Rainier Beach's fourth quarter ends up being the deciding factor in a victory over the stubborn Grizzlies.
BELLEVUE — While the outcome might have been what many expected, the route to Rainier Beach’s 69-59 victory over Glacier Peak in a winner-to-state, loser-out game Saturday at Bellevue College certainly was not.
The Grizzlies (19-6) from Snohomish held the No. 2 Vikings (22-4) scoreless for the final four minutes of the third quarter while going on a 16-0 run to trail only 48-46.
But Glacier Peak’s shooting touch left just as quickly in the fourth quarter. Rainier Beach pulled out to a 62-48 lead with 4:22 remaining after a 14-2 run.
“The biggest thing you get out of it is understanding that if you don’t come to play for 32 minutes, you can be beat,” Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea said.
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For most of three quarters, Rainier Beach employed a suffocating full-court press, while relentlessly pushing the ball into the frontcourt. The Vikings led 38-25 at halftime.
But late in the third quarter, the Grizzlies stole a page out of Rainier Beach’s book and forced some turnovers with defensive pressure.
“We did something which I think most people would think was crazy,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter said. “We did some trapping. We actually tried to pressure them, and I think that freed up our kids to just think, ‘Let’s just go play.’ “
All the Grizzlies’ points during their 16-0 run came from Zach Pederson, Ramsey Rosales and Dreu Vader.
“They’ve got three legitimate scorers that can score on anybody,” Bethea said. “I just told them if we go to sleep on those guys, they’re going to make the game tough.”
Vader hit two free throws, then made a steal and dropped a finger-roll over the rim as the third quarter expired, cutting the deficit to 48-46.
“Our goal was to be there in the fourth quarter,” Hunter said. “I’m not sure many people would have expected it to be Beach up two starting the fourth quarter.”
But the Vikings, showing the depth of a perennial state contender, pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Kennedy Catholic 51
Tramaine Isabell scored 23 points, D’Marques Tyson scored 18 and each hit four three-pointers as the top-ranked Lions (22-4) advanced to the state tournament. Isabell also had five assists. Lakeside led by 27 after three quarters. Senior post Josh Sierhuis led the Lancers (17-8) with 15 points.