TACOMA – Endings, especially ones that come sooner than desired, are difficult to endure.
Such was the case for the University boys basketball team Friday afternoon.
The Titans couldn’t finish and, consequently, are finished as University fell 59-56 to the Mountlake Terrace Hawks in a State 3A tournament loser-out game at the Tacoma Dome.
The University girls, meanwhile, will play for fourth and sixth places this morning after the Titans held off the Glacier Peak Grizzlies 49-44 in an elimination game.
The Titans (15-11) meet Kamiakin (16-9) this morning at 8.
Mountlake Terrace 59, University 56: The Hawks used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to take a 29-26 lead into halftime.
The second half was back and forth until the end.
With the Titans (16-9) trailing 56-53 with 28 seconds to go, senior Brett Bailey made a 3-pointer.
The Hawks answered when Marquis Armstead drove to the basket, making the shot while being fouled with 5.8 seconds remaining.
Bailey took a pass near midcourt and was a couple of strides into the Titans’ half of the court when he launched a shot. It bounced off the rim.
“We had lots of options there but we just wanted to put it in his hands,” U-Hi coach Garrick Phillips said. “He’s the reason that we got here. That’s the best opportunity we could hope for.”
Bailey finished with a game-high 28 points and seven rebounds.
“We didn’t expect to be losing tonight,” Bailey said. “It’s kind of a shock to us. It sucks to lose but I’m so proud of our young guys, of how we played and how we competed. We competed our tails off. Unfortunately, we came up short.”
Phillips had nothing but praise for Bailey and his stellar career.
“It’s far, far reaching,” Phillips said of Bailey’s influence, “the impact on the court, on his coaches, on his teammates. It’s hard to quantify the reach – that it has in our community and in our school and in our youth programs. … It’s something I’ll cherish forever.”
University 49, Glacier Peak 44: Kayleigh Valley made a basket and Morgan Hawley sank two free throws with 8.3 seconds to go as the Titans held off the Grizzlies.
The Titans led most of the way, even building comfortable leads, only to watch Glacier Peak rally.
Valley led U-Hi with 11 points, six steals, six rebounds and two assists.