High School Sports

Bush scores double-double to lead Timberline past Gig Harbor

Jarryn Bush is listed as a forward on the Timberline boys basketball roster.

Ask the junior to describe his play and his answer is very similar to what he does in the fall. The seasons may have changed, but Bush, all 6-foot-4, 225 pounds of him, remains an outside linebacker.

"It's always football season," a grinning Bush declared.

Surrounded by snipers knocking down a barrage of 3-pointers, Bush simply settled in down low and dominated the paint with brute force and physical athleticism.

Gig Harbor had little answer for Bush as he scored 16 points and hauled down 11 rebounds to help the Blazers inch closer to a 4A Narrows League title with a 73-62 victory over the visiting Tides on Friday.

"His play in the paint kept us in the game," said Timberline coach Allen Thomas. "Pound for pound he's one of the best post players not only in our league, but the entire state."

The Blazers and Tides entered the day tied atop the league standings with Stadium.

Timberline (10-5) improved to 5-2 in the 4A Narrows with five league games remaining and hold the tiebreaker against Gig Harbor as the Blazers swept the regular season series with the Tides.

"Both teams came in needing this win," Thomas said. "We talked about how big of a game this was. We came out and played together. The entire team was focused."

While the Blazers looked inside for Bush, the majority of Gig Harbor's offense came from outside with the team hitting 10 3-pointers, getting five from Sam Gagliardi, who scored a game-high 21 points, and four from Chris Drake, who added 19 points.

"Best player in the league, hands down," said Thomas about Gagliardi. "When you put Drake and him together, it's the best scoring tandem in the league. They're tough to stop. We knew they would score from the outside. The big thing for us was we kept (Gig Harbor) out of the paint."

Austin Curry paced Timberline, scoring 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half and knocking down a big 3-pointer as the Blazers closed out the game on an 11-3 run.

Timberline also received 10 points from both Erik Stevenson and Brandell Evans, the point guard who took control of the game down the stretch, scoring 10 points apiece..

"I told him before the game, he doesn't need to score 20 points a night for us," Thomas said about Evans. "He's our leader out there. I need him to contribute in every aspect of the game and he's done that for us."

Timberline, which knocked off the Tides, 66-65, in their first meeting on Dec. 12, used a game-deciding 14-0 run over the final 51/2 minutes of the third quarter to put up some much needed breathing room.

A Stevenson 3-pointer gave the Blazers the lead for good at 46-43.

Gig Harbor, however, relied on Drake's hot shooting to get back into the contest.

Drake hit four 3-pointers over the game's final nine minutes, his last pulling the Tides within 3 points at 62-59 with 31/2 minutes to play.

Austin Parker scored five of his seven points late in the game for Timberline.

Curry drained his second 3-pointer of the game, while Evans hit a pair of layups and two free throws to put the game away.

Timberline's game plan was evident early, pounding it inside to Bush and let him control the paint.

It proved to be the correct approach as the Blazers opened the game on a 10-0 run and led 12-2 midway through the first quarter with Bush doing the most damage by scoring eight quick points.

Timberline made seven of its first nine shots in the game and shot 58.3 percent from the field (28-of-48).

"Everyone was involved," Bush said. "Whether it was me or Brandell or the bench, I didn't care who scored just as long as we won."