Michael Porter Jr. has 35 points and 21 rebounds as the Raiders take 74-61 win.
In its first Metro League test, Nathan Hale did not disappoint.
The Raiders, ranked 17th in the nation by USA Today, used more scoring from its supporting players to defeat Rainier Beach 74-61 on Friday night at their home gym. The Vikings are the defending Class 3A state champions and a dynasty in the state.
Nathan Hale, which was 3-18 last season, intends to shake up the status quo with its star-studded lineup, headed by Michael Porter Jr., a 6-foot-9 senior transfer from Missouri.
“It was a great game,” said Porter, who finished with 35 points and 21 rebounds. He’s regarded as one of the top three recruits in the country. “It was more physical than I expected. I like playing through stuff, but I think the refs did a good job and the tempo was great.”
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Rainier Beach had a good defensive scheme for Porter, and pulled with 46-41 after a spinning layin by junior guard Fred Roberson with 1:07 left in the third quarter. But Raiders senior guard Keegan Crosby, a 6-6 transfer from Bishop Blanchet, rose above everyone for a layin with 46 seconds left in the quarter.
Teammate PJ Fuller, a transfer from Garfield, quickly drained a three-pointer after a Rainier Beach turnover to make the score 51-41 at the end of the third quarter.
Foul trouble and missed free throws kept the Vikings (2-1, 2-1 Metro) from challenging the Raiders (3-0, 3-0) again. RBHS was down 58-52 with 3:33 left in the game, but sophomore Jorell Saterfield fouled Porter, who made both free throws.
On Nathan Hale’s next offensive possession, senior guard Tre-var Holland hit a three-pointer that made the standing-room-only crowd roar in a combined excitement or agony depending on the school color.
Crosby finished with 12 points for Nathan Hale while Kevin Porter Jr. had 14 points to lead Rainier Beach.
“We knew this game was going to be big,” Nathan Hale first-year coach Brandon Roy said. “(Keegan) made some really big plays. I got on him Tuesday night against Chief Sealth and subbed him earlier than normal and said, ‘Hey man, we need you to play like a senior.’ It’s not about (this) being a new team. He’s a senior. He’s seen these games and we need him to step up and be a leader. He texted me that night and said, ‘Coach, keep kicking my butt.'”