Rainier Beach hits late shot to beat Eastside Catholic for 3A state title | Prep basketball news

The Crusaders fell two points short of the program's first state title.

Eastside Catholic took Rainier Beach to the brink and held them to their lowest point total of the year by a wide margin, but fell 47-45 in the 3A state title game.

The final eight minutes featured four ties and four lead changes, before a Djuan Piper bucket sealed a third straight 3A state title for Rainier Beach, which can also fulfill its invitation to a national showcase tournament in New York.

The Vikings went to the foul line 10 times in the fourth quarter, and turned that into only two points, and shot only 46 percent from the floor in the game.

The Crusaders scored the first seven points of the game before a pair of David Crisp three-pointers got the Vikings within a point. But Crisp picked up his second foul before four minutes had expired, and then was sent to the bench for the rest of the first half when he committed his third foul with two and a half minutes left in the opening stanza.

Rainier Beach used an 11-4 run to pull even at the end of the first at 11-11. The Vikings took their first lead at 13-11 on an Elijah Foster bucket with seven and a half minutes left in the second.

A scoreboard malfunction set off an extended timeout with three and a half minutes left in the second quarter, and after the delay, a deadball technical foul on the Vikings gave the Crusaders two points and the ball.

They translated that into two more points on two more free throws from Worthy, who went on a personal 6-0 run to put his team up three and scored 14 first half points.

A corner three-pointer from Max Hudgins and a runner in the lane from Worthy with the second quarter clock ticking away gave Eastside Catholic its largest first half lead at 26-21 at the break.

The Crusaders used a 12-5 advantage from the free throw line and 21-15 edge on the glass to build a first half lead, and only turned the ball over five times.

Louisville commit Shaqquan Aaron scored nine points in the first four minutes of the third quarter to stake Rainier Beach back to a two point advantage, and the lead was 35-33 headed into the final eight minutes.

Aaron finished with 22 to lead all scorers, and Crisp added 10 while playing only 13 minutes with foul trouble.

Worthy was the only Crusader in double figures with 21, including an 11-12 performance from the free throw line. Matisse Thybulle scored eight and Zach Wallin scored seven in his final prep contest.

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