Will Dorsey came up big when the Vikings needed him, leading Rainier Beach to a 62-59 win in the state championship game.
TACOMA — Rainier Beach senior Will Dorsey isn’t his team’s leading scorer. But during Beach’s three games in the Class 3A state tournament, and especially in Saturday’s championship game, Dorsey delivered the biggest plays in the biggest moments.
Dorsey and his No. 2 Rainier Beach Vikings held on for a thrilling 62-59 overtime win against No. 1 Lakeside in the 3A state championship game. The win gave Beach back-to-back state titles for the second time in a decade.
“That kid is a big-time player in clutch moments,” Rainier Beach assistant coach Dave King said. “He tries so hard to do the right thing all the time that sometimes mistakes are made, but in the state tournament it always jells for him. He’s the focal point in helping lead his team to back-to-back state championships.”
Against a Lakeside team playing in its first state championship game since 1989, Dorsey scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and made many of Beach’s big plays, and also was named tournament MVP.
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He scored the final four points for Beach (25-4) in regulation, including an end-to-end layup with seven seconds left that tied the game at 56. He also scored four points in overtime, giving Beach the lead each time he scored.
His drive and layup with 1:18 left in overtime gave Beach the lead for good at 60-59.
“I told him before, ‘If we win this state championship, this year it’s your turn. You need to step up, and we need to ride you.’ ” Beach coach Mike Bethea said. “He was more than up to the task.”
Yet Lakeside (24-5) had a chance to win at the end of regulation. With one second left and the game tied at 56, Lakeside guard Tramaine Isabell was fouled driving to the basket and had a one-and-one.
But Isabell, who led Lakeside with 21 points, missed the free throw and the game went to overtime.
Right before that, with 14 seconds left in regulation, Lakeside senior Matthew Poplawski also missed the front-end of a one-and-one with his team leading by two.
Lakeside had one more chance in overtime. Beach guard Naim Ladd’s two free throws with 19 seconds left gave Beach a 62-59 lead, but Isabell’s leaning three at the buzzer missed.
It was the first 3A championship game to go to overtime since Beach lost to O’Dea in double overtime in 2004.
“We put ourselves in position to win the game, and we have a lot to be proud of,” Lakeside coach Tavio Hobson said. “There’s nothing in this situation we can say as coaches that can make them feel better.”
The win gave Bethea his sixth state championship, the most titles by a coach in state history. It’s also Beach’s seventh title in school history, the second-most for big-class schools in the state behind Garfield’s 11.
“Without a doubt, the hardest-fought one I’ve ever had,” Bethea said.
Beach led by 11 midway through the third quarter, but Lakeside didn’t go away. The Lions hit three three-pointers, including two by Poplawski, during an 11-0 run that tied the game.
From then on, it was everything you could want in a state championship game featuring Metro League rivals.
Beach forward Elijah Foster capped an impressive tournament with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds while senior Djuan Piper added 10.
D’Marques Tyson hit four three-pointers and had 14 points for Lakeside, which also lost in the 3A championship game in overtime in 1989 against Chief Sealth. Poplawski had 10.
Yet the night’s biggest moments were Dorsey’s, and he once again lifted his team to a state title — the 16th time in the last 21 years that a Metro team claimed the 3A crown.
“Everybody has to step up at one point in time,” Dorsey said, “and this was my time.”
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com
RAINIER BEACH — Naim Ladd 2-4 4-6 8, KieWuan Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Djaunte Murry 1-3 0-1 2, Will Dorsey 5-12 5-5 15, Elijah Foster 6-12 6-6 18, MarQuis Davis 0-6 0-0 0, Djuan Piper 4-7 2-4 10, Fuquan Niles 0-0 0-0 0, Shaqquan Aaron 3-9 1-2 9, Jordan King 0-0 0-0 0, Wilford Middlebrooks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-55 18-24 62.
LAKESIDE — Tramaine Isabell 7-24 6-9 21, Matthew Poplawski 3-10 2-3 10, Isiah Brown 4-10 1-2 10, D’Marques Tyson 5-11 0-2 14, Zack Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Anand Rajesh 0-0 0-0 0, Peter French 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 21-59 9-16 59.
Three–point shooting — Rainier Beach 2-10 (Dorsey 0-2, Davis 0-3, Aaron 2-5); Lakeside 8-27 (Isabell 1-10, Poplawski 2-8, Brown 1-2, Tyson 4-6, Moore 0-1). Rebounds — Rainier Beach 40 (Foster 10); Lakeside 41 (Tyson 10). Assists — Rainier Beach 9 (Piper 4); Lakeside 7 (Isabell 5). Steals — Rainier Beach 8 (Piper 3); Lakeside 6 (Isabell 3). Blocked shots — Rainier Beach 3 (Piper 2); Lakeside 1 (French).
|Six trips to the top|
|Rainier Beach boys coach Mike Bethea has won a record six state championships. The leaders:|
|6||Mike Bethea||Rainier Beach||1998, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2013|
|5||Phil Lumpkin||O’Dea||1993, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2007|
|5||Al Hairston||Garfield||1980, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991|
|5||Ray Ricks||NW Christian (Colbert)||2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011|