The Marysville-Pilchuck boys basketball team battled with the Shorecrest Scots at Everett Community College as they looked to take the 3A District One Championship for the third year in a row on Feb. 22
The Tomahawks came out on a commanding 6-0 start before the Scots answered back with a run of their own, forcing a 6-6 tie with 2:04 off the clock. Both teams continued to keep up the pace and worked to find space in order to drive or shoot from the corner. Marysville-Pilchuck was able to use their switch defense to their advantage as they slightly outscored Shorecrest 22-17 entering the second quarter. Through the rest of the first half both teams began to slow down and focus on the defensive side of the ball. The Tomahawks denied the post and took away the length of the Scots inside the paint while forcing them to shoot from beyond the arc. Marysville-Pilchuck slightly outscored Shorecrest yet again, ending the first half up 34-26.
Marysville-Pilchuck came out of halftime on fire as they went on a 16-4 run over the first 5:17 of the third quarter. With an explosive output on offense and the ability to defend every position on defense, the Tomahawks worked their way into a 56-37 lead heading into the final quarter. With a huge lead in the fourth, Marysville-Pilchuck began to slow down the pace and rely on their smart play to restrict Shorecrest’s chance to mount a comeback. The Scots battled to close the gap and managed to outscore the Tomahawks for the first time in the night with an 18-12 quarter. However, it was not enough as Marysville-Pilchuck took the victory 68-55 and claimed their third straight District Championship.
“We’ve been playing together for years and it is special to be able to display that bond we have on the court with how we play. It took a team effort all season and tonight was just my night. I’m grateful to go back to State. We’ll get prepared and hopefully we can get a couple of games,” said Tomahawks’ forward Aaron Kalab.
Kalab was dominate, inside and outside, all night as he held the game-high in points with 26 and two three-pointers made. He also led the team with seven rebounds and tied for the team-high in assists with five.
“The thing that has been separating us all year is our defense, and the effort you put in on defense is a choice you make. You can be the best shooter in the world but sometimes they don’t fall, defense is what will take us where we want to go. Our players give us the ability to play position-less basketball and it’s special to have guys that can defend anywhere,” said Marysville-Pilchuck Head Coach Bary Gould.
The Tomahawks senior starting five of Ethan Jackson, Cameron Stordahl, Brady Phelps and Luke Dobler showed up to play like they have all season. Jackson, center, showed off his versatility as he scored 13 points, one three-pointer, an assist, three rebounds and two blocks. Stordahl, forward, missed a few minutes in the second half after taking a hard fall but still managed to drop nine points, one three-pointer, three assists, four rebounds and a block. Phelps, guard, matched Stordahl’s scoring output with nine points, one three-pointer and went two-for-two at the line along with four assists, five rebounds and a steal. Dobler, guard, operated as a stat sheet stuffer as he finished with eight points, one three-pointer, five assists, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
The Tomahawks haven’t lost a game since Dec. 30, and will look to continue that streak, as they travel to Jackson High School to take on the Kamiakin Braves in the 3A Regionals on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 2 p.m.