By Martin Barrett
The Highline Pirates men’s basketball team met district-leading, undefeated Renton Redhawks in a 2A KingCo matchup Tuesday evening. The Redhawks took an 83 to 29 victory and a 15-0 record. The Pirates fell to 4-12, 4-5 in district play.
From the start, the Redhawks dominated both ends of the court. The Pirates found themselves behind 19 to 4 at the end of the first quarter of play. Only in the early minutes of the second half were the Pirates able to pick up some momentum. Guards Marcus Moss and Marquawn McCraney began to quickly bring the ball up the court and run a more up-tempo offense. The Pirates freed up shooters for open shots and went on a small run. But the advance lost steam when the Redhawks went into a full-court press. The Renton press stole the ball from the Pirate 6 of the next Pirate possessions. The turnovers effectively killed the Pirates’ attempt to crawl back into the game.
It was senior night for the Redhawks, and their seniors showed up to make it memorable. Guard De’Rai Taylor owned the night. Most of his points came on silky-smooth layins and twisting drives to the hoop set-up by Pirate turnovers. Renton head coach Rashaad Powell had his team ready. They played in sync on both ends of the court.
Highline head coach Ricky Frazier was not pleased. “We were not ready. We turned the ball over way too much. We could not sustain momentum. This loss is on me. I did not have them ready, but now we focus on the Foster game this Friday.”
The Pirates play the Bulldogs at Foster on Friday. Tipoff is 7:15. After a great 3-0 start in January, Frazier’s team must win their remaining games to ensure a playoff spot.