BASKETBALL: Beamer advances into state semifinals, will take on unbeaten Richland

For the first time in school history, a Todd Beamer High School basketball team won a game at the state tournament.

The Beamer boys used a frantic comeback in the second half to down the Gonzaga Prep Bullpups Thursday night at the Class 4A Hardwood Classic, 57-49, inside the Tacoma Dome. The win moves the Titans (22-4) into the 4A Final Four, where they will take on the Richland Bombers. The semifinal will be played at 9 p.m. Friday with a berth into the state championship on the line.

Beamer struggled big-time in the first half inside the massive Tacoma Dome. The Titans tallied only 16 points during the first 16 minutes of action to trail the Bullpups by 12 points, 28-16, at halftime.

The Titans finished 0 for 6 from beyond the 3-point line during the first half, which was a far cry from what Beamer did Saturday during a Regional Tournament win over Bothell. The Titans had eight different players make a 3-pointer against Bothell.

Beamer also turned the ball over 12 times during the first half, resulting in only 21 shot attempts in the first and second quarters. Quadir Williams led the Titans with six points in the first half. The South Puget Sound League South Division Player of the Year, Bogdan Bliznyuk, had just two points.

But it was all Beamer in the second half. The Titans outscored Gonzaga Prep, 41-21, during the third and fourth quarters.

Beamer took its first lead on a 3-pointer from Bliznyuk midway through the fourth quarter, 44-42, and the Titans dominated from then on. Beamer was also clutch from the free-throw line down the stretch, making 5 of 6 in the final 22 seconds.

Williams, the Titans' point guard, led the way with 18 points. Senior Trey Burch-Manning finished with 15 and Bliznyuk chipped in 13, which was seven points below his season average.

Sam Dowd and Brendan McClary each scored 12 points for Gonzaga Prep.

Richland remained unbeaten Thursday with a blowout win in its state tournament opener over Wenatchee, 78-49. The win moved the Bombers to 25-0 on the year.

Richland and Wenatchee were tied after the first quarter, 10-10. But the Bombers outscored Wenatchee, 47-19, during the second and third quarters to blow the game open. Richland was led by the 33 points of Jacob DeVries, who finished 13 for 20 from the field.

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