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Friday, March 9, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Tigers Reach Semis On New Battleground

TACOMA - Same place, different class, different roof.

Battle Ground, which lost to Garfield in the semifinals of the state Class AAA boys' basketball tournament a year ago, advanced once again to the semis yesterday.

But instead of playing at the Seattle Center Coliseum and among the state's best AAA teams as last season, the Tigers tonight will take on Sehome under the wooden spans of the Tacoma Dome in the AA boys' tournament. Declining enrollment dropped the Tigers to Class AA.

Battle Ground (22-2), ranked No. 3 in the final state Class AA poll, beat second-ranked O'Dea 84-77 in overtime, in the first game of the yesterday's quarterfinals.

``It's the competition that makes a tournament exciting,'' Battle Ground Coach Butch Blue said when asked about the difference between last year's Class AAA tourney and this year's AA field. ``I think being in the tournament is the key. I don't think the level of the tournament is key. You just want to get into the top division.''

The Tigers will play the Sehome Mariners tonight at 7:30.

The exit of the Irish from championship contention means that for the first time since 1987, when Mark Morris beat Olympia 68-57, a Seattle Metro League school will not contend for the state title.

Meanwhile, top-ranked Enumclaw (25-0), denied a chance at a state tournament last year after leading the polls, played with a vengeance against Bainbridge to cruise into the semifinals, where they will play Tim Caviezel and the Mount Vernon Bulldogs (22-3) tonight at 8:30.

The Hornets broke a first-quarter 17-17 tie with 28-10 run in the second and went on to an 86-61 victory.

Mount Vernon held off Eastmont's bid for a second-consecutive upset, turning back the Wildcats 62-54.

Enumclaw Coach Bill Hawk said he would have to look at ways to stop the 6-foot-7, University of Washington-bound Caviezel.

``We've played some really good individual players this season and we've gone after the team,'' he said. ``But they weren't his level of player. Having a guy that tall and that talented is tough. There isn't anything offensively that he can't do.''

Battle Ground 84, O'Dea 77

-- ``We came here knowing we could beat anybody,'' Blue said. ``We also knew O'Dea was one of the toughest teams in the state. What were they ranked, No. 2 for a long time? You come here and you do your best to reach your goal. It's only four days, what else are you going to do?

``Between the excitement of the tournament and the excitement of playing a team like O'Dea, when it looks like you aren't going to reach your goal, you start feeling despair. Then all of a sudden, that despair dissipates and you're feeling pure exhilaration.''

A 52-point second half against a team such as O'Dea is enough to exhilarate a team. Converting a tournament-record 44 of 55 free throws will do it as well. Battle Ground did both.

``Fifty-five free throws? Give me a break,'' O'Dea Coach Lou Hobson said. ``This is the second time in three years that we've had that kind of a situation. The calls didn't go with us. One of these days we're going to be good enough that we can win in spite of it.

``The difference in this game was the difference between a blocking call and a charge.''

O'Dea built a 45-32 first-half lead, but Blue made two halftime changes, reinforcing two basketball fundamentals.

First, he asked his players to be more aggressive picking up the ball. In the first half, O'Dea had been able to use its quick hands to cause numerous turnovers. By taking better care of the ball, the Tigers changed first-half turnovers into foul calls as the Irish slapped skin instead of leather.

Second, he told his players, ``For goodness sake, when they send you to the free-throw line, make your shots.''

DaWaun Miller, a 6-foot-2 junior forward who does not have the lower half of his left arm, got the Tigers over the top in the third quarter. Miller drilled a pair of three-point field goals and contributed a key steal in the O'Dea backcourt, passing the ball to Josh Behrens, running full-speed toward the hoop for an easy layup in the waning seconds of the period that cut the Irish lead to two.

Behrens, who scored all 25 of his points in the second half, tied the game with a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining and the Tigers won the contest from the free-throw line in the extra period, hitting 8 of 10 shots.

Joe Malloy, who hit 4 of 9 three-point attempts, scored 23 to lead O'Dea. Matt Bollinger added 21.

