Seth Paine’s message to his Colton Wildcats boys basketball team coming into Friday night’s 1B Regional game against defending champion Sunnyside Christian was simple.
“I told our kids ‘They have something we want. But they’re not going to give it to us; we’ll have to take it,” Paine said.
Take it the Wildcats did – in emphatic fashion – vanquishing the Knights 67-44 at Eisenhower High School in Yakima behind 43 combined points from Dalton Patchen and Jake Straughan.
The win sends Colton (19-8) to the state tournament in Spokane for the second time. .
Patchen led the Wildcats with 36 points on just 13 field-goal attempts. Straughan chipped in 17 points.
It appeared early as though Colton would make short work of the young Knights.
Colton took an early six-point lead and maintained that margin most of the first half before back-to-back baskets by Patchen opened up a 10-point advantage with 1:28 remaining in the half.
But Sunnyside Christian’s Brant Bosma – who hit all five of his field-goal attempts in the second half – hit two jumpers in the final 37 seconds including a running one-handed 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to five points at 34-29.
The Wildcats quickly opened up a 10-point lead in the third period behind Straughan and Patchen. Then the defense put the clamps on the nights, shutting them out for the final 5:39 of the period and opening up an 18-point lead that effectively settled the outcome.
Tulalip Heritage 81, Wilbur Creston 64: Ayrik Miranda scored 22 points, including four buckets from 3-point range, as the Hawks (24-1) eliminated the Wildcats (16-9) at the 1B Regional at Everett Community College.
Nick Densley and Colton Magers each scored 19 points for the Wildcats.
Wilbur-Creston mounted a comeback and cut the lead to four late in the third quarter before ultimately succumbing to the perimeter shooting of Tulalip Heritage, which made 47 percent of their attempts.