FEDERAL WAY — The Todd Beamer Titans’ athleticism proved to be too much for the Gig Harbor Tides to handle last Thursday in a 67-54 decision during the Class 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament at Todd Beamer High School.
Senior forward Bogdon Bliznyuk led eighth-ranked Beamer (18-3 overall, 15-1 SPSL 4A South) with 23 points, while senior forward Trey Burch-Manning pitched in 14 and junior forward Charles Frazier added 11. All three played fast and often above the rim.
Gig Harbor (9-14 overall, 6-6 Narrows 4A) was eliminated on Saturday with a 65-61 loss to Battle Ground at Mount Tahoma High.
The Tides had a plan to deal with Beamer last week and started with a 2-3 zone defense.
“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.”
But once Beamer jumped out to an early lead, Gig Harbor was forced to try to create some pressure on the Titans with a full-court press and different trapping schemes. But the move allowed the Titans to take advantage, and the went quickly up and down the floor.
“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.”
Gig Harbor also struggled to generate offense. The Tides were held to just 34 points in the first three quarters. Junior Casey Gearhart was the only double-digit scorer with 16 points.
Landram said his team would need to be more dialed in order to beat a team as athletic as Beamer.
“We’ve gotta make shots and do a better job (of) 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 all right.”