Darious Powell doesn’t count his 3-point shots. He just makes them.
The elusive junior’s seven for 9 3-point accuracy, including three in a row in both the first and third quarters, and 23 points were among several sparking numbers in Squalicum’s 81-51 win over Anacortes in the opening round of the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“I’m not sure if that’s my season high for 3s,” Powell said, but several coaches and players said it was. “Actually, I felt our defense sparked our offense.”
Numbers have been big for the Storm (18-3), which enjoyed its 16th game with 70 or more points.
“Coach (Dave) Dickson told us to play with joy and leave no doubts. And we all did play with joy,” said senior guard Josiah Westbrook, who had game highs of 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Junior point guard Damek Mitchell passed with his usual precision and shot eight for nine for 18 points.
“Powell just found ways to get himself open,“ said Mitchell, who loves passing to his longtime backcourt buddy. “And it felt like we played our best defense of the year to take their will away.”
The Storm shot brilliantly over the first three quarters, making 23 of 38 attempts with wise shot selection.
“It really was a great defensive effort,” said Dickson, whose team limited the Seahawks to 28 shot attempts in the first three quarters. “But what struck me was how well our second string prepared our first string in practice.”
The reserves and crowd exploded when big sophomore backup frontliner Kendall Engelhart made his first varsity 3.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
… Powell’s seventh 3-pointer doubled the score at 58-29.
THE MUSCLE UP FRONT
The Storm’s primary big guys -- Creighton Kaui, Giovanni Melley and Ben Wolters -- limited the Seahawks up front after 6-4 Anacortes standout David Rodriguez scored 8 of his 10 points in the opening quarter. He was the only double-figure scorer for the Seahawks, who made 12 of those 28 shots through the first three quarters.
Squalicum will try to clinch a state regional berth Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. at Mount Vernon in the district semifinals when the Storm faces Archbishop Murphy (14-7), a 76-52 winner over Granite Falls (5-16). Anacortes (14-7) will play Granite Falls in a loser-out game.
Squalicum 81, Anacortes 51
Anacortes: David Rodriguez 10, Derek Vance 6, Trystan Lowry 8, Jacob South 9, Camden McLaughlin 0, Tyler Blouin 0, Jesse Keltner 4, Eli Moore 4, Coleman Peterson 2, Evan Rodriguez 3, Payton Beaner 5. Total: 51.
Squalicum: Darious Powell 23, Damek Mitchell 18, Josiah Westbrook 17, Creighton Kaui 3, Giovanni Melley 6, Josh Vail 0, Ben Wolters 4, Simran Parmar 3, Noah Westerhoff 3, Karampal Dulay 0, Connor Sage 1, Kendall Engelhart 3. Total: 81.