With ten lead changes in the second half, Cascade Christian outlasted Seattle Christian, 50-46, in the Class 1A state regionals at Puyallup High School.
After winning the Class 1A West Central District 3 championship last weekend, Cascade Christian (13-11) picked up where they left off to stake a 19-12 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“It was the hardest fought victory of the year,” Cascade Christian coach Jerry Williams said.
Tyler Fox hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to start the second quarter giving the Cougars a 22-12 lead — their largest of the game.
Seattle Christian (13-11) fought back, using a 12-6 run to close out the first half and erasing Cascade Christian’s double-digit lead to one point, 25-24.
“I have to give it to Seattle (Christian). They had two or three opportunities to die, but they didn’t. They kept coming back to the point they took leads on us several times,” Williams said. “It was just a grind-it-out game for both teams.”
Then the third quarter happened.
Guard Max Loorem (seven points) put the Warriors up 26-25 with a short jumper followed by Seattle Christian’s leading scorer Zac VanderLey (13 points), who pushed the Warriors’ lead to 28-25 before Williams called a timeout.
“Seattle Christian is our rival. To be able to beat them and get to the (Yakima SunDome), it feels great,” said Dylan Cooley, who finished with a game-high 14 points (4-for-8 on 3-pointers) to go with five rebounds.
After the timeout, Tyler Fox (nine points) and Leighton Lanier put Cascade Christian back on top, 29-28, with 5:43 remaining in the third.
The Cougars and Warriors exchanged leads a total on nine times in the third quarter alone.
Cooley opened up the fourth quarter with his fourth 3-pointer of the game — this one from the corner in front of his teammates — to put the Cougars up, 42-38, and ignite the Cascade Christian bench.
“I think our intensity in practice stepped up, and we said that if we wanted to make it far in state, we had to step it up,” Cooley said.
After Lanier put Cascade Christian up by three with a free throw, 49-46, Corbin Nohr closed out the game when he pulled down a missed runner jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game.
“That felt awesome. I was hoping the time went out, but they got to the ball just in time,” Nohr said.
Nohr was was fouled on the play and made 1-of-2 free throws to seal the victory.
Cascade Christian will play Wednesday in the opening round of the Class 1A state tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
CLASS 4A BOYS
Kennedy Catholic 55, Kentridge 49: AJ Chappell scored 20 points to help lead a second-half rally, but the Chargers fell to the Lancers in a Class 4A loser-out state regional game.
Kentridge returned from a double-digit deficit to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, but Kennedy Catholic pulled away for the win.
Senior point guard Emilio Mancol scored a game-high 21 as the Lancers advance to the opening round of the state playoffs at the Tacoma Dome. Kennedy Catholic plays Glacier Peak at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Prosser 56, Franklin Pierce 49: It may not have been the final result that the Cardinals wanted, but it was not due to a lack of effort.
“We were up the whole game,” Franklin Pierce coach Marcus Disney said. “At about five minutes in the fourth quarter, they started a 14-0 run on us. They triple-teamed Alexius Foster and we started making turnovers and fouling.”
Foster was the most explosive Cardinals player on the court, or any player for that matter, as she scored 32 points on the night. The next highest scoring teammate was Ashleigh Maynard, who scored nine points.
“I am proud of of how they battled and how they got along,” Disney said. “Everyone understood their roles and they have good attitudes.”
The Cardinals’ season ends with the loss.
Tacoma Baptist 49, Cedar Park Christian (MLT) 28: Brooklyn Pascua poured in 17 points, leading the Crusaders to a big win over the Lions and a berth in the Class 1B state quarterfinals Thursday at the Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena.
Cedar Park Christian also advances to an opening round state playoff game on Wednesday.