Matisse Thybulle hadn’t been getting easy shots this entire weekend in the 3A state tournament.
So when he spun to his left on the left wing to create a clear path to the basket in Saturday’s third-place game in the Tacoma Dome against Seattle Prep?
“I was like, “I’m going to throw this one down as hard as I can,” the University of Washington-bound 6-foot-6 Eastside Catholic senior said with a wide smile on his face. “And that’s what I tried to do.”
He did, slamming it through the hoop with his outstretched right hand in the fourth quarter. It was the most vicious dunk of the this weekend’s state tournament, and he got fouled. Thybulle hit the free throw to put the Crusaders up by 20 points.
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Eastside Catholic went on to win 69-57 behind Thybulle’s dunk, 22 points and seven rebounds from Max Hudgins and 15 points from Mandrell Worthy to place third a year after losing to Rainier Beach in the state title. The Crusaders lost to Beach 61-33 in Friday’s semifinal game.
“We had goals at the beginning of the season to be in the championship game, but like we were saying on the bench and we were saying in the locker room – third is a lot better than fifth,” Thybulle said. “And second place hurts more than getting third because that means you end your season on a loss.
“So we were pretty happy with the way we pushed through and ended this last game.”
Thybulle scored 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting after a rough past couple days from the floor. He scored four points on 1 of 10 shooting against Marysville-Pilchuck in the quarterfinals and scored 11 points on 2 of 12 shooting against Rainier Beach in the semis.
But that dunk he had Saturday?
“I’d say that’s a good way to end it,” Thybulle said.