A victory that fell short

Boys basketball state tournament

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A victory that fell short

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The Renton High School boy’s basketball team fell short at this year’s annual state tournament, the Hardwood Classic. Renton had an overall successful season, winning more games than they lost, and had many exciting moments leading to them qualifying for the Hardwood Classic.

The Renton boy’s basketball team was victorious against their first opponent in the Hardwood Classic, the Pullman Greyhounds (Pullman, WA). Assistant coach Rashaad Powell spoke on how the team played against Pullman, saying “We played a great defensive game, everybody was very engaged, played hard, and had selfless attitudes.”

Members of the Renton boy’s basketball team expressed mix feelings, including being nervous playing in the new and large environment offered by the Hardwood Classic.  Renton boy’s basketball team captain, Senior Deondre Russ said “It was good and fun, a lot of people doubted us, but we made it (to the Hardwood Classic).”

Their win against Pullman led them to advance to play Mark Morris Monarchs (Longview, WA) in the quarter final game of the Hardwood Classic. Renton entered the game with the intention of winning and focus on stopping the Monarchs’ leading scorers, the Berger brothers, who are twins, and each average 17 point per game. The primary responsibility defensively to stop the Berger brothers was assigned to Seniors Malik Coats and Romero Otero.

Malik stated “Our goal was to get them out the game.”

Renton led and controlled the majority of the game, until the final seconds of the fourth quarter. Coach Powell said “We played well, it came down to the last ten seconds of the game, and we didn’t make a defensive rotation on the last play.”

Renton had one last opportunity, as they were down by one point with three seconds remaining, and needing to go to the other end of the court to score. Senior Jaden Locke received the inbound pass, took two dribbles, and attempted a half-court shot that fell short.

Although Renton led the majority of the game, they fell short to the Monarchs, losing by one point.

Although Renton lost to Mark Morris, they advanced to play a consolation game against the Columbia River Chieftains (Vancouver, WA). Renton trailed by six points to the Chieftains at halftime, but would eventually lose to Columbia River by double digits. Renton concluded their season with an overall record of 21-7 (14-0 in league), won the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 2A Sound Division League Championship for a second year in a row, and finished their season as one of the top 10 2A teams in Washington State.

Seniors Malik Coats, Jaloni Garner, and Deondre Russ earned first team all-league awards and Seniors Jaden Locke, Romero Otero, and Junior Damarco Williams earned honorable mention all-league awards.