As of Friday, March 2, 2018
YAKIMA Defending champ Zillah announced its return to the boys 1A state basketball tournament at the Yakima Valley Sun Dome emphatically.
The Leopards put up 30 points in the second quarter to smother Mt. Baker, 82-39 yesterday afternoon.
That placed Zillah in one of today’s semifinal games against Freeman, which dropped King’s, 58-51 yesterday.
That contest will begin at 5:30 p.m. tonight. The winner will go on to the final.
Mt. Baker had some tall timber, with a couple of boys in the 6-8 range. The Leopards ran right by them and didn’t slow down to wave.
“If we play like that, we have a chance (today),” coach Mario Mengarelli said.
Zillah was as dominant as it has ever been. At 16-10, Mt. Baker was in the contest after one quarter. Then Zillah exploded for a 30-17 second period and put Mt. Baker in the rearview mirror, 46-27, at the half.
The fuse for the explosion was 5-11 junior guard Antonio Salinas. He nailed all three of his three-point attempts in the second period for 18 points.
Salinas, who averaged 21.9 points during the regular season, poured in 29 yesterday. And he took time to deliver three assists.
Crisp passing led to 14 team assists. Brock Ellis had three and Cody Vance and Westin Ide had two each.
The second-leading scorer for Zillah was 6-3 sophomore Sebastian Godina, who seems to have upped his game in the post-season. Ellis added 16 points.
Godina led the rebounding with 9 caroms. Vance took down 5, and Ellis got 4.
The leading scorer for Mt. Baker was Ethan Gates with 8 points.