Mariner books its ticket to state regional tourney | Boys basketball

Marauders’ last appearance in 4A playoffs was in 2009
By David Pan | Feb 20, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Coach Tevin Dillon (right) and the Mariner bench celebrate the Marauders’ 50-47 victory over Inglemoor in a winner-to-state regionals/loser out Wes-King 4A District tournament game Monday, Feb. 18, at North Creek High School.

Tevin Dillon remembers the last time Mariner advanced to the state boys basketball tournament.

It was his senior season 10 long years ago.

Dillon is headed back to state, only this time as head coach of the Marauders.

Mariner claimed the Wes-King tournament fifth and final berth with a 50-47 victory over Inglemoor in a winner-to-state regionals/loser-out contest Monday, Feb. 18, at North Creek High School in Bothell.

Senior guard Edwin Bouah scored a team-high 13 points and junior guard Simon Fanuel added 10 points.

“It means everything because we worked so hard for this moment,” Bouah said of the district victory and state playoff berth. “We finally achieved it as a team.”

Victory didn’t come easy for the Marauders, who were 3-17 last season.

Inglemoor led 12-9 after the first quarter and had the advantage for much of the second quarter until the Marauders (14-9) tied the game at 22 and then scored the final 7 points to take a 29-22 halftime lead.

Mariner extended the advantage to 32-22 early in the third quarter before the Vikings (18-7) rallied to knot the score at 35 with 2:27 remaining in the period.

Inglemoor trailed 39-37 heading into the fourth quarter but then went on an 8-4 run to edge ahead 45-43 with 3:34 remaining in the game.

Dillon’s confidence in his players never wavered.

His question to the team at the start of every fourth quarter in the playoffs was simple – “This is your moment. Do you want to go home? The answer is no.”

Mariner took the lead back – 46-45 – on a steal and lay-up basket by Bouah, who also was fouled. Fanuel then followed with a 3-point shot to extend the Marauders’ advantage to 49-45.

“We stayed composed,” Bouah said. “We were rushing shots. We needed to slow it down and it took us a minute.”

A steal and basket by Inglemoor’s Zachary Shimek sliced the lead to 49-47 with 34 seconds left in the contest. The Vikings then fouled junior Diego Septimo-Ruiz, who made one of two free throws to extend Mariner’s advantage to 50-47.

The Marauders’ tough defense forced a miss by Inglemoor on a potential game-tying 3-point shot, which set off a Mariner celebration as players and coaches stormed the court.

“We work super hard on defense,” Bouah said. “We’re a team that prides ourselves on defense and that’s what helped us on the last play. We used the same principles that we’ve been using all season.”

Mariner opened district play with a 79-73 victory over Skyline in double overtime Thursday, Feb. 14, at Everett Community College. Bouah scored 22 points and Chris Hendrickson added 20 points. Bouah hit two free throws with 2.9 seconds left in the first overtime to send the game into the second extra period.

Eventual district champion Mount Si then defeated the Marauders 58-52. Mariner then rebounded to beat Redmond 47-42 in a loser-out game to send the team into Monday’s game.

“We decided as a team that we’re not going to go home and this wasn’t going to be our last game together,” Bouah said. “It feels good to get this win.”

Mariner takes on Kentridge at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at Auburn Mountainview High School.

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