The score was close until the third quarter.
Then Divante Moffitt found his rhythm and Spanaway Lake pulled away en route to a 70-47 victory over Capital in the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament quarterfinals at Olympia High School on Friday night.
Moffitt finished with 29 points and Isaiah Turner poured in 20 as the victory secured the Sentinels (16-6) their first state playoff berth since the 1984-85 season.
“We just had to match their energy and compose ourselves to get the win,” Moffitt said. “It’s huge. To turn that history around . . . for me to be a part of it is a blessing.”
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Spanaway Lake will face Wilson in the semifinals on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.
Sentinels coach Dominic Batten believes his team has the pieces to make more history.
“People saw that we can score and once we get locked in defensively, we’re a very tough team,” Batten said.
Spanaway Lake is an athletic team that loves to take advantage of opportunities caused by its disruptive defense.
Moffitt and Turner punished the Cougars on fastbreaks throughout the game, but especially in the third and fourth quarter. Turner had 12 points in the fourth quarter, most of them came from finishes at the rim.
Jordan Garner, who finished with 15 points, also came up big for the Sentinels, using his 6-foot-3 height to disrupt the Capital’s offense all night long.
The Cougars (19-3) were led by Chris Penner, who scored 15, and Matt Mickelson adding 13.
“This was the most athletic team we played all year and we knew that going in,” Capital head coach Brian Vandiver said. “They definitely imposed their will on us. We’ve got some things to clean up.”
The Cougars were down 26-21 with just a few seconds remaining before halftime.
But a 3-pointer right at the buzzer gave the Sentinels some extra momentum.
And in the third quarter, Moffitt began to have his way with Capital’s defense as he found ways to create space for close-range jump shots and layups.
Batten, for one, left Olympia’s gymnasium impressed with Moffitt.
“I believe he is one of the most underrated guards in the state of Washington,” he said.