Sometimes, when you don't think, good things happen. Take Chris Chase, for example. The Roosevelt High School senior said he didn't do much...
KIRKLAND — Sometimes, when you don’t think, good things happen.
Take Chris Chase, for example. The Roosevelt High School senior said he didn’t do much thinking at all last night. He just grabbed the ball and left the rest to muscle memory. Catch. Shoot. Swish.
When the final horn sounded, he had 27 points for the second straight night, and his fifth-ranked Roughriders had a 63-55 victory over No. 6 Franklin in a loser-out, winner-to-state game at the Sea-King 4A District tournament at Juanita High School.
Chase, who earlier this season was granted an additional year of eligibility by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, made 9 of 15 shots, including a huge three-pointer with 1:10 left that put Roosevelt ahead for good.
“It was tough to just come in. I hadn’t played in a game in a whole year,” Chase said. “I was trying too hard, I was thinking about it too much. So the last two games, coach has said, ‘Don’t think about it, just shoot it.’ In practice, I shoot like 75 percent. So I just let it go.”
The victory marked Roosevelt’s third in four meetings with Franklin this season and clinched for the Roughriders (20-5) their first state-tournament berth since 1987, when they finished second to Garfield.
Fans rushed the court afterward, swallowing Roosevelt players in a sea of green and yellow.
Marcus Williams added 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“It’s crazy,” Williams said. “We’re going to savor the moment tonight, then we’re going to go down and see what team we play, then it’s back to the drawing board. We got a four-game season coming up, and we’re ready.”
Inglemoor (21-2) earned the district’s No. 1 seed to state Friday night by beating Franklin (17-7), the three-time defending KingCo 4A champion.
“I believe that the two best teams out of our league are going to the state tournament,” said Franklin coach Jason Kerr, whose squad returns 12 of 15 players, including star point guard Venoy Overton.
Franklin led by as many as 10 points in the first half, just as it did against Inglemoor on Friday. But the Roughriders hung tough, outscoring the Quakers 38-22 in the second half for their third straight loser-out victory.
Franklin’s Richie Phillips bounced back from a scoreless outing against Inglemoor for 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Chase scored 14 points in the fourth quarter as Roosevelt closed out the win with a 12-2 run.
“We’ve got some awfully good players here,” said first-year Roosevelt coach Bart Brandenburg, who inherited a team that went 11-11 last season. “I’ve felt like we’ve gotten better each and every game. I think that’s how we’ve done it.”