Shaqquan Aaron scored 24 points and got plenty of help from a deep Vikings roster in a Metro League win over the No. 6 Lions.
The scariest part of watching No. 3 Rainier Beach’s boys basketball team is coming to the same realization coach Mike Bethea reached after his team’s 78-64 win against No. 6 Lakeside on Tuesday.
“We’re still growing as a team,” Bethea said.
Yes, Rainier Beach (12-3 overall, 10-1 Metro League) still has room for growth, although the Vikings looked to be on solid ground against Lakeside (10-3, 7-3). The Vikings are one of the area’s most talented teams, but they’ve only gotten better after losing three games earlier in the season, including a two-point loss at Seattle Prep.
Beach built a 12-point halftime lead against a Lakeside team fresh off a win against then-No. 5 Franklin on Saturday. The Vikings led by as many as 23 in the third quarter and kept a double-digit margin throughout.
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“The kids are playing with a bit of an edge because they want to get a state championship really bad,” Bethea said. “But it starts here. It was kind of a humbling experience to lose to Prep, something that you need to go through.”
Shaqquan Aaron led Beach with 24 points, but had plenty of help. Marquis Davis came off the bench and chipped in 13 points, including 11 in the first half. Jordan King also provided a spark off the bench, scoring eight of his 12 in the decisive third quarter. Four other Beach players had at least six points.
“We’re a harder team to defend when everyone feels like they’re involved and feels like they’re going to get touches,” Bethea said.
Beach’s size and quickness caused problems for Lakeside offensively. The Lions committed 13 turnovers in the first half, many leading to easy buckets for Beach.
Lakeside also gave up 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, and Beach converted eight of them into points.
“I thought we did some good things,” Lakeside coach Tavio Hobson said, “but ultimately I didn’t think we controlled the ball well or glass well enough. Those are two things that are their strengths.”
D’Marques Tyson led Lakeside with 25 points, 13 in the first quarter.