BELLEVUE — Evergreen boys basketball coach Brett Henry hopes Saturday serves as a lesson to the Plainsmen going forward.
Evergreen’s road is not done yet, only made harder by a 77-54 loss to fourth-ranked Garfield in a 3A State Regional at Sammamish High School.
Garfield jumped on the Plainsmen from the start, and used a 28-0 second-quarter flurry to kill fifth-ranked Evergreen’s hope of its first state victory since 1999.
“It’s more than a run,” Henry joked. “They exerted their authority and guys just took the ball from us, pretty much. There was not much working.”
The second half served as a practice of sorts, a bizarre training session featuring three technical fouls and plenty of trash-talking. In the third quarter, in which Evergreen (20-4) controlled 22-8 to close the deficit to 23 points, the Plainsmen showed they could hang.
When they meet similarly talented squads at the Tacoma Dome next week, starting with Metro League’s Rainier Beach at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, that could prove vital.
“It was more about pride than anything,” Henry said. “Our guys are way too prideful to walk out of here getting our ass kicked.”
Mario Herring paced the Plainsmen with 16 points and 15 rebounds. He also had four assists and three blocks.
Getting the ball in his hands more often and in better spots will be key to success, Henry said.
“And we need to be stronger with the ball,” Henry added. “Two, three turnovers turned into eight real quick.”
The Plainsmen finished with 24 turnovers.
The good news is that 13th-ranked Rainier Beach, which survived Lincoln in overtime Saturday, doesn’t boast anyone of Cincinnati commit Tari Eason’s caliber. Eason scored 18 points, hauled in 12 rebounds and had six assists, six steals and five blocks. Pepperdine commit Kendall Munson added 16 points and seven rebounds for Garfield (22-4) on Saturday.
“Defensively, we figured some stuff out in the second half,” Henry said. The Bulldogs’ top duo combined for just nine points in the final 16 minutes.
The silver lining for Evergreen entering the Tacoma Dome is it sits on the opposite side of the bracket of the top four seeds: Eastside Catholic, Wilson, Marysville-Pilchuck and Garfield.
A meeting with Kamiakin awaits in Thursday’s quarterfinals with a win Wednesday.
GARFIELD 77, EVERGREEN 54
EVERGREEN (20-4) — Camren Smith 6, Izaac Romero 7, Zyell Griffin 7, Tyler Ricketts 2, Kiefer Lopez 3, Mario Herring 16, Peyton Albers 0, Joey Jack 0, Carter Monda 13. Totals 19-54 (7-23) 9-11 54.
GARFIELD (22-4) — Kendall Munson 16, Koren Johnson 12, Vatreyvon Garner 5, Davonte Allen 0, Devon Guidry 6, Tari Eason 18, Justin White 5, Jaylin Stewart 11, Yemoni Bradley-Howell 2, Jazel Jackson 2. Totals 31-73 (7-28) 8-17 77.
Evergreen 12 4 22 16—54
Garfield 22 31 8 16—77