to wire.
North Kitsap 46, Fife 41: The Trojans led most of the first half but weren’t able to hold on.
Tavis Johnson scored 14 points and Cooper Schelbert added nine but Fife was outscored 14-4 in the third quarter. The loss sends the Trojans to a loser-out game against Port Angeles at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at Wilson.
4A WEST CENTRAL/ SOUTHWEST GIRLS
Kentridge 53, Kentlake 36: The Chargers more than doubled their point total from the last time they faced the Falcons.
Jordyn Jenkins scored a game-high 18 points as Kentridge clinched a state berth with a win over rival Kentlake in the fourth matchup of the season between these teams.
“When we play with a little bit of tempo and we push the pace a little bit, we are really good in transition,” Kentridge coach Bob Sandall said. “We always try to play that way. But they did a good job last time of really slowing us down.”
The last time was for the 4A NPSL Cascade title on Jan. 31 in a 34-26 Kentlake win.
“We had chemistry,” Jenkins said. “And we got it done.”
Gabby Bruno led the Falcons with 17 points as Kentlake heads to a loser-out game.
Camas 60, Rogers 55: Courtney Clemmer and Haley Hanson guided the Papermakers past the Rams as they overcame a double-digit fourth quarter deficit.
For Camas coach Scott Preuninger, the message was the same entering the final quarter.
“I told them after the first that we weren’t playing our best, and they only had an eight point lead,” Preuninger said. “I kept that message at halftime when they had an eight point lead, and said the same thing heading into the fourth quarter. We were hanging with them.”
Camas outscored Rogers 22-9 in the fourth quarter.
“Courtney (Clemmer) proved tonight why she was the best player in our league (Greater St. Helens),” Preuninger said. “Both her and Haley (Hanson) really made some big shots at the end of the game.”
Camas’ win guarantees the Papermakers a spot into the 4A state tournament and they will face Auburn Riverside at 7:45 p.m. in the district semifinals at Puyallup.
Rogers will have to win their winner-to-state, loser-out consolation game on Tuesday at Clover Park.
Auburn Riverside 58, Curtis 52: McKenzi Williams scored a game-high 26 points to lead all scores in the Ravens’ win.
The Vikings were led by Kaelin WIlliams-Kennedy with 15 points and Jalaiya Frederick’s 12.
2A WEST CENTRAL GIRLS
Port Angeles 44, Eatonville 37: The Roughriders made it tough for the Cruisers all game and it showed as they just couldn’t rally for the final points.
“Positively, we made a few shots in the first quarter and got some turnovers in the fourth,” said coach Jess VanderWeerdt. “Their kids though played consistently.”
Autumn Holt and Sammie Swartout were the leading scorers with ten points apiece. Holt was particularly effective as she knocked down key free throws and shots during the game.
2A SOUTHWEST GIRLS
Black Hills 75, Columbia River 34: Every player that touched the floor for the Wolves scored on a night where Emma Duff put up 10 points to take the win over the Chieftains.
Lindsey Nurmi put up 13 points as well for the Wolves. Leading the Chieftains was Kate Kraft, scoring 11 points.
Washougal 59, Tumwater 45: The T-Birds fought all the way to the last second, but couldn’t find the win over the Panthers.
“We never stopped playing hard, we fought all the way to last second,” said Tumwater coach Alyssa Vogt. “We are proud of our effort and attitude.”
Leading the T-Birds in scoring was was Sierra Snyder with 14 points, with Sophia Koelsch scoring 13 points and Brooke Hare 12.
And despite witnessing the superhuman effort of Mason Oberg scoring 33 points on the night, Vogt hopes that her younger players will take this experience forward with them.
“It is always hard to go to an unfamiliar place,” she said. “But they learned to play together and not be intimidated. They will respond next year.”
Staff writers TJ Cotterill, Kevin Manning and Lauren Smith contributed to this report
District playoff results
Wilson 62, Kelso 59
Lincoln 67, Central Kitsap 55
Timberline 80, Prairie 66
Evergreen 98, Bonney Lake 72
Peninsula 71, Stadium 59
North Thurston 72,
Gig Harbor 60
Fort Vancouver 66, Lakes 63
Foss 71, White River 55
Kingston 60, River Ridge 54
North Kitsap 46, Fife 41
Kentridge 53, Kentlake 36
Camas 60, Rogers 55
Auburn Riverside 58, Curtis 52
Puyallup 53, Hazen 37
Auburn Mountainview 40
Tahoma 50, Kentwood 38
ONLINE: Read the playoff roundup online at thenewstribune.com