Jackson guard Dan Kingma remembers watching in the Tacoma Dome in 2010, when the Timberwolves lost the Class 4A state championship game...
TACOMA — Jackson guard Dan Kingma remembers watching in the Tacoma Dome in 2010, when the Timberwolves lost the Class 4A state championship game to Kentwood.
Kingma’s older brother, Brett, was Jackson’s anchor that season. Dan Kingma recalls a conversation he had with eight-grade teammate Jason Todd that night.
“I remember sitting with Jason and thinking, ‘What if we can get here?’ ” he said. “That was always our goal.”
By defeating Arlington 68-41 Friday night, Kingma and his Jackson teammates met that goal. Now, they have a bigger one.
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“We’ve got to win it tomorrow,” Kingma said.
Second-ranked Jackson (26-0) faces No. 6 Curtis (26-2) for the championship at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Arlington (22-4), ranked 10th, plays Garfield for third place at 11:15 a.m.
By halftime against Arlington Friday night, Kingma and Todd each had 12 points. All 12 of Kingma’s came on three-pointers. He was 4 of 7 from three-point distance, helping Jackson build a 44-21 lead at the break.
Todd had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Kingma scored 19.
Terry Dawn scored 12 first-half points and finished with 17 for Arlington in the school’s first appearance in the semifinals, but his Eagles again couldn’t hang with Jackson. It was their third meeting with the Timberwolves this season, all losses.
Jackson coach Steve Johnson was elated by the consistency that Todd and his other players displayed on the big stage.
“The guy is an incredibly consistent performer,” he said of Todd, a 6-foot-5 junior who came into the tournament averaging 22.2 points. “I honestly don’t think I could ever say that he’s had a really, really down game … and I thought everyone was pretty locked in.”
Jackson’s offensive efficiency helped it build the big early lead. The Timberwolves shot 53 percent from the field and were 9 of 18 on three-point attempts. They also out-rebounded Arlington 33-25.
Kingma realizes how big it is for the Mill Creek school to be back in the final for the second time in four years. And now, the Timberwolves aren’t satisfied just getting to the title game.
“In terms of the Jackson legacy, it’s huge,” Kingma said. “But that’s something Jackson’s already done. What Jackson hasn’t done is win it.”