BELLINGHAM - The Sehome boys' basketball team likes to play at a frenetic pace, but the Mariners may have run into a team that likes it just a little more on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the semifinal of the Class 2A Bi-District Tournament.
The Lake Washington Kangaroos lived up to their name, as they outran and out-gunned Sehome 72-56 in a fast-paced, high-energy game. Lake Washington had four starters score in double figures, led by 21 from Drew Heimdahl, though Kelly Guy was the star of the night with 16 points, six rebounds, eight assists, four steals and a blocked shot.
"I think the overall team quickness was something above anything we've seen before," Mariners coach A.J. LaBree said. "Obviously, we didn't adjust to it - I would say quick enough, but I don't think we adjusted to it all night."
With the loss, the Mariners (13-8) missed on their first opportunity to clinch their first trip to state since 2008, but they'll get a second chance at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, when they play Archbishop Murphy - a 79-63 winner over Cedarcrest on Tuesday - in a winner-to-state game at Mount Vernon.
"By winning the game against Sultan (on Saturday, Feb. 15), we knew we put ourselves in a space where we had to win one before we lost two," said LaBree, who claimed his 100th career victory in that game. "Now we've got to win one before we lose one, but I have faith in these guys. I know they're going to come out and play hard, and I think we'll put on a good show. This Lake Washington team, playing against competition like that does nothing but get you ready to play your next game."
Sehome entered the game knowing the Kangaroos (14-7) liked to run after they had three players score 20 or more points in a first-round win over Sedro-Woolley on Saturday.
LaBree said the Mariners were willing to push up the pace in the hopes that they could get into what Sehome thought was a relatively shallow bench.
"It actually didn't work out that way," LaBree said. "Their bench actually stepped up and played really well. They got in a little bit of foul trouble, but their other guys stepped up."
Junior 6-foot-7 reserve post Austin Glenn stepped up in a big way, scoring eight points to go with his game-high 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
But even his night couldn't compare to the effort turned in by Guy, who was seemingly everywhere in the first half, when he recorded six of his eight assists and scored nine points.
Guy wasn't the only Kangaroo slinging the ball around the court at will, though, as Neema Hodaie - the only Lake Washington starter not to score in double figures - recorded six assists to help the Kangaroos finish with an impressive 23 dishes on 29 field goals made.
"That's one thing you notice, is they always had four or five guys out there that could just flat out pass it and handle it," LaBree said. "I think my guys were trying to do the right thing; we were just a step slower tonight. They were a more experienced bunch, and I think that showed."
Lake Washington was just as aggressive on the other end of the court, recording seven steals and forcing 18 Sehome turnovers, allowing the Kangaroos to jump out to a 24-15 lead after the first quarter and keep stretching it from there.
In addition to the pressure, Lake Washington also did a nice job of neutralizing Leif Anderson after he scored 30 points in Sehome's first-round win on Saturday.
"They just face guarded him," LaBree said of Lake Washington defensive approach to Anderson, who scored seven points. "They were playing man, but they paid a little more attention to Leif, being physical with him. Nothing he hasn't seen before."
Tanner Clark led the Mariners with 13 points and also had a nice game distributing the ball, as he recorded eight assists. Duncan James scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half, and Elijah Andrushenko came off the bench to record 10 points.
Eight Sehome players recorded at least one steal, led by two from Evan Miksovsky, who had six points and six rebounds before fouling out in the fourth.
"One thing I know about these guys is they'll get over this," LaBree said. "They're going to come back and fight their tails off and try to beat whoever it is we have to play in the next game.
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
LAKE WASHINGTON 72, SEHOME 56
Lake Washington 24 16 16 16 - 72
Sehome 15 15 11 15 - 56
Lake Washington: Wonjun Im 10, Jeff Staudacher 15, Neema Hodaie 2, Drew Heimdahl 21, Kelly Guy 16, Austin Davis 0, Austin Glenn 8, Sahil Basra 0. Team totals: 29-56 8-15 72.
Sehome: Evan Miksovsky 6, Langston Engle 1, Elijah Andrushenko 10, Sam Carroll 0, Leif Anderson 7, Duncan James 12, Marcus Montag 2, Tanner Clark 12, Leighton Kingma 5. Team totals: 22-61 7-15 56.
3-ptg: Lake Washington 5 (Staudacher 3), Sehome 4 (Anderson 2). Rebounds: Lake Washington 36 (Glenn 11), Sehome 30 (Miksovsky 6). Assists: Lake Washington 23 (Guy 8), Sehome 12 (Clark 8). Fouls: Lake Washington 17, Sehome 16 (Miksovsky fouled out). Turnovers: Lake Washington 13, Sehome 18.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.