Will Dorsey scored a season-high 21 points off the bench for the Vikings, who advanced to the 3A title game.
TACOMA — Rainier Beach’s starting lineup has resembled a game of musical chairs at times this season. It’s part motivation, but more than anything, it’s a reflection of the depth the Vikings possess.
On a day when their three leading scorers combined for just 21 points, No. 2 Rainier Beach still beat No. 8 Franklin 73-59 in the Class 3A state semifinals Friday. Beach, the defending state champions, will play No. 1 Lakeside, which beat No. 3 Lincoln in the other semifinal, at 5 p.m. Saturday in the 3A title game.
“I’ve been preaching it all year: Our bench is just so deep,” Beach coach Mike Bethea said. “There are 10 or 11 starters there.”
Will Dorsey led the charge off the bench on Friday.
Bethea named Dorsey, a senior guard, the most valuable player in Beach’s quarterfinal win against Seattle Prep on Thursday because of the way he controlled the pace. A day later Dorsey controlled the game with his scoring.
Dorsey scored a season-high 21 points and made 11 of his 13 free throws, most of which came in the fourth quarter.
“Make no mistake,” Bethea said, “Will Dorsey has been playing his butt off.”
Beach (24-4) and Franklin (18-10) were tied at 33 in the third quarter, but the Vikings went on a 21-4 run that blew the game open. Franklin never got closer than 10 after that.
“We were getting the shots we wanted offensively, and we were being patient offensively,” Bethea said.
Yet it wasn’t just Dorsey contributing big minutes off the bench. The Vikings’ bench players outscored Franklin’s bench 40-21. Reserves KeiWun Miller and Dejounte Murray scored six points and grabbed five rebounds apiece.
Marquis Davis (nine points), Shaqquan Aaron (five) and Djuan Piper (seven) — Beach’s three leading scorers — were solid, but Friday belonged to the bench and the competitive culture that it creates.
“It’s day by day, night by night with us,” Dorsey said. “Some days it’s Marquis, some days it’s Shaqquan. Some days it may be me, some days it may be Djuan. It’s a hat trick every day.”
Senior guard Arell Hennings led Franklin with 24 points. Patrick Ball, Franklin’s leading scorer, finished with six points, 12 below his season average.
It was Beach’s fourth win against rival Franklin this season.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org