The 15th seeded Marysville Getchell boys basketball team travelled to Puyallup High School to take on the 10th seed, Mt. Tahoma T-Birds, in the 3A Regionals on Feb. 28.
Mt. Tahoma came out relying on their size and strength in the paint as they ran up a 6-0 lead over the first two minutes. After falling behind early, the Chargers began to settle down and were able to go on a 6-3 run to bring them within three with four minutes left. Over the rest of the quarter both teams began to trade baskets as the T-Birds held on to their three-point lead heading into the second, 15-12.
Marysville Getchell opened the second quarter on a 5-0 lead and claimed their first lead of the game, 17-15. They continued to keep the score close as the T-Birds reclaimed a lead, 25-24, with a couple of minutes left before the half. The Chargers refused to coast into halftime, as they forced late turnovers and went on a 7-0 run to enter the second half up 31-25.
Coming out in the second half the T-Birds and Chargers fought hard on both ends, not allowing an easy shot on either side. Marysville Getchell forced a handful of turnovers and relied on their ball movement to create open shots in the midrange. After battling against each other the Chargers were able to slightly increase their lead, 42-35, entering the fourth quarter.
Mt. Tahoma slowly began to close the gap throughout the final quarter as they brought it to within four, 48-44, with 3:34 left on the clock. Marysville Getchell stayed consistent from the line and maintained a slight lead through the last few minutes. The T-Birds kept closing in and were able to give themselves one last shot to earn overtime as they had five seconds left on the clock, down by three. After T-Birds missed a shot from nearly half court, the Chargers were able to walk off the floor with the 54-51 victory. This will be the first trip to the State Tournament in school history for the Marysville Getchell boys basketball program.
“These kids have been working hard since day one and they really deserve it. I am so proud of them with how they played against a really good athletic team. They’re just learning, getting better and have been getting better with every game all season. We’re going to enjoy this moment, but we believe that we can compete with anyone in the state,” said Marysville Getchell Head Coach Corby Schuh.
The Chargers were led by their trio of juniors in Malakhi Knight, Josiah Koellmer and Austin Townsend. Knight, shooting guard, led the team with 21 points and two three-pointers while filling his stat sheet with three assists, nine rebounds, two blocks and five steals. Koellmer, point guard, used his speed to score 13 points, hit one three-pointer and tallied three assists. Townsend, forward, also scored 13 points and hit one three-pointer while adding on seven rebounds, one block and three steals.
Alex Owens and Landyn Olson played their roles and were key pieces on the way to the win. Owens, junior guard, came off the bench to show off his playmaking with four points, four assists, a rebound and two steals. Olson, junior forward, filled his stat line with two points, one assist, two rebounds, one block and three steals.
The Chargers will be looking to continue their postseason run at the Tacoma Dome as they compete in the 3A Boys State Basketball Tournament held from March 4-7.