Peninsula High School star junior guard JaQuori McLaughlin can cross another thing off his checklist: Get his first dunk in Washington state this season. While the University of Washington commit managed a couple in a tournament in Oregon, he finally got his first of the year in his home state against Kelso in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks (17-6) cruised to an easy win over the Hilanders (14-9), 68-54, in a 3A District 3/4 consolation game at Clover Park High School on Tuesday night.
“I don’t know why (I haven’t dunked in Washington yet this year),” said McLaughlin, who finished with 26 points. “I’ve missed on a few alley-oops.”
But like always, McLaughlin cared more about the team win.
“Everyone was scoring, everyone was moving the ball,” McLaughlin said. “I thought we had really good ball movement as a team. We played good defense most of the game.”
Kelso ran a 2-3 zone most of the game, and threw some different zone looks at McLaughlin to try to limit his effectiveness. But there were other Seahawks to worry about. Junior center Jimmy Ritchie finished with 15 points and junior Garrett Kingman added 13.
“Offensively, we saw what they were doing and we reacted to it and we were fine,” Peninsula coach Jake Jackson said. “What I’m happy with is guys were making the extra pass tonight. The ball was going side to side.”
Jackson said his team is shooting 20 percent higher from the floor when it makes more than three passes in a possession. The Seahawks will face Prairie at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Clover Park High School, with the winner playing for the fifth and final seed to regionals.
“Right now, it really doesn’t matter who we play,” Jackson said. “Right now, we’ve got to improve what we do. We’ve got to become our best self. Right now, we’re climbing. We’re peaking at the right time but there’s still things we’ve got to sharpen up.”
They got 22 points from Tristan Miguel and Ryan Lacey scored 17 to lift 3A SPSL champion Auburn Mountainview (19-4) past Hazen (16-7) in overtime.
The Lions were held to just five points in the third quarter, but outscored the Highlanders, 9-5, in the extra period. Dominic Green, a 6-foot-7 Arizona State University signee, led Hazen with 23 points, ending his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Auburn Mountainview advances to face Kennedy Catholic at 6 p.m. Thursday at Clover Park High School. The Lions must win that game and one more to clinch a berth to regionals.
Darren Sroor scored 16 points for North Thurston (9-14), which needed two wins for a chance to play for the Rams’ second regional berth since the 2011-12 season.
Kennedy Catholic advances to face Auburn Mountainview on Thursday.
2A DISTRICT 2/3
Robert Miller added 16 points for Clover Park (14-9), which trailed the Trojans, 50-42, entering the fourth quarter.
Makaleb McInnis led Olympic (16-7) with 24 points. The Trojans advance to face Sequim at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Curtis High School. The Warriors needed two more wins to clinch a regional berth.