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Malakai Gray leads Mark Morris boys past top-seeded Pullman 52-49 in 2A state semifinal

Monarchs reach the state championship game for first time since 2007

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: March 3, 2023, 5:46pm

Malakai Gray sent the Mark Morris boys basketball team into the state championship game for the first time since 2007.

Gray scored 11 of Mark Morris’ 13 fourth-quarter points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:24 to play, lifting the Monarchs to a 52-49 win over top-seeded Pullman in the 2A state semifinal Friday in Yakima.

No. 4 seed Mark Morris (24-2) will face No. 6 Lynden in the state title game at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Yakima SunDome.

Gray hit three 3-pointers and a pair of free throws in the fourth, each time giving the Monarchs the lead. The last one was a 3-pointer that put Mark Morris up 50-47 with 1:24 to go.

The Monarchs’ defense kept Pullman off the scoreboard until a Dane Sykes layup got the Greyhounds (24-1) within 50-49 with 17.4 seconds to go.

Braydon Olson hit one of two free throws with 14.7 seconds left to make it 51-49.

Pullman’s Austin Hunt got the rebound after Olson’s missed second free throw and was fouled with 11.8 seconds left. Hunt missed both free throws.

Olson rebounded the second miss and was fouled. He converted one of two free throws on the other end to make it 52-49.

The Greyhounds got a look at a 3-pointer at the buzzer but it was off the mark.


MARK MORRIS — Deacon Dietz 6, Kobe Parlin 15, Malakai Gray 17, Braydon Olson 12, Dossen Morrow 0, Dalton Stevens 0, Carson Bogner 2. Totals 19-45 (8-23) 6-10 52.

PULLMAN — Jaedyn Brown 6, Tanner Barbour 9, Champ Powaukee 5, Dane Sykes 17, Austin Hunt 3, Caleb Northcroft 3. Totals 20-53 (3-16) 6-10 49.

Morris 13 16 10 13—52

Pullman 12 15 13 9—49