Capital coach Doug Galloway wanted his players to play as though they trailed for four quarters Friday.
His team responded with four intense quarters in a 71-35 blowout win against Yelm on Friday in Western Cascade Conference boys basketball.
“We wanted to come out and treat this as a playoff game,” Galloway said. “I told them I wanted them to play like they were behind all four quarters.”
Capital finished regular-season play with a 19-1 record and repeated as conference champion.
“That’s the best record on any team I’ve been associated with, as a player or as a coach,” Galloway said. “I’m so proud of these kids.”
The last time these two met they were tied after three quarters. Then Capital went on a 28-4 run in the fourth quarter to pull away.
This time Capital left little doubt about the outcome. The Cougars jumped to leads of 17-8 after the first quarter, 31-21 at halftime and 54-28 after three quarters.
“I’m pleased to see how we played overall,” Galloway said.
Capital plays Bremerton on Feb. 22 in a seeding game for district. As league champions, both teams are guaranteed a spot in district.
Capital had three players score in double figures, led by Alex Williams’ 13.
Capital came in averaging 60.9 points and giving up 49.5 points a game. With Colin Bossio the lone returning starter from last season’s 20-win team, Capital has exceeded expectations.
“I’m impressed with how they’ve come together,” Galloway said. “I had a bunch of kids who hadn’t play a ton together. They bought into what we were doing and when you buy in you can be strong.”
Timberline 69, North Thurston 62: Trailing 53-45 going into the final quarter, Timberline exploded offensively to rally for a victory.
Timberline outscored the Rams 24-9 in the fourth quarter.
“We switched defenses and we stopped settling for jumpers,” Timberline coach Mike Tafoya said. “We were doing a horrible job of stopping them in transition.”
Forward Kole Podowicz led Timberline with 20 points and Tyler Brown added 15.
North Thurston trailed 13-6 after the first quarter and 28-25 at halftime. But the Rams got hot in the third quarter and outscored Timberline 28-17 to open its eight-point lead.
Timberline (11-9 overall, 5-4 Western Cascade) swept the three-game series with North Thurston. The Blazers play Olympic on Feb. 23 at home in a loser-out sub-district game.
Elma 65, Black Hills 61: Black Hills led by two points going into the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold off Eagles. Zeke Baxter led Black Hills with 15 points, and Anye Turner added 13.
Timberline 46, North Thurston 34: Timberline’s hustling defense held North Thurston to just 11 points in the first half and the Blazers continued to pull away in the second half.
Junior guard Camille Williams led Timberline with 14 points and sophomore guard Sasha Weber added 10.
“Our girls played tough defense,” Timberline coach Zandrea Edenstrom said. “Our philosophy is play defense and the offense will come. When they do, that’s when they win.”
Timberline (11-9) will play at Olympic or Bremerton on Feb. 23 in a loser-out sub-district game.
Capital 56, Yelm 43: With leading scorer Tosha Hollingsworth on the bench with three fouls for much of the first half, Capital struggled to halftime trailing 22-21.
But Hollingsworth finished with 25 points and Aria Goodman added 17 as the Cougars outscored Yelm 35-21 in the second half.
“I was happy with the way everyone stepped up when Tosha got into foul trouble,” Capital coach Colleen Wells said. “At halftime, I said it was zero-zero and we’re starting fresh. They just went out and did a great job.”
Capital (15-5, 8-1), which lost to Yelm by three points earlier, captured the Western Cascade Conference championship.
Katelyn Smith led Yelm with 20 points; Austin Schorno added 14.
Capital plays Port Angeles at home Feb. 23 in a sub-district game that is for district seeding.