The shortest starter for Mt. Spokane finished with three dunks and two blocked shots.
“He’s bouncy,” forward Tanner Brooks said of teammate Spencer Barrera. “Real bouncy.”
Barrera had three steals which he finished with fast-break dunks, Jerry Twenge scored 20 points and second-seeded Mt. Spokane beat ninth-seeded Capital 71-60 in a State 3A quarterfinal at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday.
Mt. Spokane (24-1) advances to face third-seeded Rainier Beach in a semifinal on Friday at 9 p.m.
Tyson Degenhart added 18 points and JT Smith had 17.
“I thought Jerry played very well offensively,” Mt. Spokane coach David Wagenblast said. “He was aggressive, and so was JT.”
It was tied at intermission at 30. Out of the break, Barrera make a strip-steal and fastbreak dunk, then Smith hit from 3 and Mt. Spokane used a 22-8 run in the third to take a 52-38 lead into the fourth.
Barrera, who is headed to Idaho for track and field, finished with 10 points – six on fastbreak dunks – with three steals and a block of a 3-point shot.
“He made a world of difference,” coach David Wagenblast said. “He really changed the game in the passing lanes. And it really jump-started us defensively.
“He got us out in transition which is where we got some easy points.”
Capital (21-5), the Sound Puget Sound champ, beat eighth-seeded West Seattle 48-41 in a first-round game on Wednesday. The Cougars were led by Lucas Bowser with 19 points and Chris Penner with 15.
Capital tried to take advantage of its size early in the game – forwards Brandin Riedel and Grant Erickson go 6-foot-7 and 6-6 respectively. Capital led 18-15 after one, with both big guys picking up buckets.
But Mt. Spokane’s bigs – Degenhart (6-7) and Tanner Brooks (6-5) – countered with their quickness and athleticism.
“They’re a strong team down low,” Degenhart said. “They run the high-low really well. I think we just got caught off-guard a little in the first half and I think we came back and did better in the second half.”
“We started to deny there better in the second half and it paid off on the defensive end.”
“It hurt when Tanner picked up his second foul in the first half,” Wagenblast said. “He’s a warrior on the inside. So we got outrebounded in the first half – and that’s a first.”
“They tried to push us around pretty good,” Brooks said, “but I think we’ve seen the weight room as much as they have.”
Brooks is headed to Idaho in the fall to play tight end and outside linebacker for the Vandals.
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