High School Sports

Union’s unity too much for Woodinville as Titans take third place

The Union High School boys basketball team didn’t have a player average more than 14 points per game coming into the tournament. No superstars, no flashy passes, no acrobatic, highlight-reel antics.

Just some great team basketball.

The Titans beat Woodinville 69-45 on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome for third place in this year’s 4A state tournament. Woodinville placed fifth in its first tournament appearance in school history.

Riley Hawken had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Cameron Cranston had 17 points, including five 3-pointers and Micah Paulson had 11 points for Union.

“We didn’t come in first, but there is so much more to basketball than a trophy,” Hawken said. “Just the memories that we build and everything that we will remember for the rest of our lives. I love the guys that we have.”

Woodinville’s Tony Miller, the 6-foot-6 first-team 4A KingCo league forward, had 28 points and made 13 of 14 free throws. He set the modern-day (2011-present) individual 4A tournament record for free throws made (31), passing the previous record of 22 set by Curtis grad Davontè Lacy, Garfield grad Tony Wroten and Jackson grad Jason Todd. Miller also set the record for free throws attempted (36), passing Wroten (35).

The tournament format was altered from the previous 16-team tournament to the eight-team tournament after 2010.

Union (24-2) led 31-25 at halftime before outscoring the Falcons (19-8) 18-9 in the third quarter.

Union made 26 of 54 shots (48.1 percent) to Woodinville’s 13 of 54 (24.1 percent).

But Hawken said he’ll remember the experience more than the finish.

“I loved every single guy, one through 12,” Hawken said. “The managers are part of the family, sophomores, juniors – no matter what age group, we are all family. That’s the thing I will always remember about this group. I’m not going to remember the wins and losses. I’m just going to remember how close we were.”

TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677