It was a questionable call that forced the No. 1-ranked Garfield Bulldogs to play overtime in Saturday’s 3A state championship game, but their performance in the extra session kept the referees from having any more say in the outcome of the game.
Rainer Beach guard Trevante Anderson was fouled with 2 seconds remaining in the game, but the officials ruled he was in the act of shooting a 3-pointer despite the fact that it looked like the foul occurred well before Anderson went into his shooting motion. Nevertheless, Anderson went to the line and knocked down all three free throws to tie the game at 59 and send the game to overtime.
It was a call that could’ve inspired the Vikings, but instead seemed to fuel the Bulldogs, who outscored Rainier Beach 13-4 in the extra session for a 72-63 victory.
“I don’t know if the call was good or bad, I just know the call was made,” Garfield guard Pierre Crockrell Jr. said. “We were up three and if we wouldn’t have fouled, we wouldn’t have went to overtime.”
Garfield head coach Brandon Roy thought the call was questionable in real time, but instead of making a scene, he focused on rallying his team to play overtime.
“That last call I just thought was a bad call,” Roy said. “I didn’t think that guy was shooting the basketball. I wanted to get upset, but then I was thinking, ‘No, we still can win this game.’ I started to calm myself down so when the guys came off the court they saw that I was like, ‘Let’s do another four minutes, and we think we are the better team.’
“Honestly, that call made the win more special.”
The two teams alternated buckets on the first few possessions of overtime before the Bulldogs seized control and closed the game on a 9-0 run.
Former Lincoln guard Trevante Anderson, who transferred to Rainier Beach before the school year, scored a game-high 27 points. He averaged 27.3 points per game over three games.
Both these teams’ point guards grew up in Tacoma. Garfield junior guard Pierre Crockrell Jr. scored 19 points, tying senior guard Eddie Turner for the team-high.
“I’m glad everybody got a chance to see him and he got a chance to play on this stage,” Roy said of Crockrell. “We’ve got a lot of good players, so we have game where we win big and guys don’t really get to show what they can do. We always tell him, ‘You’ll get your chance in the Dome. Everyone gets their chance in the Dome.’ He seized this moment. He played unbelievable and got us out of that semifinal game, him and Eddie.
“I’ve been on them all year. I’ve been on them hard. My guards have got to make plays to lead this team. They finally got me to shut up. I was like, ‘You guys are doing your job, I’m supporting you.’”
Crockrell, who was named first-team all-tournament, also led the Bulldogs in scoring in their semifinal victory over Eastside Catholic on Friday, finishing with 17.
“I just had a big chip on my shoulder, not making the Metro all-tournament team,” Crockrell said. “I felt I would just come out and help my team get the win, and I just had that chip on my shoulder.”
Winning the championship in his hometown was not lost on Crockrell, who grew up in Tacoma until he was in eighth grade before moving to California for two years and returning to Seattle to go to Garfield.
“I was born and raised in Tacoma,” Crockrell said. “To be a kid, growing up and watching everyone play, to come home and win a state championship in my first year (back) was just a blessing.”
It was the second consecutive state championship as a head coach for Roy. He won the title last year while at Nathan Hale, before leaving the Raiders to take the job at his alma mater in May.
“It’s tough, man,” Roy said. “I have a lot more respect for coaches after the last two years. It’s emotional. I have even more respect for the high school coaches that I coach against. I don’t have to have a 9-5 (job). These guys go to work and then they have to beat good teams like Garfield. I’ve always wanted to give a lot of credit to those guys, they do an unbelievable job. And it’s not just one coach, it’s all of them.”
After the game, Garfield’s J’Raan Brooks said a fan from the Rainier Beach side of the Tacoma Dome threw an object at him. The two teams had to be separated moments later following a scuffle.
“We just tried to keep the teams away and keep the fans away from each other,” Roy said. “We just tried to get everybody out of there as peaceful as possible. I want these kids to enjoy this experience and not have something like that mess it up.”
Garfield: Jamon Kemp 11, Eddie Turner 19, PJ Fuller 10, Pierre Crockwell Jr. 19, J’Raan Brooks 8, Joe Saterfield 2, Marjon Beauchamp 3.
Rainier Beach: Tre Anderson 27, Freddy Roberson 9, Kevin Porter Jr. 22, Stevie Smith 1, Michah Monroe 0, Anthony Still 0, Kenny Curtis 3, Nate Murray 0, Hamza Mohaba 0, Kendall Williams 1, Orin Patu 0.