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1A state basketball: La Center boys cruise to semifinals with 68-45 win over Connell

Avery Seter scored game-high 28 points

By , Columbian Staff Writer
Published:
3 Photos
La Center's Avery Seter (12), grabs an errant pass before taking a shot against Connell's Austin Smith (13), during the WIAA 1A boys state tournament on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. The La Center Wildcats defeated the Connell Eagles 68-45.
La Center's Avery Seter (12), grabs an errant pass before taking a shot against Connell's Austin Smith (13), during the WIAA 1A boys state tournament on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. The La Center Wildcats defeated the Connell Eagles 68-45. (TJ Mullinax/for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

La Center is headed to the 1A state semifinals.

Avery Seter scored 28 points as the Wildcats cruised to a 68-45 win over 8-seeded Connell in the 1A state quarterfinals in the Yakima Valley SunDome on Thursday evening.

The Wildcats outscored Connell 43-22 over the second and third quarters to take a commanding lead into the fourth that went unchallenged.

La Center, which has now won 10 straight dating back to mid-January, will play 3-seeded Zillah on Friday at 9 p.m. The Wildcats have won every game in the postseason by double-digits.

Seter: “Our defense”

(via @col_mrice) pic.twitter.com/IH2CaL6QFr

— Andy Buhler (@AndyBuhler) March 1, 2019

Three La Center players scored in double figures, including Hunter Ecklund (13 points) and Matt Bryant (10 points).

But on Thursday night, Seter did most of the heavy lifting on offense.

Seter, a first team all-1A Trico League selection, scored seven of his 16 first half points in the second quarter as the Wildcats found enough of a rhythm to build an eight-point lead at the break.

His night was far from over.

The senior finished a transition bucket after a euro step to put the Wildcats up 13 with 6:29 left in the third. A driving layup off the glass by Seter pushed the lead to 19 late in the third, and Connell was never able to recover.

He also had four steals, which he credited as helping jump-start the Wildcats on offense.

“We got a lot of steals and that led us into fast breaks and we got easy layups there,” Seter said. “Once you get momentum going, shots start falling, it’s easy after that”

La Center led by as many as 29 points in the fourth.

Connell, which shot 31.4 percent from the field and 14.8 percent from 3 (4 of 27), was led by Silas Chase’s 11 points. Chase was the only Eagles player to score in double figures.

The Wildcats’ win came just hours after top-seeded Lynden was ousted from the title hunt in a 23-point loss to 10-seed King’s.

“Everybody can get knocked out at some point,” Seter said. “Every team is good, so you’ve got to give it your best every night, hopefully you win.”

Micah Rice contributed to this report.

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Columbian Staff Writer