They needed a running clock in the first quarter.
Defending State 2B champion St. George’s suffocated the Tri-Cities Prep Jaguars early, rolling to a lopsided 65-30 victory in a regional game Friday night at Central Valley.
The Dragons (27-0), winners of 47 straight, make the short trip to the Spokane Arena next week for the state tournament.
Will Tender got the Dragons going quickly, scoring 14 of his game-high 28 points in the first quarter.
“We just wanted to set a tone for the rest of the game and the entire week,” Tender said. “If we can go out there and play hard and play well it bodes well for us in the future.”
When St. George’s went ahead by 40 points late in the third quarter, the running-clock rule took effect.
The Jaguars were no match from the get-go.
St. George’s used a 10-0 run to open the game and led 17-6 by the end of the first quarter.
The Dragons pushed the advantage to 42-13 by halftime.
“I was just trying to bring the energy,” Tender said of his hot start. He made 11 of 14 from the field and had seven steals.
“My teammates were doing a good job of getting me open 3s and finding me in transition,” Tender said. “I just tried to play hard.”
And when Tender wasn’t knocking down his shots, 6-foot-7 Dexter Sienko was dominating inside. He finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and three spectacular dunks.
“His reverse (dunk), I hadn’t seen that before,” Tender said.
St. George’s coach Ryan Peplinski wasn’t surprised by Tender’s start.
“The one thing about Will is he’s very active,” Peplinski said. “You kind of compare him to an old man. He’s knows when to back cut and knows when to read the defense. And he goes and gets offensive boards, and he’s active defensively. We needed it because we didn’t play very well in the first quarter.”
Liberty 60, Kittitas 37: Match Burnham shot the Lancers into the state tournament with 30 points in a victory over the Coyotes in Ellensburg. Ryan Thayer added 18 points, and Clay Fleming chipped in 11 for Liberty.
The Coyotes (16-6) led by a point after the first quarter but were held to just one basket in the second period as the Lancers (22-7) took an 18-13 lead at intermission. Liberty scored 42 points in the second half in securing their trip to Spokane for state.