TACOMA, Wash. - No. 5 Seattle Prep vs. No. 2 Auburn
Maleek Arington scored seven of his team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter to help carry the No. 2-seed Auburn Trojans to a 45-34 victory over the Seattle Prep Panthers in the semifinals of the 3A boys state basketball tournament on Friday.
Trevon Blassingame added nine points, and Hansen Kaden and Tyrell Nichols each scored eight points to help the Trojans advance to Saturday's state championship game.
Auburn trailed 17-14 at halftime, but a strong third quarter effort gave them a comfortable lead. Nichols drove for a basket and followed it with a three-pointer on consecutive possessions to extend the Auburn lead to 31-23 headed to the fourth quarter.
A three-point play from Braeden Smith with 5:03 left cut the Auburn lead to six, 33-27. A pair of free throws from Christian King cut it to four with 4:20 remaining.
Seattle Prep wouldn't get any closer. Arington scored seven straight points for Auburn to push the lead back to nine, 40-31, with 2:16 left.
Smith led Seattle Prep with 11 points. Tyler Mrus added nine. King had seven.
No. 4 Rainier Beach vs. No. 7 Mount Spokane
DeMar Johnson scored 17 points, and Josh Conerly Jr. had 14 points and 13 rebounds to carry No. 4-seed Rainier Beach to a 53-50 victory over Mount Spokane in the 3A boys state semifinals on Friday night.
A dominant third quarter from the Vikings broke open what had been a close contest through halftime. Rainier Beach outscored the Wildcats 21-10 in the quarter to take a 43-35 lead. The Vikings scored seven of the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to push their advantage to 50-38.
Mount Spokane managed to cut into the lead down the stretch. Consecutive baskets from Xavier Kamalu-Vargas trimmed the lead to 52-48 with just 44 seconds remaining. Rainier Beach would miss four straight attempts from the free throw line to give the Wildcats a chance to close even further. Instead, turnovers on the ensuing possessions thwarted the comeback chance.
Maverick Sanders led the Wildcats with 16 points. Kamalu-Vargas had 13 and Ryan Laffery added 12.
Rainier Beach will face No. 2 Auburn on Saturday night for the 3A championship.
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