Blaine boys basketball beats Overlake to advance to semis Friday night


The Borderites overran Overlake 80-52 in the Yakima Valley SunDome Thursday night, getting themselves a place in the Class 1A state semifinal Friday, March 3.

No. 7 Blaine will play No. 5 King’s at 9 p.m. Friday. The game can be watched with a subscription at King’s beat the Borderites 61-59 in their season-opener three months ago.

First-year head coach Nate Sullivan said both teams have improved since the last time they played each other, but his boys are confident.

“The first time I met these guys, they told me they were going to win this thing,” Sullivan said. “There’s no lack of belief and effort from them. To them, it’s not a real big surprise that we’re here.”

They certainly played with confidence Thursday night. Blaine shot 64 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers. The team also hit 81 percent of its shots from inside.

“We didn’t want to make it bigger than it is,” Sullivan said. “Simplify things, and play our game. Worrying about us was the game plan.”

Senior Carson Lehnert led Blaine with a game-high 19 points. Senior Mathew Russ finished with 17 points, and junior Noah Tavis had 16 points. Lucas Smith added 12 points and a pair of threes, and senior Ethan Koreski had five assists.

The boys play at 9 p.m. for their second consecutive game, and Sullivan said they’re keeping the same routine as Thursday. He said they will have a short practice Friday before the game to work on defending inside the post. They’re continuing to focus on their game, he said.

A win Friday night would send the team to the Class 1A state championship Saturday, March 4 at 5 p.m. in the Yakima Valley SunDome, where they would play the winner of No. 1 Lynden Christian and No. 6 Toppenish.

The last time Blaine made the state semifinal was in 2000, when Luke Ridnour, who would go on to play for 13 years in the NBA, led Blaine to its second consecutive 2A state championship.

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