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3 Washington high school regional basketball games you should not have missed (2/23/2024)

North Central stunned No. 1 Auburn 60-54

AUBURN, Wash. - Eli Williams has made a few daggers in his basketball career at North Central.

None were bigger than the one he sank Friday night in the Class 3A boys basketball regional playoffs.

As the shot clock horn sounded, Williams' 27-foot heave from the left baseline hit nothing but net, and sparked the eighth-seeded Wolfpack to a 60-54 victory over No. 1 seed Auburn.


Williams finished with a game-high 21 points, but his 3-pointer is one that will be talked about for a long time.

With the Wolfpack up 52-51 with less than three minutes to go, the ball was knocked out of bounds with one second remaining on the shot clock.

North Central coach Robert Sacre motioned for his big men to get in rebounding position for a missed shot.

It wasn't needed.

"You just basically have got to throw it up and hope for the best," Williams said.

And 41 seconds later, North Central grabbed its largest lead, 57-51, on Makai Daniels' inside bucket with 2:04 to go.

At that point, the Wolfpack could feel it - especially after its height really made life difficult for the Trojans, especially standout Jaylen Petty, who had 18 points on 6-for-22 shooting.

"I think our length turned them (over)," Sacre said.

North Central trailed 46-44 entering the fourth quarter, but took the lead for good - 50-49 - on Gelonni Ervin’s basket with 6:07 to go.

Auburn cut it to 52-51 on Luvens Valcin easy layin at the 3:40 mark - all setting up Williams' dagger 3-pointer one minute later. 


3A BOYS REGIONALS: O'Dea 59, Mountlake Terrace 57

Malcolm Clark scored on a short bank shot just before time expired after a drive-and-dish from Brian Shannon as the fourth-seeded Irish (18-9) downed the fifth-seeded Hawks.

O’Dea advanced to Thursday’s 3A state quarterfinals at 9 a.m. in the Tacoma Dome. Mountlake Terrace (21-3) plays Wednesday in a loser-out, round-of-12 contest at 12:15 p.m. against the Beamer-Mount Vernon winner.

“We’ve been talking to the kids that against great teams like Mountlake Terrace execution is going to be the key,” O’Dea coach Jason Kerr said. “There’s no real secrets between the teams. My assistant coach Coach [Ryland] Brown is responsible for those late-game situations and I asked him if he wanted the timeout, and he actually looked at me and he says, ‘Don’t need the timeout. We’re going to go down, run this play and Malcolm’s going to score a layup and we’re outta here.’

“We went down and did exactly that.”

The Hawks’ Jaxon Dubiel was fouled on a 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds remaining with O’Dea leading 57-55. Dubiel made the first free throw, missed the second and made the third to knot the game at 57-57 to set up up the Shannon-to-Clark heroics on the inbounds play in backcourt.

A late third-quarter meltdown nearly cost O’Dea any last-second chances as the Irish fell into a nine-point hole, trailing 47-38 going into the fourth quarter.

“I was just proud of my kids and proud of my staff and it was just a great battle overall,” Kerr said.

Clark, a 6-foot-6 senior, led the Irish with 16 points and Brian Webster added 15. Dubiel led Mountlake Terrace with 21 points.


2A GIRLS REGIONALS: Archbishop Murphy 58, W.F. West 55

Junior Ava Marr powered through a foul to score the late go-ahead and eventual game-winning basket as the sixth-seeded Wildcats (20-5) upended the host Bearcats (20-4) in a regional game that saw 17 made 3-pointers.

Marr, who finished with 17 points, scored with 26 seconds left to give ATM a 56-55 lead and she was fouled, but failed to convert the free throw. Then, freshman teammate Ashley Fletcher was fouled in desperation by W.F. West with 11.2 seconds showing and Fletcher knocked down two free throws for a 58-55 edge.

The Bearcats had two shots to tie in the final seven seconds, but missed both.

W.F. West junior Julia Dalan, a 6-foot-3 center, led all scorers with 22 points and had six blocks. Dalan gave her team its last lead at 55-54 with 1:20 to go, but missed a corner 3-pointer short as time expired.

Sophomore Brooke Blachly led Archbishop Murphy with 21 points, all on seven three-pointers. The Wildcats converted 11 treys in the contest.

Archbishop Murphy moves on to the 2A state quarterfinals on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in the Yakima Valley SunDome. W.F. West drops into a loser-out, round-of-12 game on Wednesday in Yakima at 9 a.m.