Published February 16, 2013
Balanced Blazers stun Lancers to gain semisGRANT CLARK
TACOMA — Still think Timberline is a one-man show? Yes, the Blazers have junior guard Donaven Dorsey, whose play has high-profile college coaches drooling. But if Timberline was going to make a deep playoff run, it also needed the low-post toughness of Elijah Sanders, the quickness of Brandell Evans, and the perimeter shooting of Tyler Gartner. It got all of that, plus a little more against top-seeded Lakes. Evans scored a team-high 17 points, Dorsey overcame some early offensive struggles to chip in 16, and Timberline beat the Lancers, 56-52, in the second round of the 3A West Central District boys basketball tournament Friday night at Franklin Pierce High School. “It’s unbelievable,” Timberline coach Allen Thomas said. “We are 32 minutes away from playing for a district championships. And to do this with a freshman point guard in Brandon Brown, who hit some huge shots down the stretch for us, and a sophomore guard in Brandell is unbelievable.” The Blazers (14-8) advance to the district semifinals, where they will play Foss at 8 p.m. today. Timberline is 0-2 this season against its Narrows League 3A rivals and will have to play today without Sanders, who was ejected in the third quarter against Lakes after being whistled for his second technical foul. “It’s unfortunate we have to play Foss without Elijah,” Thomas said. “But the guys will come to battle tomorrow. They fight for their seniors.” Regardless of the outcome, Timberline has already earned a trip to the regional round of the state tournament, securing no less than the district’s No. 4 seed. It marks the Blazers’ first state appearance since 2004. “It was a total team effort tonight,” Thomas said. “This team has grown so much since the start of the season. They’re now confident in their roles, and it showed tonight.” Dorsey didn’t hit a field goal until 51/2 minutes remained in the first half. His first bucket, however, doubled Lakes up at 22-11 as Sanders and Evans picked up the scoring slack. Dorsey came alive in the second half, scoring 10 points and helping the Blazers to a 50-35 lead with 51/2 minutes left. Back charged the Lancers behind Jordan Johnson, who led all scorers with 18 points, and Terrell Toney, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half. Lakes cut the deficit to 55-52 with 1.5 seconds to play. Dorsey hit the front end of a one-and-one before deliberately missing the second attempt to run out the clock and send the Blazers to the next round. Timberline closed out the first quarter on a 10-2 run to post a 15-8 lead then took its largest lead of the first half – 24-11 – on a Sanders dunk with just under 4 minutes remaining in the second quarter.