Top performer: P.J. Talen, Tacoma Baptist, junior
15 points, 12 rebounds, 2 free throws to give his team a 50-49 win over Rainier.
Tacoma Baptist 50, Rainier 49: The Mountaineers had a chance to win with a last- second shot, but it didn’t fall as the Crusaders walked away with a one-point win on Friday.
The Crusaders held a 15-point lead in the third quarter. The Mountaineers fought back to take a five-point lead with three minutes left in the game. The Crusaders were down by four when Noah Leaman knocked down a 3-pointer, energizing the home crowd at Tacoma Baptist.
“We had a lot of people here,” Tacoma Baptist head coach Rich Hamlin said. “People were home for break, the gym was full. It made for a nice environment.”
The Crusaders took the momentum to the other end of the floor. The team forced a steal, and P.J. Tallen was fouled. Tallen made a pair of clutch free throws, putting his team up by one. The Crusaders finished the game going 12 for 14 on free throws.
The Mountaineers hurried down the floor and hoisted a shot. The shot was off and the rebound went to Luke Wing. Wing was fouled and sent to the free-throw line for a one-and-one opportunity. The sophomore missed the first free throw, giving the Mountaineers a chance at a game-winning shot, but they couldn’t convert.
“It was intense,” Hamlin said. “We tried to extend them. We were in and out of a 2-3 zone all night. We didn’t want to foul. If they were going to beat us, it was going to be with a hand in the face from three. The last shot ended up being a hand-in-the-face three, and they missed.”
On top of what would prove to be the winning free throws, Tallen had a double-double. The junior scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds. Leaman had a double-double for the Crusaders, too, scoring 12 points with 10 boards. Sophomore Logan Kitselman had a season-high nine points, most coming from the post.
The Crusaders will head to Crosspoint to play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Curtis 97, Saugus (California) 68: The Vikings sailed away from Saugus in California as they became the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic Champions for the second consecutive year.
The Vikings scored early and often, nearly touching the century mark. It was all hands on deck for the Vikings as 12 players scored.
Senior forward John Moore dropped 26 points for his squad. Fellow senior Sindou Diallo added 20 points.
Curtis (8-1) entered the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic coming off a loss to Emerald Ridge, but then opened the tournament with a 77-39 win over Costa Mesa, then a 67-59 win over Arroyo Grande and a 79-64 win against Buena before Friday’s win over Saugus.
Olympic 67, Clover Park 55: A great first quarter gave the Trojans enough cushion to beat the Warriors.
The Trojans doubled the point total of the Warriors, scoring 22 points in the opening quarter.
“Olympic came out with great energy, they built up a great lead,” Clover Park assistant Anthony Crawford said. “We didn’t have enough energy to come back. They jumped on us early and we were never able to break the lead.”
Senior guard JR Nelson led the Trojans and all scorers with 18 points. Keaton Dean owned the post, scoring 17 points. Evan Turnquist was effective, contributing 12 points.
Stadium 83, Hazen 58: Blake Wilcox helped the Tigers tear up the Highlanders by scoring 29 points.
Wilcox got help from seven of his teammates. Point guard Jacee Hughes had 16 points, doubling his season average of 8.3. Marcel Furgerson found 14 points in the bottom of the net for the Tigers while Zakhari Smith added 11 points.
Chief Leschi 76, Mount Rainier Lutheran 65: Growing their lead throughout the game, the Warriors went wire-to-wire in beating the Hawks.
The Warriors outscored the Hawks, 24-19, in the opening quarter. From then on, the scoring was fairly even. Yahola Gower popped off for 28 points for the Warriors.
Gower didn’t lead all scorers however, as the Hawks’ Adam Bailey exploded for 31 points. Alex Rodenbeck helped his teammate out with 10.
Jefferson 59, Bethel 45: The Raiders romped over the Braves from the opening tip.
It was a balanced scoring attack as nine different Radiers added points. Three scored in double figures. Josiah Presley led the group with 15 points. Lucas Bohannon had 12 and Jacob Kucmiy had 10.
Top performers: Grace Hanly, Charles Wright, junior; Katia Cureton, Mount Rainier Lutheran, junior, and Belle Frazier, Peninsula, sophomore
All three scored 26 points, Hanly and Cureton in the 59-56 win for Mount Rainier Lutheran and Frazier in the 57-50 win for Peninsula.
Bellarmine Prep 50, Camas 45: The Lions offensive execution was enough to fight off the size of the Papermakers on Friday night.
“They put us out of our comfort zone,” Bellarmine head coach Kevin Meines said. “The kids had to find each other and let it come to them instead of forcing it. We settled down and trusted each other. We weren’t used to getting out of it, we got our spacing down and they executed.”
The Lions featured a balanced offensive attack. Shalyse Smith led the way with 12 points. Jenny Haggle and Rayelle Frazier each scored nine points. Ciara Gatpatan and Mary Joyce added eight of their own.
Tacoma Baptist 37, Rainier 36: Brooklyn Pascua came up big by putting up much needed points for the Crusaders.
Pascua, a hero throughout the first half of the season, put up 15 points against the visiting Mountaineers.
Nicole Francis was the leading scorer for Rainier, putting up 10 points.
Mount Rainier Lutheran 59, Charles Wright Academy 56: In this close game between the Tarriers and Hawks, two players tried to outduel one another.
Katia Cureton of the Hawks and Grace Hanly of the Tarriers each scored 26 points. However, the edge had to go to Cureton as she had help from Taylor Arnone, who scored 16 points.
Yelm 49, Emerald Ridge 44: The Jaguars’ Sammantha McGinty and Mikayla Schwing combined for 30 points, but that was not enough to take the road win.
McGinty had 16 points and Schwing had 14, but nobody else on the Jaguars bench scored more than eight.
The Tornados were helped out by three players reaching double digits, including Jamie McGinty, who had 12.
Capital 46, Washington 39: A solid effort by the Cougars as Hannah Chamberlin led her team at home with 15 points.
Despite Sierra Hartfield going one point better at 16, Chamberlin and her teammates never let the Patriots score more than them in any one quarter.
Peninsula 57, South Kitsap 50: Bell Frazier was dumping buckets in the Seahawks road win over the Wolves.
Frazier led all scores by a large margin, netting 26 points on the night. That was good enough to double the Wolves’ top scorer, Jiselle Woodson.
Bonney Lake 44, Auburn 31: A slow start for the Panthers didn’t stop them from grabbing the win at home.
After scoring two points in the first quarter, the Panthers offense woke up and started scoring points off some turnovers. The third quarter was especially good to leading scorer Payton Mitchell, as she scored 10 of her 19 points in that quarter.
Federal Way 40, Spanaway Lake 26: Sydney Dewitt almost outscored the Sentinels herself in the Eagles road victory.
Dewitt finished her night with 23 points,narrowly missing the entire team total of Spanaway Lake. The next highest scorer was Annika-Jo Muna with seven points.