Mount Si bolted out to a 13-2 lead to begin the first quarter and never looked back against Federal Way on Thursday night.
With an emphatic dunk by Jabe Mullins to complete the Wildcats’ point output, the locals bounced into the 4A state boys basketball semifinals with a convincing 61-49 victory at the Tacoma Dome. Third-seeded Mount Si (24-4) will take on second-seeded Glacier Peak (25-0) at 9 p.m. tonight at the Dome. The championship game awaits at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Mullins scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in the first quarter, which Tyler Patterson (13 points) closed out with a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 21-10 advantage.
Highlights along the way included a Jack Williams field goal at the buzzer to put Mount Si up 33-19 at halftime and a Hayden Curtiss dunk and a host of thumping blocks. Mullins also yanked down eight rebounds on the night.
Curtiss, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, also earned his team’s sportsmanship medallion following the game.
“Federal Way’s the first team we’ve had press that hard the whole game. So in practices the last couple days, we’ve just been working on press breaks and stuff like that,” Curtiss said.
On the award, he added: “A lot of teams, they like to talk (tough) to us. We kind of just block it out. First time I ever got it, so yeah, pretty special.”
Mullins knew the Wildcats had to hit the court strong from the opening tip with confidence and gain some momentum. That 13-2 lead was key in showing Federal Way that the Wildcats meant business, Mullins said.
“Coming into this game, we knew Federal Way was gonna be really good, scrappy, get up and down the floor,” Mullins said. “We just had to do our thing, defend and execute our offense and that’s exactly what we did, and came out and just felt really good.”
Curtiss said the Wildcats are gunning for a state championship after taking second to Gonzaga Prep last season by a 69-43 count. He noted that one of the Mount Si assistant coaches has a photo of the scoreboard with that final tally on his phone screen to remind the Wildcats what occurred a year ago.
“We didn’t get it last year, we’re hungry for it,” Curtiss said.