Timberline High School regrouped from a rough stretch holiday stretch — during which the Blazers lost three of their last four games — by routing Gig Harbor, 71-41, Wednesday night in Lacey.
Wichitia State signee Erik Stevenson scored a game-high 31 points for the Blazers, who used their persistent press to create turnovers, and help them pull away early.
Stevenson, a 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard, who is averaging 26.7 points per game this season, had several steals that led to transition baskets, including a trio of dunks.
“We played better defense, got back in transition,” he said. “That’s what blew the game open was our transition. Defensive pressure led to easy buckets — dunks, layups.”
Timberline coach Allen Thomas said the Blazers have been tinkering with the press during practice, and decided it was time to deploy the adjustments in a game.
The outcome was plenty impressive. Timberline allowed just four points in the second quarter, carried a 29-17 lead into halftime, and continued to build from there.
“We made some adjustments, tried throwing in the press, forced them to work harder and came out with a good result,” Thomas said.
Timberline scored 28 points in the third quarter to increase its lead to 30 points, and pulled out its starters.
The Blazers also returned veteran point guard Eli Morton, a senior, who was absent during Timberline’s holiday tournament appearance in University Place last month.
Morton and Cole Hicks each contributed six points for the Blazers, while Conner Warick added seven.
Ben Hollenbeck led Gig Harbor with 12 points, and Kaden Garnaas had 11.
Timberline (8-3) hosts Shelton at 7 p.m. Friday. The program will honor Stevenson, who is now its all-time leading scorer with 1,438 career points (16.3 career average).
GH – Davis 2, Hollenbeck 12, Talent 2, Porter 4, Toglia 4, Parrish 6, Garnaas 11
T – Rouse 2, Campau 5, Morton 6, Stevenson 31, Hicks 6, Joubert 5, Warick 7, Faalogo 2, Jones 5, Iyall 2