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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Boys state basketball: Mt. Spokane knocks off third-seeded Garfield; Freeman falls in opening round

Freeman has been one of the top teams in 1A all season, but if the Scotties are to contend for a trophy at state, they’ll have to come from a disadvantageous position to do so.

Hunter Ackerley hit three 3-pointers in overtime and fifth-seeded Seattle Academy (16-6) edged fourth-seeded Freeman (20-3) 68-65 in a State 1A opening-round game at West Valley High School on Saturday.

Freeman falls into an elimination game Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Yakima Valley SunDome. Seattle Academy advances to a quarterfinal on Thursday.

Alex McCleery-Brown led Seattle Academy with 25 points and Ackerley finished with 19. Colton Wells paced Freeman with 20 points, Micah Hodges and Tanner Goldsmith had 12 apiece and Finn LaPointe added 11 – including a long fallaway 3-pointer just before the fourth-quarter horn to send it to overtime.

In the extra session, Wells hit a turnaround and a hook shot to put Freeman up by three, but Ackerley answered with a 3. He added another 3 with 15.5 seconds to go for a four-point lead. It turned into a free-throw shooting contest at that point, and Ackerley made a pair with 3.9 seconds left for a three-point lead.

Freeman inbounded it to Vance Coyner, whose halfcourt heave at the buzzer went awry.

Tied at 48 with 40 seconds to play, Seattle’s Brown grabbed an offensive board, was fouled and made both free throws. Freeman found Wells on an inbounds play under the basket with 17 seconds left, but he was stripped and a foul sent Ackerley to the line, where he made both for a four-point lead.

Goldsmith hit a short jumper then Jalani Clemmons (14 points) made 1 of 2 at the line to restore a three-point lead with 6.4 seconds left. The long inbounds pass went to LaPointe in the front court, and his long off-balance 3-pointer swished to force overtime.


Mt. Spokane 74, Garfield 64: Nalu Vargas scored 17 points, Ryan Lafferty added 15 and the sixth-seeded Wildcats (20-4) beat the third-seeded Bulldogs (15-6) in an opening-round game at Bellevue College.

It was an impressive rebound after falling to North Central in the district championship game last week. 

“The kids were on the same page,” Mt. Spokane coach David Wagenblast said. “And the best thing that happens to you when you lose a game is it makes you go back and reevaluate and go, ‘Ok, we’ve got to get better in these areas.’ And so, you know, the best thing about having a chance to practice for a week is we got a lot better.”

Mt. Spokane built a 41-31 at halftime and came out on a quick 8-0 run, triggered by a pair of 3s by Vargas and two defensive steals to make a 49-31 lead at the 6:34 mark. Garfield chipped away down the stretch, getting the deficit to six points twice, but the Wildcats kept the Bulldogs at arm’s length and came away with the win.

Drew Rayment had 13 points and Bode Gardner added 12 for Mt. Spokane, which advances to a quarterfinal Thursday at 12:15 p.m. at Tacoma Dome.

“We looked in the mirror after our last game,” Wagenblast said. “We weren’t executing at a high enough level. And in this game, I thought we did a great job of just executing.”


Riverside 63, Bellevue Christian 52: Daniel Schnieder scored 19 points, Jake Graham had 18 and the 11th-seeded Rams (17-6) eliminated 14th-seeded Vikings (14-10) in an opening-round game at West Valley.

Riverside faces sixth-seeded Royal in an elimination game on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the SunDome.

King’s 43, Lakeside 25: The ninth-seeded Knights (16-8) eliminated the visiting 16th-seeded Eagles (11-14) in a first-round game at Shorewood High School.


Napavine 70, St. George’s 47: Karsen Denault scored 23 points and the second-seeded Tigers (23-0) beat the seventh-seeded Dragons (19-7) in an opening-round game at W.F. West HS.

Elden Pierce led St. George’s with 16 points. The Dragons face an elimination game Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Spokane Arena.

Northwest Christian 88, White Swan 51: Asher West scored 24 points, Avi West added 18 and the Crusaders (17-9) eliminated the Cougars (11-14) in an opening round game at Cheney HS in Chehalis.

NWC advances to an elimination game Wednesday at 9 p.m. at the Arena.

Wahkiakum 66, Liberty 53: The 12th-seeded Mules (19-6) eliminated the visiting 13th-seeded Lancers (14-12) in an opening-round game at W.F. West HS.


Wellpinit 58, Mossyrock 47: Grant Denison scored 16 points and Wellpinit (17-2) beat the Vikings (13-6) in an opening-round game at Cheney HS. Wellpinit advances to the quarterfinals on Thursday. Mossyrock will face Summit Classical Christian School in a loser-out game on Wednesday.

Muckleshoot Tribal 59, Wilbur-Creston-Keller 58: The eleventh-seeded Kings (19-6) eliminated the fourteenth-seeded visiting Wildcats (10-4) in an opening round game.