None of Dave Mastin’s players knew the details of the tie-breaking scenario.
All the Capital boys basketball team knew was it involved scoring differential against playoff teams.
Mastin kept it a secret, figuring his squad had enough to focus on — like knocking off Evergreen Conference champion W.F. West in the regular season finale — not worrying about whether the point spread was wide enough.
So when Keenan Williams finished with 16 points, Justin Rudd and Jared Eidenmuller each added 14 points, they didn’t know if their 62-49 victory over the visiting Bearcats on Tuesday would be enough to secure a second place ranking ahead of River Ridge.
Mastin divulged the magic number to his players after the
Capital had won by the necessary 7 points and wrapped up second place and with it a home game in the first round of the district playoffs.
“I didn’t tell them they had to win by seven. I just let them play,” said first-year Capital coach Mastin. “I was eyeing that scoreboard towards the end.”
Capital (13-7 overall, 8-4 EvCo) has won four straight and seven out of its last eight games.
The Cougars will play host to Hockinson (10-9) in the first round of the Southwest District IV tournament on Saturday.
“It’s huge for us getting a home game,” Mastin said. “There was great energy tonight. The students packed the gym. The kids came out fired up. We expect that type of environment on Saturday.”
W.F. West (16-5, 10-2) will play host to fifth-seed Tumwater (6-13), while third-seed River Ridge, the defending district champion, travels to play Washougal.
Capital opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, holding W.F. West scoreless for 51/2 minutes en route to a 58-42 lead.
The Cougars’ 10-of-29 shooting from behind the 3-point line included four by Eidenmuller and three by Rudd.
“When we attack and play up-tempo style we are a very good team,” Mastin said. “We want to play fast, but under control. We had very few lapses tonight.”
Capital led, 33-22, at the half, getting 14 points from Rudd and 10 from Williams.
Williams set the offensive tone early for the Cougars, draining a 3-pointer on Capital’s first possession.
Rudd hit back-to-back 3s as the Cougars opened the game 3 for 6 from beyond the arc, leading to a quick 16-6 advantage.
Capital fired up 12 shots from long range in the first quarter, connecting on four attempts.
The Cougars cooled off in the second quarter — missing 4 of 5 from 3-point territory — but still managed to extend their lead, using a 12-2 run to post their largest lead of first half at 33-20.
Trei Cline scored 10 of his team-high 13 points in the third quarter for the Bearcats.
Capital also received 12 points from Mat Cox.
River Ridge 74, Tumwater 59: River Ridge will be the third seed into the 2A Southwest District IV tournament despite its victory over Tumwater in the teams’ 2A Evergreen Conference boys basketball regular-season finale.
Brad Wallace led all scorers with 27 points for the Hawks, who will travel to play Washougal (14-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Tumwater (6-13) already locked up the fifth playoff seed last week and will face EvCo regular-season champion W.F. West at 8 p.m. Saturday in Chehalis. Jon Lathrop led the T-Birds with 12 points.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: 1A DISTRICT IV PLAY-INS
Rainier 43, Stevenson 29: Kelsey Eygabroad had 11 points and Kelli Brown and Ashley Honaker had 10 points apiece in the Mountaineers’ win. Rainier (11-10) will face undefeated Castle Rock (20-0) at 8 p.m. Friday at R.A. Long to open the 1A District IV tournament.
Rochester 49, Kalama 39: Keeli Demers had a game-high 15 points to lead the Warriors to their 1A district play-in victory. Rochester (14-7) will face Woodland (18-2) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at R.A. Long.Staff writer Meg Wochnick contributed to this report. Follow South Sound high school sports by reading Meg Wochnick’s blog at theolympian.com/southsoundsports.