TACOMA — Richland can shoot the ball with the best of them and Beamer found out the hard way on Friday.
The No. 6 Titans saw their championship dreams dashed with a 75-61 loss as No. 3 Richland’s shooting was too much to overcome. Beamer will play Issaquah for third place Saturday at 1 pm, while the Bombers advance to the title game against Garfield.
“I felt like we didn’t rotate well,” Beamer coach Winston Bell said. “We knew who the shooters were. … We didn’t really get a hand in their faces. We practice, we play against shooters all the time, so no excuses. Those guys, hats off to ‘em man, they shot the heck out of that ball.”
Richland hasn’t had to rely on one player this season, as different individuals have stepped up at different times. Friday, it was Steven Beo’s turn. Beo poured in 29 points, hitting four three-pointers and all nine free-throw attempts. Jacob DeVries added 18 points a night after he eclipsed the 30-point mark.
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“A lot of guys last night, they were trying to make stuff happen and struggled a little bit,” Richland coach Earl Streufert said. “Not just shooting, but just didn’t play the game the way we’ve played. We knew that Beamer was going to extend on us a little bit and their length can give us trouble. We just said, ‘if we’re going to make mistakes, it’s going to be aggressive mistakes, but we’re going to share it.’ The guy that’s hot is going to get the ball.”
Beamer fell behind 33-20 at the half and eventually got within 10 late in the third, but Richland found some cushion and coasted the rest of the way.
Quadir Williams led the Titans with 14 points and Charles Frazier added 13. Leading scorer Bogdon Bliznyuk finished with 10, but all came late in the game.
Bell felt that Beamer missed too many easy looks and the momentum quickly went to Richland. Once it swayed toward the Bombers, it was an obstacle the Bombers were unable to overcome.