BELLEVUE — A chorus of songs and chants echoed from the Garfield locker room, the happy sounds of a team headed to the state tournament. Brayon Blake finally emerged, still sporting a wide grin.
“It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” he repeated with a laugh.
Blake played an integral part in No. 1 Garfield’s 69-51 win over Battle Ground on Saturday night at Bellevue College, sending the Bulldogs (24-1) to the Tacoma Dome for the third straight season. For Blake, though, it will be the first time he plays in the state tournament after transferring from Federal Way.
With the Bulldogs struggling to separate themselves from the Tigers, Blake keyed a 13-2 run midway through the third quarter with seven straight points to give Garfield a 48-35 lead. Battle Ground (17-9) was unable to get within single digits the rest of the way.
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Blake scored 16 of his 23 points — he also collected 10 rebounds — in the second half as the Bulldogs were finally able to shake the Tigers, who had countered each Garfield run with one of their own. The Bulldogs looked like they would deliver the final blow early, opening up a 10-point lead in the second quarter with their signature aggressive defense, but Battle Ground used a balanced attack to fight back to 31-29 at halftime.
Tramaine Isabell led Garfield with a game-high 24 points, also dishing out five assists.
“If we do our jobs and what we’re supposed to do, deny ball and play defense, it’s going to be a long night (for the opponent),” Blake said. “I say that every day before the games. It’s going to be a long night.”
Beamer 77, Bothell 41
PUYALLUP – Winston Bell likes to talk about playing championship basketball.
And the way his Beamer Titans performed in Saturday’s 4A regional boys basketball game against Bothell at Puyallup High School, they have people believing they could win a championship next weekend in Tacoma.
Eight different players hit three-pointers and the red-hot Titans hit 10 of 18 overall en route to a 77-41 victory at Puyallup High School.
Bothell coach Ron Bollinger became a believer.
“They’ve got length, they’ve got speed and they’re very athletic,” he said. “If they shoot like that, they’ll be a team to be reckoned with.”
In this seasons of firsts – first West Central District championship and first trip to the Final Eight – Bell has another in mind.
“Why not make it a trifecta and make it the first time in history we’ve won state?” he said.
Senior Trey Burch-Manning, one of four Beamer players in double figures with 12, seconds that.
“Since the beginning of the season, our goal is to win state,” he said. “We just came out here trying to make a statement for the state game, to go to state. I just want to hold up the trophy at the end of the year.”
Bothell got the usual double-double from 6-foot-9 senior Josh Martin – 19 points, 12 rebounds – but Beamer was able to pack it in as the Cougars shot a season-worst 2-of-28 from three-point range.
Burch-Manning got help from Bodgon Bliznyuk (11), Rayvonne Freeman (11) and Giovanni Jackson (10). Point guard Quadir Williams had eight first-half assists.
Seattle Times reporter Sandy Ringer
contributed to this report.