Erik Stevenson gave Wichita State University coach Gregg Marshall a good idea of what he’s getting next year Wednesday night in Lacey.
The three-star shooting guard from Timberline High School, who signed with the Shockers last month, put on a show in the second half at Saint Martin’s University to propel the Blazers to a 63-50 win over Class 3A South Sound Conference rival Capital.
Stevenson scored 19 of his game-high 28 points in the final two quarters, capping all scoring with a breakaway dunk just before time expired.
All while Marshall and one of his assistants watched from the stands alongside Stevenson’s longtime AAU coach Carl Howell.
“This is the first time I actually had butterflies since my freshman year against River Ridge — our first game,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson said Howell told him earlier in the day not to worry about Marshall being in attendance, but Stevenson decided he couldn’t lose in front of his future coach.
The atmosphere was big, Stevenson said, but he eventually settled in well.
Capital led, 31-25, at the break paced by forward Grant Erickson — who finished with a team-high 16 points — but the Blazers quickly regrouped.
Stevenson shook off his first-half jitters, opening the third quarter with six points, and leading Timberline on an 11-0 run to regain a lead they didn’t lose.
“That got the crowd into it,” Stevenson said. “It was our defense that picked it up. We win because of our defense.”
Stevenson hit a pair of 3-pointers to end the third quarter, and Timberline kept a steady three-possession lead from there.
The Blazers allowed just 19 points in the second half to keep Capital out of reach. The Cougars were averaging 70.5 points per game entering Wednesday’s contest.
Chris Penner, Capital’s leading scorer, pitched in 12 points while Dawson Landers added 10.
Timberline point guard Eli Morton finished with 13 points, and Hunter Campau had 11.
Timberline (5-0) visits crosstown rival North Thurston (6-0) in another battle of unbeatens Friday night, while Capital (4-1) hosts winless Yelm (0-5).
The two programs meet again at Capital on Jan. 19. Capital won both of last season’s meetings on its way to capturing the inaugural 3A SSC title.
“They’re a good team,” Stevenson said. “They share the ball, they shoot it (well). They play good defense, help defense. We’re looking forward to seeing them again.”
C – Layton 3, Penner 12, Landers 7, Stock 10, Riedel 2, Erickson 16
T – Rouse 6, Campau 11, Morton 13, Stevenson 28, Faalogo 5