RENTON — Less than 24 hours after the Timberline Blazers’ victory over the No. 2-ranked team in Class 3A sent his team to the Tacoma Dome for the first time since 2004, coach Allen Thomas was still receiving congratulatory handshakes.
The party will be over today when the Blazers go to work preparing for Franklin, a Metro League member, which will be Timberline’s foe for a 3:45 p.m. tipoff Thursday, the opener of the Class 3A boys state basketball tournament.
As Thomas noted during Sunday’s state basketball draws at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association headquarters, the Blazers’ 56-55 win over Mercer Island on Saturday in the 3A regional was great, but that just makes Timberline one of eight teams remaining in pursuit of the state championship.
“We have to get back to reality really quick,” Thomas said.
It was at the WIAA office where the Blazers (16-9) learned their state quarterfinal opponent. Timberline, which will be the home team, was the first of the eight team names drawn.
Thomas said the Blazers and Quakers (17-9) match up well. Franklin will feature both speed and athleticism, led by Patrick Ball, a 6-foot-4 senior wing who averages 17.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
“They’re tough,” Thomas said. “They get up and down and attack the basket. Franklin is the real deal.”
Timberline is on the same side of the bracket as Rainier Beach and Seattle Prep, which are scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m., following the Timberline-Franklin game.
In the lower half of the bracket, 3A Narrows League-rival Lincoln will play Mountlake Terrace and University (Spokane) will face Lakeside of Seattle.
Speed was the first word River Ridge girls coach Jackie Robinson used to describe Burlington-Edison (20-3), his team’s foe at 7:15 p.m. Thursday’s in a 2A girls state quarterfinal at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
“We play similar styles,” Robinson said.
A victory by the Hawks (18-5) could mean Friday’s semifinal will be against top-ranked Mark Morris, a team that beat the Hawks, 60-48, in the 2A District IV semifinals after rallying to overcome River Ridge’s 18-point second-half lead.
The other 2A Evergreen Conference team in the 2A girls tournament, W.F. West (20-4), is in the opposite bracket, where it faces Cedarcrest (22-3) at 5:30 p.m.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick