Top Performer: Willie Thomas, Lincoln
15 points and earned tournament MVP in win over St. Petersburg (Florida)
Lincoln 70, St. Petersburg (Fla.) 66: The out-of-state wins these Abes have produced are one thing.
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One really big thing.
But what stuck with Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton was the conversation he had with a broadcaster after the game and the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic in San Diego, California, had concluded.
The Abes just beat unbeaten Florida-based St. Petersburg, a team with three major-college-bound players. Shelton was asked how many D1 players he must have on his team.
“We don’t have any (committed) right now,” Shelton said. “But it doesn’t matter because they all proved they can all play basketball at a very high level.
“They just played four days of basically state tournament basketball and didn’t lose a game.”
Willie Thomas earned the tournament’s most valuable player as he helped lead the third-ranked Abes to their third win in three days at Torrey Pines, this time over St. Petersburg to win the American Division Championship.
As they have throughout their undefeated run this season, the Abes have relied on multiple scorers to carry the load, and this win was no different.
“We wanted to get battle tested,” Shelton said over the phone from California. “The last three games we played, those teams would easily be top-10 teams in Washington.
“With St. Petersburg, we were able to hold them and make some shots down the stretch. We played a very legit team, and we leave here satisfied with our performance.”
Emmett Linton III, Daemon Dillingham, Le’Zjon Bonds and Thomas all finished in double figures for the Abes, while Julien Simon scored eight.
The 6-foot-6 Thomas posted a team-high 15 points. Bonds was a first-team all-tournament pick and had 13 points and Linton had 13, too. Dillingham finished with 11.
Serrel Smith, a 6-foot-3 Ole Miss commit and three-star recruit by 247 Sports, was held to 13 points with Bonds guarding him as Lincoln (10-0) handed St. Petersburg (11-1) its first loss of the season.
Shelton said he hopes the performance from his seniors over the past several days in Florida is a glimpse of the rest of the Abes’ season.
“We got what we wanted out of this trip,” Shelton said. “I think we learned we can compete with anyone, and that’s good to see at this stage of the season. And it was our seniors who really stepped up, and brought their best against some very talented basketball programs.”
Despite an impressive first half, though, St. Petersburg made its run in the second half. It was led by Tai Strickland, who scored 18 of his 23 points from the free throw line. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the Abes’ typical balanced attack.
“We can bend and not break. Learning how to finish the game. None of it was easy. The last two games forced us to execute down the stretch and we did that.” Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton.
Federal Way 64, Brophy Prep (Ariz.) 47: The Eagles flew high in the desert.
They concluded their three-day undefeated run through the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge in Arizona with a win over the Broncos.
It’s a good sign for third-ranked Federal Way as it returns home to prepare for the latter half of its regular season schedule. Brophy Prep is the No. 2-ranked team in the state of Arizona.
Federal Way had four players in double figures in the win. Jaden McDaniels and Marcus Austin led the team, each with 14 points, coming one night after McDaniels dropped 32 points on Basha.
Jalen Womack (11) and Etan Collins (10) also posted double figures for the Eagles in the win.
Tacoma Baptist 91, Lake Quinault 11: The Crusaders continue to light up the scoreboard while producing wins.
They put up their highest point total of the season in the win over Lake Quinault. They were led in scoring by PJ Talen, who finished with 24 points.
It was both a display of offense and defense in the win for the Crusaders. They held Lake Quinault scoreless in the second and fourth quarters.
Joey Pascua aided the Crusaders’ high-scoring affair with 17 points. They have won seven of their first eight games to start the season.
Top performer: Belle Frazier, Peninsula
23 points, 13 rebounds, 7 steals in win over Spanaway Lake
Peninsula 68, Spanaway Lake 32: Belle Frazier’s 23 points, 13 rebounds and seven steals comes one night after posting a triple-double as she helped lead the Seahawks to the Spanaway Lake Christmas Classic title over the Sentinels.
Renee Doss scored 12 points for Peninsula and Makenna Peterson scored 10 points.
Peninsula jumped to a 24-12 lead after the first quarter and pushed that to 45-16 by halftime.
Chinedu Nnadi led Spanaway Lake with 13 points.
Orting 36, Washington 34: The Cardinals rang in the new year the right way with their win over the Patriots.
The win put a halt on what was a three-game losing streak. Sophomore guard Alyssa Friddle led the Patriots with 14 points, while Sarah Fohn chipped in with seven.
For the Patriots, the loss was their fifth straight. They were led in scoring by Sierra Hartfield, who finished with 10 points.
Enumclaw 48, Kent Meridian 29: Make it four straight for the Hornets.
The Hornets are at their best when they distribute the ball. They did just that in their latest win over the Royals.
They Hornets have been dangerous this season when the scoring balance is fairly even. Senior guard Jessica Cerne led them with 13 points, but Kennedy VanHoof was right behind her with nine points.
Caleigh Williams led the Royals in scoring with 12 points.
Moses Lake 53, Bellarmine Prep 43: The rough stretch for the Lions continues.
With the loss to the Chiefs, they have lost three straight after starting the season 7-0.
The harsh reality of the Lions” latest loss is that they had an 11-point lead at halftime, but the Chiefs went on a 32-11 run in the second half to earn the come-from-behind win.
The duo of Shalyse Smith, an Arizona signee, and Reyelle Frazier were unstoppable in the first half. Smith finished with a team-leading 13 points, while Frazier finished with 11. And Smith was clutch from the free throw line as she went 5-of-6.
Madisyn Clark came alive for the Chiefs in the in second half. She finished with 16 points, and she too went 5-of-6 from the stripe. Arizona State commit Jamie Loera added 14 points.
Eatonville 61, Cascade of Leavenworth 39: Samantha Swartout scored 16 points and Jaelin Hotz had 15 to lead the Cruisers to the title of the Cascade Holiday Hoop Classic in Leavenworth.
Eatonville made five 3-pointers in the first half to take a 31-15 halftime lead and came out in the third quarter with three more 3s and took a 49-25 lead entering the fourth quartter to put the game in the bag.
Emily Frey added eight points and Peyton Hutchings had seven.
“It was a great team win,” Eatonville coach Dereck Driggs said in an email. “We played hard from the start and were able to get everyone minutes which is always great in a tournament setting.”
Eatonville (8-4; 5-1 2A SPSL Sound) will get back to conference play on Friday against Orting at 5:15 p.m.
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