The Eastside Catholic boys basketball team scored 11 points in the first half and went into the break trailing by double digits against Marysville-Pilchuck in their 3A state semifinal game Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.
The Crusaders turned it around in the second half, getting a momentum-swinging one-handed dunk from senior guard Mandrell Worthy. They took their first lead of the game with 2 minutes, 58 seconds to play and never looked back in a 42-35 victory.
“At halftime, coach (Bill Liley) got on us because this is the state championships. We got to play from start to finish,” Worthy said.
Eastside Catholic made 5 of 28 shots (17.9 percent) in the first half.
But the Crusaders finally got going in the third quarter, outscoring Marysville-Pilchuck 16-9 in the third including Worthy’s dunk with 57 seconds left to pull EC to within 28-27.
“I was excited,” the Montana State-bound senior said. “I just wanted to get us into the game and that is something that helped.”
Etan Collins’ basket underneath gave the Crusaders their first lead of the game at 33-32, Max Hudgins, who scored 15 points, added a pair of free throws and then a 3-pointer with 1:32 to play to push EC’s lead to 38-32.
The Crusaders face Rainier Beach in the state semifinals at 9 p.m. Friday.
Michael Painter led Marysville-Pilchuck with 15 points and seven rebounds.