FEDERAL WAY -- The Titans' athleticism proved too much for the Tides to handle in Thursday night's district game, as Todd Beamer cruised to a 67-54 win over Gig Harbor. The Tides had a game plan for Beamer's athleticism, starting the game in a 2-3 zone.
“With their athleticism, we were trying to keep them out of the paint, make them shoot, minus their best two guys,” Tides' head coach Billy Landram said. “We did a good job of that for a while, but they killed us on the offensive glass.”
Once Beamer jumped out to an early lead, the Tides were forced to try to create some pressure on the Titans with a full-court press and different trapping schemes. Unfortunately, the move played into Beamer's hands, allowing the Titans to get quickly up and down the floor and take advantage of the press.
“We kind of had to go a little bit away from what we wanted to do and start pressing and get more into their game,” Landram said. “Our kids hung in there and played hard.”
The Tides also struggled to generate scoring, as they were held to just 34 points in the first three quarters. Junior Casey Gearhart led the Tides with 16 points. No one else was in double digits.
The Titans however, had three players in double-digits, playing fast and often above the rim. Senior forward Bogdon Bliznyuk led Beamer with 23 points. Senior forward Trey Burch-Manning pitched in 14, and junior forward Charles Frazier added 11.
Landram said to beat a team as athletic as Todd Beamer, they needed to be more dialed in all facets of the game.
“We've gotta make shots, and do a better job not giving them anything easy,” he said.
Landram also wanted his team not to force the issue as much as they did in the first half.
“We had a lot of silly turnovers in the first half, just getting caught in the air,” he said. “When you're playing teams this athletic, you're not going to outlast them in the air. So, just playing our fundamentals and doing what we do best, and I think we'll be alright.”
In one of the game's highlights, junior guard Chris Drake hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the third.
The Tides will travel to Mt. Tahoma on Saturday at 1 p.m. to face Battle Ground High School in a win-or-go-home game.
Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.