BOTHELL — Josiah Gould looked up at the scoreboard one last time with a tear in his eye.
It still said the same thing: Mount Spokane 72, Marysville-Pilchuck 67.
The loss knocked the Tomahawks out of the state boys basketball playoffs. No trip to the Tacoma Dome this year.
That is sad news for Gould, one of only four seniors on the team.
Gould, one of the team’s leading scorers and ball handlers, tallied just 9 points. And the worst part was he fouled with less than a minute to play so he wasn’t on the court at the end.
The game could have gone either way, but M-P let it slip away from them. In a game so close, it’s the little things that mattered.
Two free throws by sophomore guard Luke Dobler pulled M-P to within 68-67 with 8.9 seconds left. But a turnover and four free throws clinched the game for the Wildcats.
Dobler started off the fourth period with a 3 to put M-P up for the last time at 52-51. Dobler stole the ball and passed to Gould off the fastbreak, then passed again inside to senior Corbin Sims to keep it close. Gould drove in for a score and the Tommies tallied four free throws to stay within a point. A huge play came when Cole Hattenburg missed two freebies for Mount Spokane, but Tyson Degenhart, a freshman, grabbed the second miss and laid in the putback shot to give the Wildcats are 66-62 lead with 56.8 seconds left.
RaeQuan Battle, M-P’s standout 6-5 junior guard, sank a 3, but that’s all M-P could score. Another huge play came when Wildcat Hattenburg missed two more free throws, but got his own rebound as Mount Spokane retained possession.
M-P Coach Bary Gould told The Herald in Everett that the Tommies aren’t used to such physicality.
“They were tough. Really, really physical,” he said. “The physicality of play was the difference. They are used to playing like that, because that is who they are, and we aren’t used to playing like that.”
Battle led the Northwest District champions with a game-high 30 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. He scored 14 of MP’s 16 second-quarter points, keeping the Tomahawks (19-5) close during critical moments with big shots. Kobe Baumann, another senior, added nine points.
Four Wildcats finished in double figures. Degenhart scored a team-high 21 points, Jerry Twenge recorded 18, JT Smith added 17 and Hattenburg scored 12.
Mount Spokane went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter and led 18-17 after the first quarter. Battle scored 14 second-quarter points, hitting on a three-point play, blocking a shot and sinking two freebies to tie it at halftime 33-33 after being down five.
The teams traded baskets in the third quarter, with the Wildcats eventually pulling away by two 51-49.
The Tomahawk guards and wings weren’t about to drive to the hoop as often and as successfully as usual against the taller Wildcats. But Battle and Gould hit from the outside and a block by Battle started a fastbreak with Baumann scoring at the other end.
Coach Gould was very proud of his team in the game and for the season.
“They are willing to do whatever they need to do. Once the dust settles, I think they will look back and think, ‘Man, we won nineteen games. We won a district championship.’ It’s a pretty special season,” he said.