The bottled water tasted a little better Saturday night after the Renton boys defeated River Ridge (Lacey) 73-57 during the 2A Regional game at Tumwater High School. The bottled water flowed in the locker room over the heads of coaches and players in celebration as the Indians return to the state tournament for the first time since 2010.
Renton (23-2) had two goals, win and double team one of the state premier players; Brad Wallace (who averages 28.9 points a game). He finished the game with 14 points, shooting 4 of 17 from the field with several failed three point attempts.
“We knew coming in what Wallace was capable of doing and the numbers he could put up,” said head coach Rick Comer. “Our defense did a great job shutting down Wallace and (Kesean) Coleman. Wallace is a great player and we respect him for what he has done.”
Renton’s offense wasn’t in short supply either, led by Jonathan Patterson 20 points and teammate Lavelle Smith with 15. The duo fed off each other, often assisting in the other’s scoring drive.
The Indians led 29-24 at halftime with a fast-paced game that continued in the second half. Renton capitalized on River Ridge’s continued poor shooting, scoring only 10 points in the third. Justin Pienh had two big three pointers during a third quarter 10-0 run for Renton.
River Ridge got within 10 points in the fourth, but Renton free throws secured their victory.
Renton Assistant Coach Rashaad Powell told the team in the locker room “we punched our ticket, it’s not enough. We are just three wins away from being the 2013 state champs.” With those comments the traditional post game water celebration was underway.
“We had a great five days of practice,” said Powell. “The boys were focused and it showed.”
“It feels great to be back,” said Renton Head Coach Rick Comer who has led many teams to the tournament but looks for his first state title.
Other elite 8 teams: Burlington-Edison, Sequim, Clover Park,
Anacortes, Pullman, West Valley (Yakima), Lynden
Renton 19 20 18 16 – 73
River Ridge 17 17 10 13 – 57
Renton scorers – Jonathan Patterson 20, Lavelle Smith 15,
Donavon Saario 10, Jordan Holland 8, Zack Lee 7, Justin Pienh 6, Skykiel Milord 5, Aaron Johnson 2.
River Ridge scorers – Brad Wallace 14, Wesley Coats 12, Jonathon Roberts 8, Austin Parker 6, Kesean Coleman, Carson Price 6, Colby Schultz 5.