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UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — Devin Whitten lost his favorite home Curtis High School basketball jersey.

It was on the team's holiday trip to California in December. The silky baby-blue No. 3 disappeared to live on a sandy beach somewhere.

"Coach (Tim Kelly) wasn't very happy," Whitten said.

The longtime coach might be OK with it now - Whitten has found his shooting stroke wearing his replacement No. 32.

The sophomore guard led five Vikings in double figures with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and fourth-ranked Curtis held off hard-charging No. 2 Union, 60-57, in the semifinals of the West Central/Southwest District tournament on Thursday night.

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At one point, the Titans rallied from 18 points down to take periodic leads in the second half - but needed a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.

And they got a great look with 1.8 seconds to go as Evan Eschels' sideline-to-sideline out-of-bounds pass found Union's top big man alone in the corner.

Yanni Fassillis' 3-point attempt at the buzzer spun out, and the Vikings survived. He still finished with a game-high 22 points.

"Yanni is around 50 percent (on 3-pointers)," Union coach Blake Conley said. "Honestly, we didn’t think he’d be as open as he was, but he got a great look. I liked the shot obviously we got. It just didn’t go in."

Union took its final lead, 51-50, on Jamison Limbrick's basket with 6:26 remaining, but the Vikings got back-to-back 3-pointers from Zoom Diallo and Whitten - then survived a wild final minute.

"We talked to them ... that it was going to come down to defense - getting stops and rebounds," Kelly said, "And we did a pretty good job of that."

Curtis will try and win its first district title since 2013 when it plays Tahoma on Saturday.


After clinching its first regional berth since 1981, the Tahoma boys are surging into state.

Carson Talbert scored a game-high 25 points, and his fallaway free-throw jump shot gave the Bears the lead for good — and sent them to their first district championship game in school history.

"It just feels great," Talbert said.

Talbert's shot put Tahoma up, 44-43, with 25 seconds to go.

Federal Way called timeout with 8.9 seconds remaining to set up a game-winning shot.

Wanting more time, Eagles coach Yattah Reed called another timeout to talk things over - and huddled up with his players.

But after a protest from the Tahoma bench, saying the Eagles were out of timeouts, the officiating crew came over to consult with the official scorer - and agreed.

Federal Way coaches immediately objected, arguing an earlier timeout was incorrectly charged to them - but to no avail. A technical foul was called on the Eagles, and Tahoma iced the game at the free-throw line.

The Bears (15-7) playing their best basketball of the season in mid-to-late February was head coach Rick Tripp's hope when he put together their grueling schedule. Six of their seven losses come to teams in the top eight of the WIAA's RPI formula — four in the top two.

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(Featured photo by Todd Milles)