Before he led the Class 3A team to the court Saturday evening, Timberline High School coach Allen Thomas made a bet with his players.
He suggested none would throw down a dunk over the tallest high school basketball player in Washington.
Both the 4A and 3A rosters at the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association all-state game included some of the most talented, athletic seniors in the state.
The 4A team happened to feature Richland’s Riley Sorn, a 7-foot-4 center with multiple Division I offers. Sorn blocked several shots throughout the contest, which the 4A team eventually won, 138-124, at Curtis High School.
But, one player on the 3A squad — a player Thomas has coached for the past four seasons — beat the coach’s challenge.
“I told him I was going to get it,” Timberline senior Erik Stevenson said. “I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but it happened.”
In the game’s closing seconds, Stevenson snagged a pass in the corner, and charged toward the hoop.
“I saw Riley take a step out, so I was like, alright, I have to go try this,” Stevenson said.
He lifted off from the ground, with Sorn in front of him, and stuffed the ball over the rim to roaring cheers.
The 3A bench emptied, surrounding the Wichita State signee, while Thomas jumped up from his chair in disbelief.
“I never thought he would be the guy to do it,” Thomas said. “I thought it would be Kevin (Porter) or Emmitt (Matthews) or (Philip) Pepple.
“But he always does stuff like this. You don’t think he can do it, then he just comes out of nowhere. ... He looked like he shot out of a rocket.”
Sorn, who played AAU ball with Stevenson during the summer, said he thought his opponents might try to go over the top of him during the game.
“I didn’t know it would be by Erik, but I knew I would get dunked on today,” Sorn said. “My goal was to get in and block all of the shots I could. I’m glad it was by Erik. ... It was cool it was him.”
Stevenson’s slam highlighted several throughout the contest, which saw 13 players reach double figures.
“I got to coach some of the guys I really admired watching as a coach, whether I was scouting them or just seeing them at the state tournament over the past four years,” Thomas said. “It was fun.”
Stevenson finished with 13 points, including two dunks.
“This one is more laid back,” said Stevenson, who will play in another All-Star game in April. “Just have fun, come out here and try to get some dunks and make some shots.”
Before heading to Kansas, Stevenson will play in the Northwest Shootout — a game that features the top players from Washington and Oregon — on April 14 in Portland.
“The Washington-Oregon game, that’s going to be a serious game,” he said. “We’re going to go down there and prove a point that Washington has the better hoopers.”