YAKIMA – Pullman kept its drive for a second straight State 2A boys basketball title alive Thursday afternoon, struggling but eventually subduing a gritty Mark Morris squad 52-40 at the SunDome.
The Greyhounds (21-2) will play Anacortes in the semifinals tonight at 7:15. The contest is a rematch of the 2013 title game, won by Pullman 44-39 and will be the third year in a row the teams have played each other at state.
The Greyhounds led by as many as nine points early in the second quarter, but Mark Morris battled back to cut the deficit to five at the half.
Two quick baskets by the Monarchs in the third period evened the score at 23 and a lay-in by Jared Bartleson gave the Monarchs a lead for the first time since the first period at 27-25.
Pullman took a time out at that point and coach Craig Brantner tried to focus his team’s attention on working its offense past one option and getting better shots.
Mark Morris took a 30-27 lead on a long 3-pointer a bit later, but A.J. Miles countered with a 3-pointer for Pullman and the Greyhounds never trailed again.
“They did a great job of defending some of our sets,” Brantner said. “We wanted Race (Martin) to face the basket to take away the double team and once we started setting picks, we did okay.”
Martin, a senior post player for the Greyhounds, finished with 16 points after struggling in the first half. Point guard David Ungerer was the other Pullman player in double-figures scoring with 10 points.
Lake Washington 52, Clarkston 48: An epic Bantam comeback fell just short in the quarterfinals.
After Lake Washington closed the first half with a 14-0 run to take a 38-19 halftime lead, the Bantams kept chipping away until they ran out of clock and tumbled into the consolation bracket.
Trevon Allen’s three-point play with 21.4 seconds left cut the deficit to 49-48, but Clarkston couldn’t get over the hump.
Kage Sobotta’s 14 points led Clarkston.
Clarkston will play Hockinson in the consolation bracket at 2 p.m. today. A win would move them to the fourth-place game on Saturday.