If you saw Todd Beamer High School girls basketball coach Corey Alexander exhale, it’s because he’s happy his team is a Class 4A school and not 3A.
The Titans lost to Lynnwood, 62-38, on Monday in the 2016 King Showcase at the ShoWare Center in Kent — getting a further glimpse into the buzzsaw that’s going to be that 3A state tournament for teams that have to play Lynnwood or Bellevue.
This is a Beamer team that starts three NCAA Division I-bound players, last year reached the 4A state semifinals and has the pieces to reach the 4A state title this year.
Lynnwood didn’t care.
Mikayla Pivec, an Oregon State University signee who is the reigning state Gatorade player of the year for the defending 3A state champions, had 21 points and nine rebounds for the game — but scored 19 in the first half and helped the Royals outscore Beamer 22-5 in the second quarter.
“It’s a team effort to guard her,” Alexander said. “You have to stay the course.”
This loss for Beamer (11-2) comes after dropping its season opener, 92-58, against Bellevue, the top-ranked 3A team in the state behind Anna Wilson (the Stanford-bound younger sister of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson).
“We want to play the best,” Alexander said. “That’s how we’re going to get better. Our league is not as tough, so this is what is going to get us better.”
Nia Alexander, a University of San Francisco signee, scored 10 for Beamer. Makenna Woodfolk, signed with Hawaii, had nine points, while Bria Rice, a Colorado signee, was held scoreless.
Curtis 55, Bellarmine Prep 41: The Lions couldn’t recover from a 3-of-29 shooting effort from the floor in the first half — and finished the game just 10 of 55 (18 percent).
Curtis ran away early behind CeDrice Howard’s double-double (14 points, 17 rebounds). Jalaiya Frederick added another 14 points for the Vikings while Peightyn Perrien had 11.
Jayana Ervin led Bellarmine with 13 points.
Seattle Prep 52, Lincoln 51: Last season it was Aaron Nettles. This time it was Kalu Stricklin.
Stricklin’s contested layup just before the final horn erased the Abes’ once double-digit lead and gave the Panthers the win in the rematch of last year’s regional round of the 3A state tournament that ended Lincoln’s season and sent Seattle Prep to the Tacoma Dome.
It was shades of last year, when Nettles, a sophomore at the time like Stricklin is now, hit a contested layup in the final minute to help seal Seattle Prep’s 67-63 win.
Lincoln (10-2) had only previously lost to Cleveland — also a 3A Metro League school — this season.
Seattle Prep outscored Lincoln 19-10 in the fourth quarter with UW coach Lorenzo Romar in attendance. Brandon Brown had given Lincoln a 51-50 lead with a strong layup in the final minute. His desperation halfcourt 3-pointer to win was off as time expired.
Tashon Brown led Lincoln with 11 points. Nic Lynch had 17 points and nine rebounds for Seattle Prep and Collin Welp had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Kentwood 61, King’s 48: Darius LuBom had 14 points, Rayvaughn Bolton and Beau Roggenbach each added 10 as the 4A Conquerors cruised past the 1A Knights with coaches from Gonzaga, Oregon State, Seattle U and UW in attendance.
They were likely there to watch Corey Kispert, the King’s 6-foot-6 junior who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He has offers from Gonzaga, Utah, Washington and Washington State.
“He can shoot it, he’s big, strong, physical — he’s going to be really good for whoever gets him,” Kentwood coach Blake Solomon said.
But maybe they should have been checking out some of Kentwood’s kids, too.
“That’s what we are trying to do, is gets some of these guys looks,” Solomon said.
Davonte Sanchez had nine points and 13 rebounds for the Conks (13-3).
Timberline 64, Kentlake 55: Erik Stevenson scored 18 points and Austin Curry added 13 to lead the Blazers over the Falcons.
Kentlake (9-7) cut the lead to four in the final minute, but the Blazers (9-5) put it away with free throws and Stevenson’s catch and assist to Curry.
Kevin Baker scored a game-high 19 points with 12 rebounds for Kentlake.
Woodinville 57, Tumwater 49: Tony Miller had 20 points and 11 rebounds and the 4A Falcons got off to a fast start before holding on to win over the 2A Thunderbirds.
Woodinville led 14-4 after the first quarter.
Ty Gentry led Tumwater with 16 points and five rebounds. Spencer Dowers added 11 points.
Lindbergh 46, Vashon Island 43: Sam Schoenberg and Sam Yates had 10 points apiece, but the Pirates missed two shots at the buzzer to drop their third loss of the season.
Kelton Williams — who led all scorers with 11 — made the front end of a 1-and-1 with less than a minute to play to give Lindbergh its final three-point advantage.
Staff writer Lauren Smith contributed to this report