When you go 0-for-4 in baseball, you can always look forward to the next game. But for the Seattle Prep boys basketball team, an 0-for-4 ended their 3A state championship aspirations.
Garfield defeated Seattle Prep for the fourth time this season, 64-60. The Bulldogs advance to the championship game against the winner of the Rainiers Beach – Eastside Catholic game. The title game will tip off at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Garfield (26-2) beat Seattle Prep twice in Metro League play. They beat them again in the district tournament, and a fourth time on Friday night.
Friday night’s game was by far the closest – although it certainly didn’t look like it was going to be that way.
Garfield did not miss a field goal attempt for the first six minutes of the game, and then the Bulldogs took control of the game with a 19-2 scoring run in the second quarter. They held a 24-point lead.
Yet Seattle Prep fought back and pulled within three points at 56-53 with five minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the game – plenty of time to complete the comeback.
Garfield sophomore Jaylen Nowell took control on the offensive end down the stretch, scoring seven of the Bulldogs final nine points.
Nowell led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting. Junior forward Alphonso Anderson added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game like that,” said Garfield coach Ed Haskins. “That was our fourth time playing them this year, and Seattle Prep is a good team.”
Seattle Prep freshman J’raan Brooks was a force inside, scoring 16 points on a variety of post moves.
Collin Welp – son of Washington all-time scoring leader Chris Welp, who passed away on Sunday – scored 13 points including two key 3-pointers during Seattle Prep’s comeback.
“My brother played against his dad, and I feel for him,” said Haskins. “He absolutely left it on the court, he played great defense, and he shot the lights out.”
Seattle Prep coach Michael Kelly was at pleased with his team’s performance, despite the loss.
“We’re a tough team,” said Kelly. “The kids showed a lot of resiliency. Garfield came out absolutely on fire.”
Seattle Prep (21-8) plays the Rainier Beach-Eastside Catholic loser in the 3rd place game on Saturday at 1 p.m.