The last time the Davis High School boys basketball team played in the Tacoma Dome, coach Eli Juarez could see the end of the orchard.
That’s how he put it, anyway. The Pirates went on to win the 2011-12 4A state title.
They took a big step toward doing it again Thursday, beating last year’s state runner-up Richland, 59-54, in the 4A state quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome to advance to the final four.
“The last time we were here, all the sudden those orchard rows were all lined up and I could see from one end to the other,” Juarez said. “So I don’t know if we are there yet, but we are definitely in the final four, which is a great place to be.”
Nikhil Lizotte had 22 points and five rebounds and fellow senior Max Jones had 12 points and 11 rebounds, making the big plays Davis needed to win this rematch with the Bombers.
Last time these teams faced each other, the third game of the season, Richland’s standout junior Steven Beo lit the Pirates up for 45 points. He was averaging more than 27 points per game coming in.
But this time? Davis used multiple defenders on him, played him aggressively off screens and limited Beo to 4 of 22 shooting for 13 points.
It was a tough game for Beo. He hit a deep 3-pointer early in the game, but struggled the rest of the way. He also went 4 of 12 from the free throw line.
“We had to make him make tough shots,” Lizotte said. “He’s a dominant scorer. You can’t keep him to zero. We just tried our best to switch guys on him because he is always running around making everybody tired.”