Turns out these Stanwood High School boys basketball players with the bleached hair and eight seniors had a more in them than the start of this game suggested.
The seventh-ranked Spartans rallied from a double-digit deficit, getting 16 points and nine rebounds from AJ Martinka and Chase Strieby’s 15 points and seven rebounds, in their 61-58 victory over No. 8 Seattle Prep in the consolation round of the 3A state tournament on Friday in the Tacoma Dome.
Just like against Timberline in the first round, Seattle Prep got off to a big lead early, taking a 12-2 lead with three 3-pointers from 6-foot-9 forward Collin Welp, the son of late UW legend Christian Welp.
“They apparently didn’t hear me say that we needed to cover him,” Stanwood coach Zach Ward said.
Welp scored a game-high 18 points.
But he didn’t hit another 3-pointer the rest of the game. Stanwood then trailed 26-17 in the second quarter but used a tenacious zone press – similar to what Lincoln did in its win over Seattle Prep on Thursday – to go on a 14-5 run, tying the game at 31-31 in the third quarter.
And Stanwood handled Seattle Prep’s size – with Welp and 6-foot-10 Nic Lynch – the rest of the way. It came after losing to No. 1 Nathan Hale, 86-63, on Thursday, and getting pummeled by 6-foot-9 Michael Porter Jr., who had 36 points and 15 rebounds.
“We were really excited to come back today,” Ward said. “Our kids played extremely hard in their effort last night. I think a 23-point loss to the No. 1 team in the nation is just fine because I’m pretty sure the oddsmakers had us losing by more than that.”
Seattle Prep’s Aaron Nettles had a 3-pointer hit off the iron at the buzzer that could have sent the game to overtime. The Panthers’ season ended with the loss.
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
NO. 8 SEATTLE PREP
NO. 7 STANWOOD
SP: Sricklin 8, Trifunovic 6, Woodward 8, Nettles 7, Gale 2, For 4, Welp 18, Lynch 5
ST: Martinka 16, Kelley 2, Strieby 15, Borseth 8, Wilhonen 8, Kummer 10, DeBoer 2