O'DEA (77) - Bollinger 21, Peterson 2, Thornton 2, Gold 2, Monahan 7, Lang 14, Yock, Malloy 23, Knirk 6, Hall.

BATTLE GROUND (84) - Blue 10, Tharp 4, Behrens 25, Hoseney 17, Brotherton 18, Steigman 1, Miller 9, Frahm.

O'Dea 16 29 11 18 3- 77

B.Ground 13 19 22 20 10- 84

Enumclaw 86, Bainbridge 61

-- There were 80 seconds remaining in the first quarter of their quarterfinal game and Daric Ronngren, a 6-foot-4 Enumclaw forward, was covering Eric Wirth, Bainbridge's 6-5 forward, on the wing. Wirth was forced to pick up his dribble and Ronngren moved in for the kill.

Frustrated, Wirth tried to pass back to the point, but Ronngren, relishing the head-on confrontation, snared the pass as it left Wirth's fingertips and went the length of the floor for a lay-up.

In your face.

The Hornets played as if they took the game's match-up as a personal affront, never backing down from a chance to sting Bainbridge.

``That's the kind of defense that I coach,'' Hawk said. ``The kids like to play that man-to-man pressure. They take pride in it.''

That Bainbridge (21-4) converted 52 percent of its field goals in the first half is a testament to the quality of its offensive game.

But as if in a game of one-upsmanship, the Hornets blistered the nets in the first two quarters - hitting 80 percent from the field, including 4-for-4 from three-point range. They ``cooled off'' in the second half, knocking down 52 percent.

``It's been tough all year - we've been a target for every team we've played,'' Hawk said, referring to Enumclaw's No. 1 ranking most of the season. ``All year long we've played up to that pressure. Last year we didn't play up to the pressure and we lost. I think the ranking has been more of a positive this year than it's been a negative.''

Last year, also ranked No. 1 and unbeaten going into the district tournament, Enumclaw lost in the Sea-King Tournament - the tournament that produced the top three finishers at state.

ENUMCLAW (86) - K.C. Callero 6, McLaren, Pope 9, Muhic 17, Basteyns, M. Callero 12, Behrbaum 4, Smith 2, Heeter 6, Ronngren 12, Tinney 18.

BAINBRIDGE (61) - C. Blair, J. Blair, Middleton 25, Watson, Haley, Green 3, Fisher 1, Milliren, Wirth 14, Halligan 6, Croker 12.

Enumclaw 17 28 22 19-86

Bainbridge 17 10 16 18-61

Sehome 59, Pullman 44

-- Jeff Ragsdale, a 6-3 senior for Sehome (19-6), turned in his second consecutive double-figures scoring performance to lead his Mariner teammates into the semifinals.

Ragsdale hit 3 of 9 three-point tries, collecting 13 points, to lead the Mariners past Washington Wednesday. Yesterday he hit 3 of 7 from long range and collected 15 points.

``We were really pumped up because we played terrible Wednesday,'' Ragsdale said. ``Once we get a lead, we play with all the confidence in the world.''

Shooting just 35 percent in their win over Washington, Sehome came back to convert 55 percent of their field-goal attempts - 64 percent in the second half.

The biggest difference in the offensive performance for Sehome, however, was the return to form of Jon Kinloch, the team's leading scorer during the regular season, who scored a game-high 23 points.

SEHOME (59) - Ragsdale 15, Gustafson 7, Frank 6, Kinloch 23, Kiracofe 8, Spink.

PULLMAN (44) - Woolard 6, Mumford, McFaul 8, Marthe 11, Johnson 15, Pierce 2, Fairbanks 2.

Sehome 11 14 17 17-59

Pullman 13 6 10 15-44

Mount Vernon 62, Eastmont 54

-- Mount Vernon didn't worry about putting points on the board. Coach Mac Fraser sent the Bulldogs out to do three things - block out, rebound and play defense.

Those three things were enough.

``You don't have a lot of time to prepare for these games,'' Fraser said. ``You have to just go back to just being good, fundamental basketball players.''

The Bulldogs got three fouls on 6-6 junior Jason Sherrill, Eastmont's leading scorer, in the first quarter and Sherrill fouled out two minutes into the second half.

