TACOMA — Even as his team was frittering away a 13-point lead, Garfield boys basketball coach Brandon Roy remained a picture of calm standing on the sideline.
Maybe that’s because games at the Tacoma Dome have always gone Roy’s way, having won state Class 3A boys titles with Nathan Hale and Garfield in 2017 and 2018 in his previous two trips as a coach at the state tournament.
Roy returned to Garfield after taking a year off, and as it turned out, there was no need to get too worried Thursday morning as his team regrouped and defeated No. 3 Marysville-Pilchuck 74-53 to earn a spot in Friday’s semifinals against top-seeded Eastside Catholic.
“We try to play a 32-minute game and we understand teams are going to make runs,” said Roy, who was a player for Garfield before starring at UW and in the NBA. “We try to prepare our team for adversity.”
No. 4 Garfield (23-4) jumped on the Tomahawks early, leading 20-7 after the first quarter. But Marysville went on a 9-o run in the first four minutes to pull to 20-16. Roy never changed his expression during the Tomahawks run, and the Bulldogs regained control with back-to-back three-pointers by freshman Jaylin Stewart.
“The young players have had all season to grow up,” Roy said. “We’ve got young players who can step up and hit big shots.”
Garfield led 34-23 at halftime, then went on an 11-0 run to begin the third quarter, ending any suspense. Tari Eason scored 26 to lead Garfield. Stewart added 15.
The Bulldogs won both of their games this season against top-seeded Eastside Catholic, and were the only in-state team to defeat the Crusaders this season. Roy didn’t want to make too big of a deal about that.
“We’re trying to beat everybody,” Roy said.
Metro 2, Wilson 0
Second-seeded Wilson of Tacoma was no match for a pair of Metro League schools.
The Rams lost 83-74 to O’Dea in the regional round, forcing Wilson to play in a loser-out game Wednesday against Marysville Getchell, which it won 73-52. That forced a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup Thursday morning against Eastside Catholic.
Wilson led 25-20 after one quarter, but it was all Eastside Catholic after that, with the Crusaders pulling away to 76-54 win.
The Rams could not stop junior JT Tuimoloau, who is more known for football. A defensive lineman who is the nation’s top players in his class according to 247Sports.com, he showed he is also a force on the basketball court. He scored a game-high 25 on 11-of-13 shooting and made both of his three-point attempts.
Lake Washington didn’t come to the Tacoma Dome in the best form, losing two of three games coming in, including a 56-32 loss to Arlington, which put the Kangaroos into a loser-out game Wednesday.
Lake Washington, the No. 6 seed, handled that task by beating No. 14 seed Hudson’s Bay 57-40. The competition got much tougher Thursday, but the end result was the same as the Kangaroos beat No. 4 seed Mount Spokane 48-45.
Rosa Smith had 19 points and nine rebounds for Lake Washington (21-6), including two late free throws to give her team a three-point lead.