YAKIMA — The Port Townsend boys basketball team finally dug a hole it
couldn’t get itself out of at the Class 1A state tournament.
The Redskins, who had overcome eight- and 17-point deficits on the way
to their second straight state semifinal, fell short of their first
championship game appearance in 16 years, losing 48-31 to King’s at the
Yakima Valley SunDome on Friday night.
“We missed a lot of shots,” Port Townsend coach John Stroeder said.
“They are a good team. I give them credit. They beat us, but it wasn’t
like we were going up against [last year’s 2A semifinal opponent]
Burlington-Edison. We had a really legitimate shot to get to the finals.
“I don’t know, I think the substitution [pattern] wasn’t good enough.
The guys were just spent again.”
The loss drops Port Townsend (22-4 overall) into the third-place game
for the second year in a row against Bellevue Christian (19-7) today, Saturday, at
“We still got another game left,” Stroeder said. “Third place would be
History repeated itself on the third day just as it had the previous two
for the Redskins.
Just like last year, they rallied from big deficits to advance two days
in a row, with the final win coming in overtime late Thursday night. And
just like last year, the Redskins ran out of gas against a top flight
opponent in the semis, unable to overcome a 25-15 halftime deficit in a
Stroeder attempted fell on the sword afterward, blaming himself for the
“We were tired,” Stroeder said. “When you get in the state tournament
you’ve got to play your bench. You’re playing three straight days in a
row. They work so hard, and we were playing six, seven guys is all.
You’ve got to play more guys than that. You’ve got to give those guy a
break once in a while, but I didn’t do it.”
Three of his players — Joe Aase, Walker Wilson and Parker McClelland —
were in the top four in minutes played in the tournament going into
They still managed to jump out to a 13-9 lead midway through the first
quarter against King’s (20-8), sparked by seven of McClelland’s
team-high 14 points.
Yet no sooner than the Redskins took the lead that King’s responded with
a 10-0 run to close out the quarter. Knights sharpshooter Ryan Hoff
scored eight of his game-high 16 points during the surge, including a
pair of his six 3-pointers, for a 19-13 lead.
“We weren’t playing defense like we should have [against Hoff],”
Stroeder said. “We were trying to go under [screens]. You can’t do that,
he’s too good.”
Port Townsend flamed out in the second and third quarters when the tempo
slowed down, scoring only eight points as King’s built a 35-21 lead
heading into the fourth.
“They played really smart,” Stroeder said of the Knights. “The same
things happened to us last year when we played Burlington-Edison. We had
the lead in the first quarter, after that it was all downhill from
there. It’s almost the same scenario.”
The Redskins would cut the lead down to 10 at 39-29 after Dakotah Pine
scored a 3-point play with a little less than four minutes to go, but
they would score only two points the rest of the way.
“They are just a tough team,” McClelland said. “They are used to playing
in big games and winning at the state tournament and it shows. They did
a really good job on defense, threw us all out of sorts. We couldn’t
really get any good shots, and we couldn’t make them when we did get
them because we were so flustered.”
Port Townsend hit just 27.8 percent of its shots (10-of-36) from the
field, including just 1-of-5 from long distance.
McClelland, who scored 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the Redskins’ miraculous comeback win
the night before, was limited to 5-of-15 by the Knights’ constant double
“I’m really happy with how my kids defended today,” King’s coach Bill
Liley said. “[McClelland] was the focus of our whole gameplan, was
making sure we could stop him and stop Dakotah Pine, who is one of the
quickest guards out there, from getting in the lane.”
The Knights also negated what had been a strong point for Port Townsend
early in the tournament, out-rebounding the Redskins 33-22. Prior to
Friday night, Port Townsend had the best rebounding percentage (61) in
“They were just flying around,” Stroeder said. “It’s tough to make up
when they are getting that many shots and we’re only getting one shot
[every time down the court].”
Pine had seven points and three assists for Port Townsend, despite
battling foul trouble. Wilson, who had been a revelation the past few
weeks for Port Townsend with his increased production, was limited to
two points and three rebounds in limited action and eventually fouled
out with 6:20 left in the game.
King’s 48, Port Townsend 31
King’s 19 6 10 13 — 48
Port Townsend 13 2 6 10 — 31
Berg 7, Hardy 3, Brugger 8, Hoff 16, Talbot 3, Mar 7, Clocksin 4.
Port Townsend (31)
Pine 7, Aase 2, McClelland 14, Solvik 4, Dodd 2, Wilson 2.