With Sherrill on the bench, sophomore Corey VanLith, the hero of the Wildcats' win over Mark Morris Wednesday, took charge of the game and had Eastmont within four points late in the game, but the crucial shots would not fall this time.

``This was a tough loss for the kids,'' Eastmont Coach Bob West said. ``I think it would have been a different game if we'd had Jason.''

Caviezel led Mount Vernon with 16 points for the second straight night. Kirk Duffy added 13 and Bill Cornelius contributed 11.

EASTMONT (54) - VanLith 20, Culp, Visser 1, Schmitten 8, Lambert 16, Worley 3, Soule 2, Preston 4, Sherrill.

MOUNT VERNON (62) - Caviezel 16, Bertelsen, Pedroza, Gamble 6, Cornelius 11, Holmes 6, Hendrickson 8, Hickman 2, Wallberg, Loree, Duffy 13.

Eastmont 15 15 9 15-54

Mount Vernon 16 12 18 16-62

Consolation games

WOODWAY (54) - Brubaker 3, McGuire 10, Chappell 6, Rogers 13, Campbell, LaFon, Litwiller 16, Storm 6.

MOUNT RAINIER (40) - Russell, Mikel, Glenn 4, Mooney 2, Hawkins 5, Clements 2, Kostelecky 5, Carter, Hurn 4, Cartwriht 10, Watkins 8.

Woodway 9 16 16 13-54

Mount Rainier 9 9 10 12-40

WASHINGTON (66) - McWright 12, Davies, Rivera 15, Hirsch, Rogers 12, Curtis 2, Hoseth 8, Cole 15, Nicholson, Doehring, Owens 2.

SUNNYSIDE (39) - Reyes, Coder, Schutt 11, Liefke 2, Chambers 5, DeVos 4, Hart, Coder 2, Usher 8, Lanctot, Greene 7.

Washington 9 14 24 19-66

Sunnyside 8 9 11 11-39

MARK MORRIS (71) - Lundt 7, Liepa 4, Blondin, Landers, E. Stokes 17, J. Stokes 21, Fowler 22.

CLEVELAND (83) - Brown 26, Page, Mattson 2, Winston 11, Johnson 13, McCrey 6, Crump 10, McKinley, Wright 15.

Mark Morris 22 11 24 14-71

Cleveland 18 24 17 24-83

CHEHALIS (44) - Klovdahl 7, Tornow 13, Fechtner 4, Pearson, D. Pope 8, O'Dell, S. Pope 10, Panush 2.

LAKESIDE (56) - Larson, Schanno, L. Stone 2, R. Stone 5, Finley, Kombrink 9, Kirkpatrick 6, Christofilis 9, Bond 5, Dickinson 16, O'Donnell 4.

Chehalis 11 4 7 22-44

Lakeside 11 12 13 20-56

-----------------------------------------------------------------

AA BOYS / Tacoma Dome

YESTERDAY'S GAMES ;

;

9: Woodway 54, Mount Rainier 40.;

;

10: Washington 66, Sunnyside 39.;

;

11: Battle Ground 84, O'Dea 77, OT.;

;

12: Sehome 59, Pullman 44.;

;

13: Cleveland 83, Mark Morris 71.;

;

14: Mount Vernon 62, Eastmont 54.;

;

15: Enumclaw 86, Bainbridge 61.;

;

16: Lakeside 56, Chehalis 44.;

;

;

TODAY'S GAMES;

17: Woodway (12-13) vs. Washington (22-5), loser out, 9:30 a.m.;

;

18: O'Dea (24-3) vs. Pullman (25-3), loser out, 11 a.m.;

;

19: Cleveland (18-10) vs. Lakeside (20-6), loser out, 2 p.m.;

;

20: Eastmont (19-6) vs. Bainbridge (21-4), loser out, 3:30 p.m.;

;

21: Battle Ground (22-2) vs. Sehome (19-6), semifinal, 7:30 p.m.;

;

22: Enumclaw (26-0) vs. Mount Vernon (22-3), semifinal, 9 p.m.

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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