The third-seeded Marysville-Pilchuck boys basketball team travelled to Shorewood High School to match up with the sixth seed, Kamiakin Braves, for the 3A Regionals on Feb. 29.
Kamiakin came out early using their size to score in the paint and outmuscling the Tomahawks on their way to a quick 7-4 lead. Marysville-Pilchuck began to make a few stops but couldn’t get open shots of their own as they struggled to shoot from beyond the arc. After allowing a few scored early, the Braves went on a tear through the rest of the quarter, outscoring the Tomahawks 13-4, ending the first up 20-8.
The second quarter was a completely different story, as Marysville-Pilchuck found themselves relying on their experience, drawing fouls and forcing turnovers to create opportunities. The Tomahawks were able to outscore the Braves 21-12 and shrink the lead down to 32-29 heading into the half.
Marysville-Pilchuck came out in the second half looking to go on a run of their own as they opened with a 6-2 run to gain their first lead of the game, 35-34. Kamiakin kept looking to go to the post but the Tomahawks started denying the easy shots from in close. Marysville-Pilchuck relied on their athleticism and ball movement to drive into the lane on their way to a 23-18 quarter and the 52-50 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
The Braves went back to using their length once again as they were able to cut along the baseline and take midrange shots for a 12-3 run before the Tomahawks were forced to call a time out. M-P wouldn’t allow the game to slip away as they battled back to a 63-61 deficit with two minutes left. After a few tough possessions they fell behind 66-63 with 18 seconds left. The Tomahawks’ senior Luke Dobler went to the line to hit three clutch free throws with eight seconds left to send the game into a 66-66 overtime. Unfortunately for Marysville-Pilchuck, both of their post players in Ethan Jackson and Aaron Kalab fouled out late in the game and the Braves were able to take advantage down low. In the end, Kamiakin was able to outscore the Tomahawks 15-5 and walked away with the 81-71 victory.
“We learned some things, got better and I was glad to see that we could make adjustments where we needed to, unfortunately we had a few calls that forced us to go small. We had two paths ahead of us coming into the game, one was ideal and the other was not, but this is the path we have to take. In life, when things are harder, typically the reward is better, so that’s how we’re going to take this,” said Marysville-Pilchuck Head Coach Bary Gould.
Luke Dobler had an incredible day as the Tomahawks' leading guard, dropping 27 points, four three-pointers and going nine for 11 at the free throw line. He also added on two assists and two rebounds.
The rest of the Tomahawks' lineup stepped up in big time situations and made plays when Dobler was out on foul trouble. Cameron Stordahl, senior forward, was the team’s second leading scorer with 17 points, two three-pointers, two rebounds, a block and a steal. Aaron Kalab, senior forward, was right behind him with 15 points, two three-pointers, two assists, a team-high 11 rebounds and a steal. Ethan Jackson, senior center, was a key playmaker as a big man with seven points, one three-pointer, five assists and three rebounds. At the point guard position Brady Phelps was all over the floor with five points, one three-pointer, seven assists, two rebounds and three steals.
After their loss in the Regionals, the Tomahawks will still be able to fight their way through the 3A Boys State Basketball Tournament held at the Tacoma Dome from March 4-7.