YAKIMA – Corey Langerveld needed an address book. Or a GPS. Google Maps. Something.
Langerveld not only couldn’t find the zone – the cliche location that every elite athlete wants to permanently reside in – in the first six quarters of Pullman’s two State 2A boys basketball tournament games at the SunDome, he didn’t even know its address.
But the 6-foot-6 senior located it and camped out there in the second half against Renton, scoring 11 key points on Friday as the Greyhounds (26-1) slipped past an athletic Renton squad, 51-41, to advance to tonight’s title game.
The title-game appearance is Pullman’s third. The Hounds have finished second twice.
A smiling Langerveld said once he hit his first 3-pointer – on Pullman’s second possession of the second half – that he relaxed.
“The same thing happened last year,” he said. “ I played soft then and in the first half tonight I really struggled. That first 3 got me back on track.”
But his first points, off a nifty reverse layup that came after he scooped up a loose ball on the baseline, seemed to energize his teammates. In short order, Pullman had the lead at 35-30, and the Greyhounds never trailed again.
The only man happier to see those two shots than Langerveld was his coach, Craig Brantner, who had managed to keep his Greyhounds close to a hyper-athletic Renton squad despite just two points from his normal 21-point-a-game scorer.
“Big players come up big at big times,” Brantner said. “We changed what we were doing for him in the second half. Running him off those screens made a difference.”
David Ungerer tied Langerveld as Pullman’s high scorer with 13.
The inside play of Race Martin also was a difference-maker. The 6-foot-4 junior had 10 points and nine rebounds.
West Valley 34, Burlington-Edison 32: Erin Higbie’s putback of an offensive rebound with 1 second remaining lifted the Eagles into today’s 4th-6th-place game. Higbie led the Eagles with 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, 11 in the second half. Jenae Martin had 14 points for West Valley.