Tourney MVP Davis leads Rainier Beach past Seattle Prep for title, 61-58 | 3A Boys
Rainier Beach junior Marquis Davis, the tournament MVP, scored 30 points and the Vikings held off a late charge by the top-ranked Panthers.
Seattle Times staff reporter
TACOMA — When the buzzer sounded, Marquis Davis jumped as high as he could and tugged on his jersey.
The Rainier Beach junior kept jumping.
He jumped until he hit Djuan Piper. He jumped until he landed in Fuquan Niles' arms. He jumped until Jordan King wrapped him in a hug and the rest of his teammates engulfed him at midcourt.
While the No. 3 Vikings celebrated their 61-58 victory over top-ranked Seattle Prep in the Class 3A boys basketball title game Saturday night, coach Mike Bethea walked toward the Rainier Beach crowd with one hand raised, one finger pointed toward the Tacoma Dome rafters.
His smile, and that one finger, told the whole story.
"Beach is back," Davis said. "We got our swag back."
The Vikings are back, because Davis put them on his early in the game.
"He was the biggest piece of the puzzle today, man," point guard Will Dorsey said.
The tournament MVP buried four three-pointers and scored 16 points in the first half to help the Vikings (27-3) take an 11-point lead after two quarters.
He scored 14 more in the second half. He played with an edge. He attacked with abandon. He played so well, Bethea placed Davis' performance among the most impressive he's seen through five Rainier Beach championships.
"That ranks right up there with one of the best," he said. "I'm talking about Rodrick (Stewart). I'm talking about Nate (Robinson). And he's only a junior."
For the second straight game, senior standout Anrio Adams was forced to cheer from the sideline after early foul trouble, but Davis kept attacking.
"Marquis was a blessing in disguise," said Adams, who scored seven points in his final high-school game. "All the pressure was on me and he stepped up and did what he was supposed to as the leader of this team. I was just another role player."
Davis set an example his teammates embraced. KeiWuan Miller dived for loose balls off the bench. Niles fired a perfect outlet pass to Dorsey for a first-half layup. Elijah Foster battled for position inside. Piper grabbed six rebounds despite foul trouble and, though he only played two minutes, Phillip Maxie drove for a layup to pad the lead.
"That just speaks to the depth of this team and the beauty of this whole team," Bethea said.
Seattle Prep standouts D.J. Fenner (26 points) and Mitch Brewe (19 points and 14 rebounds) kept the Panthers (24-6) in the game and led a late push, but Rainier Beach hung on.
"We had two goals: to be a team and win a state championship," Seattle Prep coach Mike Kelly said. "Without question, we became a team and played as a team. We fell short and ran out of time in the state championship."
After the game, Adams was the first player to climb the ladder and cut down a piece of the net. He said "it felt like the beginning."
For the Kansas-bound Adams, it is the start of a future his determination will dictate. But, with 10 players returning, it is also the beginning of what Rainier Beach expects to be a special run.
"This is the happiest I've ever been," Davis said. "We're No. 1 in state."
Like he said, Beach is back.
RAINIER BEACH — Djuan Piper 1-3 2-2 4, KeiWuan Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Naim Ladd 2-6 1-2 5, Will Dorsey 3-5 2-2 8, Elijah Foster 1-3 0-1 2, Marquis Davis 11-22 3-4 30, Anrio Adams 3-7 1-2 7, Phillip Maxie 1-1 0-0 2, Fuquan Niles 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 23-49 10-15 61.
SEATTLE PREP — Angelo Marchesini 0-1 2-2 2, Michael Phillips 2-4 0-0 4, D.J. Fenner 9-20 6-6 26, Laurence Hicks 0-0 0-0 0, Mitch Brewe 6-6 5-6 19, Josh Martin 2-5 0-4 4, Jackson Clough 1-2 1-4 3. Totals 20-49 14-22 58.
Three-point shooting — Rainier Beach 5-10 (Davis 5-9); Seattle Prep 4-10 (Brewe 2-3, Fenner 2-6). Rebounds — Rainier Beach 29 (Piper 6, Foster 6); Seattle Prep 36 (Brewe 14). Assists — Rainier Beach 9 (Dorsey 2, Adams 2); Seattle Prep 5 (Brewe 2). Steals — Rainier Beach 7 (Dorsey 2, Davis 2); Seattle Prep 5 (Phillips 3). Blocked shots — Rainier Beach 0; Seattle Prep 7 (Brewe 5).