A big defensive effort on Hawks star Brad Wallace helped the second-ranked Indians advance to the state tournament with a 73-57 victory.
TUMWATER — The one possession, the one play, the one moment River Ridge coach John Barbee hoped would put his Hawks back on track never happened.
An opponent with similar speed and athleticism as the Hawks, the No. 2-ranked Renton Indians, did everything in their power to slow River Ridge’s offense. And it started with containing one of the state’s top players in River Ridge senior guard Brad Wallace.
Renton (23-2) advanced to the state tournament at the Yakima SunDome with a 73-57 regional victory at Tumwater High School Saturday night.
River Ridge (17-7) had an 14-game winning streak snapped, and finished one victory from state for the second year in a row.
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The Hawks didn’t have an answer for Jonathan Patterson, the Seamount League MVP, and Lavelle Smith, who combined for 35 points and 21 rebounds for Renton. Patterson had 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, getting all of his buckets from 5 feet and in.
Renton defenders swarmed Wallace at every opportunity with two, and sometimes three players surrounding him. Wallace hit 4 of 17 shots for 14 points, far below his average of 28.
“That’s good coaching (by Renton), and that also shows a lot of respect for a good player,” Barbee said. “Nothing was easy.”
Wallace went without a field goal in the second and third quarters as Renton’s largest lead bloomed to 57-41.
River Ridge got as close as 62-55 with 2:41 left after a bucket by Wesley Coats, but a much-needed final push never happened. The Hawks shot 21 of 56 from the floor, including 4 of 21 from three-point range.
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