The Wilson Rams overcame a height disadvantage and a unique defense to defeat Auburn Mountainview, 67-59, at Rogers High School on Saturday night, advancing to the regional round of the state tournament.
Aurburn Mountainview had interior presence with 6-foot-10 junior Tristan Miguel, and the Lions ran a box-and-1 defense on Rams sharpshooter David Jenkins.
Jenkins had trouble getting open looks at the basket, so he became a passer instead.
“A lot of teams are starting to scout,” said Jenkins, who finished with 13 points. “There was a box-and-1, and then they brought another player over when I tried to post up. It was a game where I had to distribute.”
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Jenkins made two big plays to help break open a close game in the fourth quarter.
With Wilson leading 50-47 with five minutes remaining, Jenkins made a steal along the sideline and fed Elijah Cotton-Welch for a layup.
Just over a minute later, Jenkins made a driving layup and drew a foul, completing a three-point play to give Wilson a 57-49 lead.
Cotton-Welch benefited from Jenkins’ distributing role, scoring 16 points. Montre Lofton-Brown added 14 points, and Dominique Hammond came off the bench to score 11.
Wilson (18-4) clinched a regional berth, but first the Rams will try to win the 3A West Central District tournament. They face Narrows League rival Foss in the district semifinal at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Rogers High School.
“Our ultimate goal is to get back to state — not just get back, but win it this time,” Jenkins said.
Auburn Mountainview (18-4) can still advance to the regional. The Lions face Hazen of Renton (16-6) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Tahoma High School. The Highlanders defeated Mount Tahoma, 64-60, on Saturday.
Ryan Lacey scored 18 points to pace Auburn Mountainview, and Miguel had 13 points and 11 rebounds.