It’s not the trophy they wanted, but still a good conclusion to a great tournament appearance.
Naje Smith scored 27 points and ninth-seeded Lewis and Clark (20-9) beat No. 4 seed Richland (24-3) 76-70 in the State 4A third-place game at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday.
Smith averaged 25.5 points in the tournament and was named to the all-tournament first-team.
This was LC’s second trip to a state tournament since 1964 and highest finish since 1958.
Lewis and Clark had two losses to Richland in the 2017 calendar year – a 70-67 loss on Feb. 10 in last season’s district play and a 62-53 decision on Nov. 28 to start this season.
Lewis and Clark lost to Federal Way 62-53 in its semifinal on Friday. Richland dropped its sixth in a row to Gonzaga Prep in heartbreaking fashion on Anton Watson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime in its semi.
Northrop hit both ends of a 1-and-1 and Richland led 68-67 with 1 minute, 43 seconds to go.
Smith was fouled by Northrop and made both to put LC up 69-68.
Smith drilled a 3-pointer from the corner with just less than 1 minute left and Richland turned it over on the next possession.
LC’s Griffin Effenberger followed up by taking it in the backcourt and charging the entire length for a floating layup to seal it.
Effenberger finished with 12 points and Bailey Rosenau added 13, most in the first half.
Northrop paced Richland with 20 points and 7-foot-3 Riley Sorn had 16 points with five blocked shots and Cody Sanderson added 13.
Northrop and Sorn were both named to the all-tournament second team.
The Tigers were off to the races from the opening tip. Effenberger and Rosenau scored on transition and Rosenau followed with a couple of short jumpers and LC went up 10-4 midway through the first.
Smith got warmed up, too. He drilled a 3-pointer, made 1 of 2 at the line and added a snaking layup and the Tigers led 20-10 after one.
Richland went to work at the start of the second, as Sanderson and Ryan Wager nailed 3s during a 12-7 run. Wagar hit another 3 and a midrange jumper and tied it at 27.
But Rosenau drove to the hoop for a couple of layups with a three-point play and LC led 35-31 at intermission.
Rosenau led scorers at half with 11 on 5-of-6 shooting.
The Bombers were the aggressors early in the third.
Sorn dropped a baby hook over Smith and added a two-handed jam. Cole Northrop popped a 3 and Richland led 44-39 midway through the frame.
Xavier Guillory his a 3-pointer and Smith added a couple of layups and the Tigers trailed 51-49 after three.
Smith hit consecutive 3-pointers and Jacob Proost popped a jumper to tie it at 62.