Inglemoor’s boys basketball team came out firing on all cylinders against Woodinville in the 4A Wes-King District semifinals.
The Vikings held a 19-4 lead with about two and a half minutes left in the first quarter on Feb. 18 at Bothell High. With a pair of 3-pointers early in the second quarter, Woodinville cut Inglemoor’s lead to eight points, but the Falcons wouldn’t get any closer on the night.
Inglemoor clinched a state berth with a 67-54 victory and will next play Glacier Peak in the district championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Everett Community College.
“At the beginning of the year, we always go over our team goals, and state was our No. 1 goal easily,” said senior Dawson Tucker, who scored 11 points. “Last year, we were one game short of state, and just immediately after that game, we were like, ‘Next year, we’re going,’ so it means a lot.”
By playing together, moving the ball and working hard on defense, Inglemoor defeated Woodinville for the third time out of four matchups this season.
“We know how they play and we just felt like we’re a better team, so if we played our game, if we just play harder, we would win,” Tucker said.
Senior Zach Shimek amassed 26 points and senior Brady Casto had 14 points. Junior Aidan Bennett especially thrilled the crowd and the Viks with a 3-point buzzer-beater to give his squad a 47-25 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Casto said the Vikings hit the court with an extra edge in postseason tournaments.
“Don’t stray from the path that got us here and just keep on doing what we do, but even better,” said Casto, whose squad knocked off Woodinville following the Falcons’ 64-61 upset of top-ranked Mount Si.
Moving on in the postseason, Casto said the team will need to rally around each other to continue reaping success.
“Just instilling that confidence that we’ve been giving each other all year, we’re not gonna lose that,” he said. “I think we have the highest level of confidence going into state and I feel like we could beat anybody.”