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M-P secures leagues No. 2
MARYSVILLE After taking care of their own business, dispatching Oak Harbor 59-32 on Senior Night, Feb. 7, the M-P boys basketball team gathered in the locker room to learn its fate.
After several weeks of intense competition with Monroe, Lake Stevens and Stanwood for the three playoff spots behind league-leading Snohomish, the regular season had finally ended. With game after game a must-win for each team, it all came down to the last game of the season.
With a win over Snohomish, Monroe would lock up the leagues No. 2 seed and a home game to open the playoffs. With a loss, Monroe would be out and M-P the leagues second seed.
The players gathered in the coaches office around backup guard Tyler Holm, who was connected by text message to a friend at the game. As guys trickled out of the shower, they were informed of the overtime score 55-53, Snohomish ball with 26 seconds left.
Whos up? wondered coach Bary Gould.
Minutes passed and players passed through, checking the score and heading to the fieldhouse to greet family and friends.
When the result finally came through Holms phone, a cheer arose before the score Snohomish won 56-55. The Tommies would host their first playoff game Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Number two, I cant believe it, Gould said after hearing the result. Weve been number two three years in a row, but I dont think people thought we could do it without (Division I freshmen) Jared (Stohl) and Nathan (Lozeau).
In a game full of thrilling three-pointers, perhaps the most crucial one of the evening was a three-point play made by Snohomishs Clayton Johnson to win, ensuring M-P wouldnt open the playoffs on the road.
In a nod to the seniors on their final home game of the regular season, seniors and reliable bench players Joey Kelly and Brandon Greene started against Oak Harbor.
Kelly, who specializes in shooting threes, had a big first quarter with the teams first two scores and a third trey for a nine-point game. As if rising to his teammates challenge, senior big man Taylor Stevens had three threes as well, leading the team with 16 points. The seniors were joined by junior Nick Sorianos two more in the fourth quarter.
M-P put a comfortable distance between themselves and the Wildcats right away, building a 12-0 lead before Oak Harbors Robert Brooks ended the shutout with three minutes left in the first quarter. By the middle of the second quarter, the Tomahawks had a 20-point cushion they scarcely relinquished.
As the Tomahawks enter the postseason, Gould hopes to build on the leadership of three of his seniors. Citing the leadership of Colin Thomason on defense and captain Stevens on offense, Gould added that senior guard Blake Scheller has played some great basketball in recent games.
With 12 assists, Blake Scheller showed a ton of poise. We left him in with three JV kids, Gould added. He just ran traffic and ran the show.
The Tomahawks will host Wesco Souths number three team Feb. 13.
At M-P H.S.
M-P 17 14 11 17 59
Oak Harbor 4 5 16 7 32
M-P Soriano 8, Kelly 9, Scheller 5, Lanphere 2, Thomason 2, Lovell 5, Forsythe 6, Stevens 16, Greene 6. Oak Harbor Haley 2, Howard 2, Brooks 7, Rumble 8, Stout 2, McCardle 11. 3-point goals Kelly 3, Stevens 3, Soriano 2, McCardle 3, Brooks 1. Records M-P 13-7 overall, 11-5 in conference. Oak Harbor 4-17, 3-13.