TACOMA — The Skyview boys basketball team isn’t going to remember that Friday’s 20-point loss to Olympia was its worst loss of the 2019-20 season.
What the Storm will remember, especially the senior class, is making program history.
Before this week, no Skyview boys basketball team played in the Tacoma Dome for the Hardwood Classic twice in their careers.
That is, until this senior class. Two years ago, Skyview earned its first state trophy in boys basketball, placing sixth in 2018.
It’s an expectation senior Kyle Gruhler, a sophomore on that 2018 team, and others hope carries on past this season.
“Hopefully, we set the standard that Skyview is not an outsider,” said Gruhler after Skyview’s 75-55 loss Friday to the Bears in the fourth-place semifinals of the 4A state tournament. “We’re one of those teams that we’re going to be able to compete in the Tacoma Dome. It sucks we lost this year, but that’s OK. We’ll be able to come back next year with the next team.
“Skyview is one of the top teams in the state.”
The Storm’s season ended Friday at 19-11 to a red-hot shooting Olympia team from start to finish.
The Bears, which also beat Skyview, 55-51, at the bi-district tournament two weeks ago, shot a sizzing 70.2 percent from the floor — a 4A state tournament record — hitting 33 of 47 field goals. Three Bears reached double figures in scoring behind Ethan Gahm’s 20 points.
“They took it to us,” head coach Matt Gruhler said.
Kyle Gruhler said Thursday’s heartbreaking defeat to Central Valley had an impact on the Storm Friday.
After seven lead changes the first quarter, Olympia took the lead for good at 14-12 as part of a 12-2 scoring run to end the quarter. Skyview got as close as 14 twice in the second half.
“It’s one of those things you try to leave it behind,” Kyle Gruler said of the Storm’s 65-64 quarterfinal loss, where the Storm’s potential game-winning shot fell short by Gruhler.
Kyle Gruhler, a Northwest Nazarene signee, had a game-high 23 Friday, including 16 in the first half when Skyview trailed 41-30. Jace Chatman added 17.
OLYMPIA 75, SKYVIEW 55
SKYVIEW (19-11) — Squeeky Johnson 8, Alec Marshall 4, Kyle Gruhler 23, Jace Chatman 17, cody McKinney 1, Mehkai Brooks 0, Xavier Owens 0, Soren Hopper 0, Sean Boss 0, Jaxson Faile 0, David Sheppert 0, Cole Bain 2. Totals 22 (5) 16-23 55.
OLYMPIA (22-7) — Ethan Gahm 20, Kai Johnson 14, Andrew Swanson 7, Jackson Grant 15, Keagan Heistand 7, Zack Swanson 7, Jack Olsen 2, Alfredo Ramirez-Cortes 2, Parker Garrits 0, Josh Kiley 0, Damyan Marcantel 0, Braden Howell 0. Totals 39 (6) 3-5 75.
Skyview 14 16 12 13 – 55
Olympia 23 18 17 17 – 75