TACOMA — When a team loses its first game at the state tournament, it has to quickly get past the disappointment of missing out on a chance at the title if it wants to bring home a trophy.
No. 10 O’Dea was able to do that and capped its season with a 64-50 win over No. 6 Stanwood to secure fourth place at the state tournament. Stanwood finishes sixth.
“We talked after that first loss, which was a tough loss, we basically talked to the kids about the fact that the next game will determine your character, what kind of character this team had,” O’Dea coach Al Hairston said. “We talked about bouncing back, and we basically did that.
“It’s not easy to take a tough loss first game of the tournament.”
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After a difficult opening-round loss against Wilson, the Irish bounced back for a close win over University. O’Dea didn’t have to play a tight game on Saturday. The Irish trailed in the opening minute, but that was it, as they opened a double-digit lead early and fended off each Stanwood push.
As it has all season, senior leadership stepped up for the Irish. Jamie Orme led the way with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Jacob Lampkin scored 14 and grabbed 17 boards.
While Hairston was happy to send the seniors out on a good note, he is pleased at how it sets up the Irish for the future. O’Dea starts Quin Barnard, a sophomore, and has several more come off the bench who play significant roles.
“Our sophomores are playing quality minutes and did a good job,” Hairston said. “That’s money in the bank for them, because now they can build on that moving forward.”
Karsten Chaplik led Stanwood with 15 points, while Josh Thayer added 12. Thayer averaged 15.3 points in three games at the tournament.