The Bulldogs hold off a spirited rally from Rainier Beach to advance to the Class 3A state semifinals for the fifth straight year with a 59-58 win.

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TACOMA — It was another clash of the titans.

Another matchup with state-title implications was played by the storied boys basketball programs of Garfield and Rainier Beach. The road to the crown has gone through both teams many times.

Two programs with 21 state titles between them and another epic battle. An improbable finish.

Senior guard Jaylen Nowell, a University of Washington commit, finished with 24 points as second-ranked Garfield topped fourth-ranked Rainier Beach 59-58 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.

Beach, the defending Class 3A state champions, got 28 points from junior Kevin Porter Jr. but didn’t get enough offensive support from his teammates until they perked up in the final 1:31.

“You’ve got to knock a state champion out,” Garfield coach Ed Haskins said of the Vikings, who won seven state titles in the last 15 years. “You can’t play until the two-minute mark and say, ‘You know, hey, the game is over.’ You’ve got to play to the buzzer.

“Bottom line was we finished and we won. I don’t care if it’s by one, by 10, by 100. I want the win.”

Ahead 57-48, Garfield kept turning the ball over on inbound passes on the baseline. Four late turnovers nearly negated all the previous work done by the Bulldogs.

“There’s no question you get uncomfortable in situations,” Haskins said.

Porter sank two free throws with 21 seconds left and suddenly Rainier Beach (21-9) was within 57-56. Another steal gave Freddie Roberson a chance to put the Vikings in front with 16 seconds to go, but Nowell came up with the rebound and was fouled.

“When Jaylen got fouled, I knew he was going to make those free throws,” Haskins said. “There was no question about that.”

Nowell made both free throws for a 59-56 lead with 10.7 seconds on the clock. The fourth meeting of the season between the two schools was the best, and it took everything Garfield had to beat the Vikings for the third time this season.

Garfield (22-5) advances to meet West Seattle (21-6) in Friday’s state semifinals at 9 p.m. The Bulldogs moved into the state semis for the fifth consecutive season.

Beach plays Wilson of Tacoma (20-7) in a loser-out consolation game on Friday at 2 p.m. The winner plays for fourth place on Saturday.

The Garfield-Beach quarterfinal was a rematch of last season’s Class 3A state semifinal won by Beach 66-61 as the Vikings went on to claim the school’s ninth state crown.

Garfield, which owns a big-school-best 50 state berths, including regional entries, has a big-school-best 13 state titles. The Bulldogs downed Beach 66-51 in the Class 3A state championship game in 2015.

The Vikings had reached the Class 3A state semis the previous five seasons.

Garfield led 29-26 at halftime in a back-and-forth first half that saw neither team lead by more than three points. It was a scoring duel between Bulldogs star Nowell (16 points) and Beach’s Porter Jr. (17) before the halftime break.