King Classic: Seattle Prep rocks Beach
Special to The Seattle Times
Not only was the game under the bright lights. It was a Metro League contest, as well.
The rivalry was doubly strong. Competitive juices were flowing and tempers were flaring.
Spencer Hawes, the 7-footer headed to the University of Washington, piled up 21 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots as sixth-ranked Seattle Prep got the best of 10th-ranked Rainier Beach 72-55 in a contest that was part of the King Classic on Saturday at KeyArena.
The Panthers (12-2 overall, 8-1 Metro) won a game both teams wanted badly and downed Rainier Beach (9-5, 7-2) for the third consecutive meeting. Prep pulled away by making 10 of 14 foul shots in the final 4 minutes, 9 seconds.
"There's bad blood, there's a chip on the shoulder in this game and that's what you want on the big stage," Hawes said. "This was a big-time league game and you've got to get these."
Jordan Bremond, a 6-1 senior guard, poured in a season-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Prep. Nico Fearn, 6-3 junior, supplied six assists and had the defensive assignment on Rainier Beach's Ryan Anderson, who finished with 18 points.
Earlier in the day, Hawes was flipping the television back and forth between the Huskies' basketball game at UCLA and the Seahawks' NFC playoff game.
"I thought we'd keep the good vibes going and make it three for three," Hawes said. "We were a little young last year and we had a new system. It could've pulled us apart and it kind of did.
"This year, we want to be family. This is the time last year where we started to lose it. Now, we want to play better and better."
The first half was filled with some fast-paced action and some controversy. Seattle Prep, which led 36-33 at halftime, benefited from a technical for Rainier Beach not having Devon Pickett's number in the official scorebook and netted six points from the possession with four free throws and a goaltending call.
Beach coach Mike Bethea protested that his book had Pickett's No. 31 and, since this was a home game moved to KeyArena, that it should be the official book. Neither the tournament's main book nor the Prep book had Pickett's number written in it.
Then, Prep coach Michael Kelly argued that Beach's Emeka Iweka be tossed for a hard foul — his third personal — on Jordan Wheeler on a breakaway. Wheeler slammed hard off the hardwood with 29 seconds left in the first half and left the game, but returned.
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