YAKIMA – Freeman made the most of its first trip to the state basketball tournament since 2010, advancing to the boys State 1A semifinals with a 60-47 win over Hoquiam Friday morning in the Yakima Valley SunDome.
The Scotties’ defense took control in the second period – outscoring the Grizzlies 22-3 and limiting Hoquiam to 29.6 percent shooting from the field.
Freeman (21-3) will play Kalama at 3:45 pm today in the semifinals. The winner advances to Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship.
Ryan Maine led the Scotties with 23 points and Nate Jacobus added 16.
Freeman hit three 3-pointers – two by Michael Caumont – in the second-period blitz. After Hoquiam took a 19-16 lead on a three-point play by Jerod Steen just 90 seconds into the second period, the Scotties held them scoreless the remainder of the half.
“We played great defense after the first few minutes,” Freeman coach Marty Jessett said. “We were really tracking Adams (Jack) because we knew he was averaging about 20 points a game and we held him to two.
“(Jack) Paukert and (Rhys) McVey really got in his pocket and made him work to get the catches,”
Jessett noted that a change from zone to a man-to-man defense seemed to spark his club.
“We usually try a bunch of things to see what works,” he said. “When we switched to man, we got dialed in.
“We can guard guys a lot of different ways. Once something works, we stick with it.”
Even though the Scotties haven’t played at state since before the squad members were in high school, Paukert, Jacobus, Maine and Christian Phillips played in a tip-off event in the SunDome a couple of years ago. So there was no fear of the bigger building.
“Since they won here, our kids had a really good feeling coming over,” Jessett said.
King’s Way Christian 47, Medical Lake 45: The Cardinals built a 29-21 halftime lead but couldn’t hold it, falling to the Knights and into the consolation bracket.
Kienan Walter, King’s Way’s 6-foot-8 post, led all scorers with 24 points, including a jumper with 1:13 remaining in the contest that gave the Knights the win. The Cardinals had three shots in the final minute to tie the game but were not successful.
Medical Lake will play top-ranked Zillah in the consolation bracket today at 10:30 am.
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