Metro League Tuesday: Chaos Defeats Order
So you have O’Dea. An all-boys Catholic high school. Their student section stands, chants and moves in unison. Their basketball team plays an intricate, switching style of defense. Their coach, former Sonic Al Hairston, paces the sideline poker-faced, arms crossed.
Then you have Rainier Beach. A co-ed public high school. Their cheerleaders didn’t manage to show up until halftime. Their basketball team plays a playground-style, drive-and-dish offense. Their coach, Mike Bethea, shouts and gestures wildly at his players all game.
O’Dea, the 2nd-ranked 3A boys basketball team in the state: Order.
Rainier Beach, ranked 1st: Chaos.
Who wins? Tuesday night, Chaos triumphed, in a fittingly chaotic finish.
Chaos smacked Order at first. Beach sped to a 24-12 first quarter lead, beginning the scoring with a thunderous Michael Middlebrooks dunk. Later, Hikeem Stewart, who’ll play for the University of Washington, turned chaos into an art form. Stewart drove from the right wing down the baseline, collapsing the O’Dea defense around him, then passed to an open teammate on the left wing. But Stewart wasn’t done. He followed the path of his pass, ending up along the baseline opposite where he started. The teammate he’d just passed to fed it back to Stewart, who set himself, received the pass, and swished in a three-pointer. He had four threes in the first half.
But Order crawled back into the lead with aggressive half-court defense and opportunistic offense. After going on a 24-8 first-half run, O’Dea held tough in the second half and led by two possessions with under a minute left. Then Rainier Beach introduced even further Chaos: A full-court trap that forced two O’Dea turnovers. Beach’s Lavell White, an explosive 6’6″ guard who led all scorers with 29 points, hit four free throws to keep the game close. Then White banked in a three-pointer with under 10 seconds left to bring Beach within two points. Still, after O’Dea stretched their lead to three with 1.6 seconds left, a win for order seemed inevitable.
No sir. Chaos had yet another trick up its sleeve. Beach sophomore Marques Davis took an inbounds pass on the run, made two long dribbles, and hoisted up a 30-foot desperation shot at the buzzer. It banked low off the backboard, off the inside off the front of the rim, and through the basket. Eyes traveled back to the referee nearest the shot. He thrust his arm downward, signaling a made basket–Davis’ first of the game. Overtime.
Order jumped out to an early lead in overtime, too, but Chaos came back. Beach suddenly found room in what must have been a tired Irish defense. Driving lanes that hadn’t been there suddenly opened up. Beach pulled into the lead.
Then, suddenly, chaos seemed to be on O’Dea’s side. Down two points with 3.6 seconds to go, they intentionally missed a free throw by firing it off the rim. The bounce went out of bounds off Rainier Beach. With 2.4 seconds left, they’d have another chance. Their attempted inbounds play caromed off several players and bounced high in the air. It fell out of bounds, and the referee signaled O’Dea ball, just as the buzzer sounded. But the refs declared the game over. Final score: Beach 75-73. O’Dea’s student section stood, stunned, for several minutes, then began to file out.
Order seemed unconcerned. They expected to prevail eventually. “This always happens,” said a kid in an O’Dea letterman’s jacket. “We lose to Beach during the regular season, then we beat ‘em at State.”