By Meg Wochnick
TUMWATER The one possession, the one play, the one moment River Ridge coach John Barbee hoped would put his Hawks back on track never happened.
An opponent with similar speed and athleticism as the Hawks, the No. 2-ranked Renton Indians did everything in their power to slow River Ridges offense down and that starts with containing one of the states top players in senior guard Brad Wallace.
It worked as the Indians ended River Ridges season in the 2A boys regional game at Tumwater High School with a 73-57 victory over the Hawks Saturday night.
The Indians (23-2) advance to the final eight teams of the 2A state tournament next week at the Yakima SunDome, while the Hawks (17-7) saw their 14-game winning streak end, and their season end at the same spot it did a season ago one win away from a trip to Yakima.
The Hawks didnt have an answer for Jonathan Patterson, the Seamount Leagues MVP, and Lavelle Smith, who combined for 35 points and 21 rebounds. Patterson had 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, getting all of his buckets 5 feet and in, as Renton took a 39-34 halftime lead in the fast-paced game.
Rentons scrappiness led to put backs and extra possessions off loose balls. Its defense swarmed Wallace at every opportunity with two and, at times, three players surrounding him. In spite of the Hawks trying to set screens for Wallace to get him free, he still had trouble getting good looks at the basket. The result was 4-for-17 shooting for a team-high 14 points, far below his 28 points-per-game average.
Thats good coaching (by Renton), and thats also show a lot of respect for a good player, Barbee said. Nothing was easy.
After six points in the first quarter, Wallace went without a field goal in the second and third quarters as Rentons largest lead bloomed to 57-41 inside a minute left in the third quarter. His 3-pointer on the Hawks first possession of the fourth snapped that draught, which pulled the deficit to 10 at 57-47 with 7:48 left in the game.
The Hawks got as close as 62-55 with 2:41 left after a bucket by Wesley Coats, who finished with 12 points, but a much-needed final push never happened. Jonathan Roberts had eight and three players Austin Parker, Kesean Coleman and Carson Prince helped pick up the scoring slack with six points apiece.
The Hawks shot 21 of 56 from the floor, including 4 of 21 from 3-point range.
A lot of shots just weren't falling, Coats said. ... We were doing some uncharacteristic things and they took advantage of it.
Barbee said the Hawks havent faced a team as athletic and quick since its season opener against Class 4A Federal Way.
Their athleticism is going to cause a lot of problems (in Yakima), he said.
Anacortes 58, Mark Morris 49: 2A Greater St. Helens League MVP Tanner Bill cut Anacortes lead to three at 50-47 with 2:05 left in the game, but the Seahawks ended the game on an 8-2 run to head to the Yakima SunDome as one of the final eight teams of the 2A state tournament.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473
Renton 73, River Ridge 57
Ren: 19 20 18 16 -- 73 RR: 17 17 10 13 -- 57 Renton: Patterson 20, Smith 15, Saario 10, Holland 8, Lee 7, Pienh 6, Milord 6, Johnson 2
River Ridge: Wallace 14, Coats 12, Roberts 8, Parker 6, Coleman 6, Prince 6, Schultz 5