Ballard, Garfield secure state berths | KingCo 4A Boys Basketball
Ballard held off Newport 50-46 and No. 1 Garfield raced past Skyline 62-34 in the KingCo tournament semifinals to claim state-tournament berths.
Special to The Seattle Times
KIRKLAND — Ballard's boys basketball players felt the frenzy, and it showed in their play initially.
Packed house. State berth riding on the outcome.
Plus, their opponent, Newport, came out with more energy from the start. But the Beavers didn't get swallowed up in the emotional tidal wave.
Led by the steady hands of guards Nick Onstad-Hawes and Brad Baker and the inside presence of 6-foot-4 Salim Gloyd, Ballard finally settled into stride and secured a 50-46 win Friday night at Juanita High School in a winner-to-state semifinal of the KingCo 4A Tournament.
The night ended with Ballard students storming the floor after the team qualified for state for the first time since 2002.
Gloyd supplied 15 points and 15 rebounds for Ballard (15-7), which faces Garfield next Friday in the KingCo championship game.
Newport, getting 11 points from Cole Wiper, raced in front 17-7 after the first 8 minutes, 30 seconds, but the Beavers just needed to settle in.
"The thing with Newport early on in the first three or four minutes, they looked quicker, bigger, faster, stronger than we did," said Ballard coach Billy Rodgers. "That was a little bit of a bad scenario, and it knocked us on our heels. We looked a little tentative.
"Offensively and defensively, we didn't look good. We took quick shots."
Then, something kept building slowly.
"(Newport) did come out with some energy, but we just started to get it down low to Salim," said Baker. "Ballard's not known for state berths, except in football, so the student body was pretty excited. They were behind us."
Ballard played without starter Seth Berger, a 6-6 forward, after he sprained an ankle in the first half of Tuesday's 71-57 win over Eastlake. Berger is Ballard's second-leading scorer (12.9 points per game) and second-leading rebounder.
Berger is expected back for the KingCo title game.
Newport (14-8) must win three games to qualify for state, starting with a loser-out game against Redmond (11-11) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Juanita.
Other semifinal (winner to state)
Garfield 62, Skyline 34
The top-ranked Bulldogs (20-3) blew the game open in the second quarter and will attempt to regain the KingCo title after last winning it in 2009.
Skyline (13-9), which lost to the Bulldogs for the second time this season, must win three games to qualify for state, starting with a loser-out game against Woodinville at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday at Juanita.
Both teams' leading scorers fouled out. Garfield's Tony Wroten Jr. picked up his fifth foul with 3:39 left and Skyline's Kasen Williams exiting with 2:30 remaining. Wroten led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Williams topped the Spartans with 10.