Cheers echoed on the court and in the locker room after a thrilling win in the Class 2A semifinals.
But the Foss High School boys basketball team won’t get too excited — not yet.
“We’re excited, but we’re not satisfied by any means,” Foss coach Mike Cocke’ said. “There was a quick celebration on the floor, and then we got back together. I corralled them.
“I said, ‘You know what? The goal wasn’t to win the semifinal game, the goal was to win the state championship.’ ”
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The top-ranked Falcons will play for that Saturday night.
To get there, Foss won a nail-biter against No. 10 Lynden, 54-51, at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Friday night.
To get there, Demetrius Crosby — who scored 14 points for the Falcons — had to convert two free throws in the final 7.8 seconds to give Foss a three-point cushion.
“He’s our guy,” Cocke’ said. “If there’s anybody in that locker room I want on the line (it’s him). He’s poised. He blocks everything out and steps up.”
Crosby was iced with a timeout before the first attempt. He was iced with a timeout before the second. He made both.
“We’ve never played in the Dome before so it’s such a nervous feeling,” Crosby said. “I’m just thinking, just stay poised.
“I just want to do it for our team, our fans and everybody at our school. Stay poised.”
After the second shot fell, Lynden tossed the ball in bounds, raced up the floor and Christian Zamora launched a 3-point try at the buzzer.
The shot hit the front of the rim and the Falcons erupted in celebration.
The Lions led by as many as eight points in the first half. But Roberto Gittens, a Boise State commit, hit a pair of 3-pointers at the end of the second quarter for the Falcons to trim their deficit to four.
Foss regained the lead for good when Tre Tyson hit a long 3-pointer with 2:35 to go in the third quarter, and the Falcons led by eight points near the end of the quarter.
Lynden — led by Clayton Whitman’s 12 points — had the lead down to two points before Gittens took over.
He drilled a long 3-pointer with 1:47 to play to give Foss a two-possession lead.
“The three he hit with two minutes to go was a nail,” Cocke’ said. “That was a big, big shot. It went from two to five. Everything changes then.”
Gittens finished with 13 points and the three 3-pointers.
“The whole season I didn’t really shoot it well from three,” Gittens said. “Then Cocke’ just told me to believe in myself and keep believing it.
“Then, toward the end of the season, I got more confident.”
Whitman trimmed the Falcons’ lead to one point with 15.4 seconds to play with a bucket and two free throws. But Foss safely got the ball in-bounds to Crosby with 7.8 seconds to play before he was fouled.
Donald Scott led Foss with a game-high 16 points.
Foss (24-5) plays fifth-ranked Selah (21-3) at 9 p.m. Saturday for the 2A state title.
“Thirty-two minutes, give it everything we’ve got against a great Selah team,” Cocke’ said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to hopefully bring a championship to Tacoma.”