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Spirited fight marks end of Falcons season
MARYSVILLE Big games from Tulalip Heritage juniors Lesjar McKinney and Antonio Johnson carried the Hawks to a decisive 67-52 victory Feb. 16 over the Masters Touch boys basketball team and ended the Falcons run for the state tournament.
Masters Touch assistant coach Mark Crawford said that although the team was disappointed to see the end of their season, he was proud of their effort against a highly touted team and improvement over the last season, which he credited to head coach Jim Underwood.
Were proud of them, we have four seniors, Crawford said. Last year we had three wins. This year we had 12 and made the playoffs. Im proud of the effort they made. We have a good core coming back. Were going to have a solid team next year.
About Tulalip, Crawford added, We know Tulalip is a tough team. Theyre ranked in the state and they have a lot of strengths. We knew we had to come out early and come out strong, and thats something we didnt do.
And indeed, the Hawks opened the game scoring its first 10 points. Masters Touch got on the board when junior forward Jon Enge hit a pair of free throws with 5:13 left in the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, Falcons senior center Nick Van Dam had a steal and hit a field goal, but McKinney quickly answered with the next seven points, including a big three-pointer near NBA range at 2:12 left, to bring the score to 19-4.
Though Tulalip went on to dominate Masters Touch the rest of the half on the way to a halftime score of 36-19, the Falcons showed their strength with a spirited third quarter in which they outscored the Hawks 17-14, playing an up-tempo game and closing several times within 10 points of Tulalip.
The second half became a virtual shootout between the games four high scorers: Johnson and McKinney combined for 24 of the Hawks 31 second-half points, while Enge and sophomore forward Jeff Kelly made another 24 of Masters Touchs 33 points in the same period.
In the end, despite a 12-0 run by the Falcons Kelly in the final minutes, Tulalip built too large a first-half lead for Masters Touch to overcome.
Tulalip began its regular season with two losses, but went on to win the subsequent 18 games. Tulalip coach Leon Enick partially attributed the Hawks narrow 74-72 loss to Lummi in the first playoff round to a bout of flu among four of his players. With a win over Lopez Feb. 17 at Cedarcrest Middle School, Tulalip takes the third Class 1B slot to the state tournament in Yakima.
At Cedarcrest M.S.
Tulalip 23 13 14 17 67
Masters Touch 10 9 17 16 52
Tulalip McKinney 29, Jones 6, Monsegur 2, Miller 3, Wasko 4, Johnson 21, Davis 2. Masters Touch Graber 2, Crawford 9, Enge 16, Van Dam 9, Schreiner 1, Kelly 15. 3-point goals McKinney 4, Crawford 3, Kelly 3. Records Tulalip 19-3, Masters Touch 12-8.
After pummeling Loipez Island 96-61, Feb. 17, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks will be heading to the state tournament this week at the SunDome in Yakima.
Led by Lesjar McKinneys game-high 37 points, the Hawks jumped out to a 10-point lead, 25-15, at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. The Hawks went into the locker room with a half-time lead of 58-34. In the third quarter the Hawks outscored Lopez Island 16-9 to enter the final quarter with a commanding 74-43 lead. It was more of the same in the fourth as the Hawks dropped in 22 points while LI added 18.
At Cedarcrest M.S.
Tulalip 25 33 16 22 96
Lopez Island 15 19 9 18 61
Tulalip Monsegur 10, Davis 5, Johnson 15, McKinney 37, Miller, 6, Reddey 8, Hatach 2, Wooster 2, Wasko 11. Lopez Island Samuel 2, Arps 8, Christopherson 9, Smith 20, Buffum 5, Potts 17. 3-point goals McKinney 4, Wasko 3, Monsegur 2, Reddey 2, Christopherson 1, Buffum 1, Potts 1. Records Tulalip Heritage 20-3 overall, Lopez Island 12-9.