David Jenkins Jr. knows it will come every time he touches the ball.
Double teams, press defense, traps — the 3A Narrows MVP has seen it all this year while leading Wilson in scoring (24.9 points per game). There’s cross hairs on the Rams senior guard’s back as teams fight to keep him contained.
When the defending district champions opened this year’s tournament facing the SPSL’s Sumner in the West Central District III boys basketball district playoffs, Jenkins did what he does best.
He found the back door.
“I knew they were going to come with the double team. And I also knew Sumner plays really hard and aggressive. They also foul real hard,” Jenkins said. “At the same time, I knew I could trust in my teammates and let them do all the dirty work.”
Quick thinking and even quicker passes from Jenkins helped Wilson (17-4, 12-2) pick up an opening-round win, 68-46, over Sumner (13-8, 7-7) at Wilson High. The Rams will move on to play Seamount’s Kennedy Catholic after the Lancers defeated Kelso, 70-42.
Jenkins led with eight assists in the Rams’ win.
“He’s really crafty. He doesn’t look like he’s super quick, but he’s really crafty,” Wilson coach Dave Alwert said. “He made the right play. He didn’t just create for himself, he made the right play. … We moved the ball really well against (Sumner’s) double team.”
Junior guard Nathaniel Stokes benefited the most from Jenkins’ distribution, finishing second in scoring with 16 points.
“I told my teammates, in the beginning I got us here making winning shots, but they’re going to have to bring it home,” Jenkins said. “Teams in the playoffs start playing really good (defense) … so I knew this is a game where I needed to get my teammates involved and get them their buckets.”
“Teams then when that’s going on will start taking off the double, and then I can start trying to get mine.”
He got his and then some.
Being doubled or not, Jenkins was not going to be denied from behind the arc Wednesday night, as he simply created his shot all night against Sumner’s tight defensive style.
“Every time they could take advantage of us, they did. Especially Jenkins,” Sumner coach Brett McDaniel said. “He’s a heck of a player, man. One of the best players I’ve seen in this area … I think it’s tough to simulate at practice. It’s tough to simulate a kid like him.”
The Rams standout finished with a game-high 25 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field, while going a perfect 5 for 5 from the 3-point line. Every one of Jenkins’ 3-pointers came on a pull-up jumper, five feet beyond the arc.
“He’s hard to stay in front of. The best of the best have a hard time staying in front of him. So you go to give him that extra step. And then he’s got such a quick release, he pulls it up real fast — it makes the defender looks like he’s back. But the coverage is pretty tight,” Alwert said.
Luke Ross (4 for 8 from the 3-point line) led Sumner in scoring with 12 points.
Wilson faces Kennedy (15-6, 12-2) at 6 p.m. at Clover Park this Friday. Sumner will face Kelso (8-13, 2-4) at Washington High in a loser-out game on Friday.
3A WEST CENTRAL/SOUTHWEST
At No. 7 Peninsula 62, Mt. Tahoma 37: JaQuori McLaughlin scored 13 points, hitting 1,602 for his career, and the Seahawks routed the Thunderbirds.
Garrett Kingman posted a double-double for Peninsula with 25 points and 16 rebounds and led all scorers.
The Seahawks closed the game on a 20-8 run. They advance to a winner-to-state game against Lincoln at 7:45p.m. Friday at Rogers.
The T-Birds will play Hazen at 6 p.m. Friday at Franklin Pierce in an elimination game.
At No. 6 Lincoln 69, Hazen 51: The Abes outscored the Highlanders 26-7 in the opening quarter and kept running from there.
Trevion Brown scored 10 points for Lincoln. Brown was the only Lincoln player to reach double-digit points, but 11 Abes players scored.
The Highlanders were led by senior guard Connor O’Hearn, who scored 18 points.
Auburn Riverside 59, North Thurston 49: After entering the locker room down 25-23, the Ravens exploded in the second half, outscoring the Rams 36-24 to seal the win.
Auburn Riverside went on a 20-14 run to end the game, with Quintin Bethea, a 6-foot-6 post, scoring a team-high 16 points. O’Darious Shaw added 13.
Wes Reynolds scored 18 points for North Thurston.
The Ravens move on to play league rival Enumclaw in a winner-to-state game at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Rogers. North Thurston plays Columbia River in an elimination game at 7:45 p.m. at Franklin Pierce.
Enumclaw 52, at Columbia River 51: Justus Rainwater made two game-winning free throws near the end to lift the Hornets.
Enumclaw won with a solid defensive stand as they held Columbia River scoreless on three straight drives. It did not allow Columbia River to score in the final 1:34 of the game.
At Foss 42, Prairie 40: Seth Hall’s 3-point shot bounced off of the rim three times and rimmed out with time expiring as the Falcons held on for the tight win.
Roberto Gittens led Foss with 14 points, nine rebounds and four steals as the Falcons advanced to play fourth-ranked Auburn Mountainview at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Clover Park in a winner-to-state game.
Prairie will play Auburn 7:45 p.m. Friday at Auburn in a loser-out game.
At Auburn Mountainview 58, Auburn 39: Ki’Jan Weisinger scored 18 points for the Lions in a win over their cross-town rival.
Pa’Treon Lee tied Weisinger with 18 points of his own for Auburn. Auburn Mountainview jumped to a 21-8 lead in the first quarter.
2A SEAKING/WEST CENTRAL
At Steilacoom 55, Port Angeles 43: LaJon Enis-Carter scored a game-high 14 points and Robbion Harris added 11 as the Sentinels defeated the Roughriders.
Steilacoom (15-6) outscored Port Angeles (10-11) by 10 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Steilacoom advances to play Lindbergh 8 p.m. Friday at Foss in a winner-to-state game.
Highline 62, at White River 74: A pair of forwards led the way for the Hornets, as Chris Marmon and Alex Wallen both recorded double-doubles.
Wallen led with a game-high 18 points and had 14 rebounds, while Marmon added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
White River (14-7) advances to play North Kitsap at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Foss in a winner-to-state game. The Pirates (7-14) will play Washington at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Sumner in a loser-out game.
At North Kitsap 60, Washington 40: Cooper Lindsey scored a game-high 13 points to lead the Vikings.
Clover Park 78, at Olympic 66: Junior guard Jeremiah Morris scored a career-high 37 points to lead the Warriors.
Morris used his quickness to get out in transition and draw fouls throughout the game and converted once he got to the free-throw line, knocking down 18 of his 21 attempts.
With the victory, the Warriors (14-7) move on to face Liberty of Issaquah at 6 p.m.. Friday at Curtis.