King’s boys, girls head to state regionals | Basketball

The King’s girls basketball team is headed back to the 1A state tournament in the Yakima Valley SunDome, while the boys team is looking to secure a trip to Yakima.
Claire Gallagher scored 17 points and Mia Flor added 13 points to lead the Knights to a 58-39 victory over Seattle Academy in a winner-to-state regionals/loser-out game Friday, Feb. 15, at Seattle Academy High School. A day earlier, King’s defeated University Prep 56-16 in a loser-out Bi-District contest at King’s High School. Gallagher scored 11 points and Flor had 10 points.
King’s coach Dan Taylor was reviewing the RPI (Rating Percentage Index) and noted that only one other team has played more games than the Knights.
“We have been playing a lot better on offense and growing. That’s going to come with experience,” he said. “The girls have had a pretty long season and with a long season comes growth and development. The girls are slowly getting better.”
King’s (20-5), the No. 8 seed, faces No. 1 seed La Salle at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22, at Ellensburg High School. A win sends the Knights into the double-elimination portion of the state tournament on Thursday, Feb. 28, while a loss means they would have to play a loser-out contest on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
“Defensively, we’re doing a lot better rebounding,” Taylor said. “That’s one of the things we struggled with through the season. We depended on our athleticism. Now we’re doing a better job of blocking out and securing the 50/50 ball.”
Only senior Dominique Kirton has any experience playing in the Yakima Valley SunDome and even she saw limited action.
“I think it’s going to be fun but also a challenging time trying to get emotionally and mentally and physically in tune to the atmosphere and what’s expected to play at a high level,” Taylor said.
The King’s boys basketball team defeated Bear Creek 57-33 victory in a winner-to-state regionals/loser-out game Friday, Feb. 15, at King’s High School. Freshman Tyler Lindhart scored a game-high 20 points.
The Knights (18-5) were coming off a 70-63 loss to defending champion Lynden Christian (23-0) in the 1A District title contest Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Mount Vernon High School. Senior Hunter Reeves led King’s with 22 points.
“We walked away feeling pretty good,” King’s coach Rick Skeen said. “They’re the favorite. They’re hard for anybody to beat. We’d love for the chance to play them again. We’re pleased that we could stay with them.”
King’s takes on Naches Valley in a loser-out game at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at Everett Community College. The winner advances to a first-round state game at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
“We’re excited we’ve got this opportunity,” Skeen said. “Our motto is one more game.”