Community Sports

Tight-knit Tides eager for school’s first Dome visit in 15 years

Posted on March 2nd, 2022 By:

When the Gig Harbor Tides boys basketball team opens state tournament play at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday, it will be the first time the school has made the trip in 15 years.

The 23-2 Tides are champions of the South Sound Conference and have won four consecutive postseason games. The latest was a 62-51 defeat of traditional state power and third-ranked O’Dea, which earned Gig Harbor a bye into the Class 3A state tournament quarterfinals.

The Tides are scheduled to play at 12:15 p.m. Thursday against another longtime state juggernaut, Rainier Beach of Seattle.

The team’s many on-court achievements are a product not only of its individual and collective talent, though the season has proven the Tides possess plenty of that. Also key to the squad’s success: This team truly enjoys playing together, and it is evident in the way they interact both on and off the court.

During games, starters cheer just as hard for reserves to get a basket as they do for one another. After them, you could find the players hanging out in booths at a local restaurant, discussing the game, laughing and polishing off plates of chicken wings.

That closeness translated to the hardwood, particularly since the team has often been without one starter or another and has relied on trusted bench players to help win games.

The 2022 Tides are intense, dedicated athletes — but they are also teenagers whose academic and athletic careers were disrupted by a pandemic and who are ready for more fun and excitement. They should get plenty of that this weekend in Tacoma.

We asked each member of the Gig Harbor Tides boys basketball team to share their thoughts about reaching the Tacoma Dome for the state championships. Here are their responses:

Cole Browne: “I feel like being at the Tacoma Dome is a big accomplishment for our team and has been a goal for us since day one and something worth celebrating. With that being said, I feel like we have a high-enough caliber team for this accomplishment to be nowhere near the end for us. Now it’s about locking in and doing damage when we get there.”

Ryan Pickles: “I’m very excited to play in the Tacoma Dome. It’s an opportunity that not a lot of people get to go out and do. I believe our team can beat anyone and we embrace the challenge that awaits us.”

Will Landram: “It feels amazing. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and a team goal that we achieved this year. So, I’m super excited!”

Parker Born: “Going to the Tacoma Dome has been our team goal and the reason I’ve personally played basketball for so long. Every tournament I’ve played as a kid has prepared me and my teammates for this moment. We’ve worked extremely hard for this and have had to overcome adversity on the court. Everything has led up to this and now it’s time to execute.”

Who’s playing: Gig Harbor (23-2) vs. Rainier Beach (19-4)

When: 12:15 p.m. Thursday, March 3

Where: The Tacoma Dome

Watch online:

Tickets: $15 general admission or $12 for student/senior/military. Purchase at the door or in advance from WIAA or Ticketmaster.

Parking: The parking fee for Tacoma Dome parking lots varies from $10-$30 per parking space depending on the event. Parking is limited and guests are encouraged to use public transportation and rideshare programs.

Asher Raquiza: “I am super excited to play in the Tacoma Dome! It’s something I have always dreamed of! The competition is gonna be tough, but we are tough, too, and I think we can put ourselves in a good spot each game if we play sound!

Brady Altman: “I am absolutely thrilled and excited to watch my team compete at the highest level.”

Christian Parrish: “I’m really proud of how the team has played this season and going to the T-Dome has been a goal of mine since I can remember. Being the point guard on a team that’s going to the Dome for the first time since 2007 is a crazy feeling.”

Ben Stephens: “This team works really hard behind the scenes and it’s awesome to be a part of it. Roll Tide.”

Luke Browne: “It feels amazing and I am super proud of the team and how far we have come this year.”

Drake Matties: “It’s a crazy experience and something you can only dream of doing. I’m just happy to play on such a great team and build friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.”

Britt Born: “The Tacoma Dome is the largest basketball event most of us will ever get to play in. I have dreamed of it for years. We have spent the whole season preparing for this moment and we are ready. The amount of effort, commitment and determination we have as a team has gotten us to this point and it truly will be an amazing experience.”

Nic Fortney: “I can’t wait to face some good competition and see what our team is really made of. The Dome has always been a dream and I can’t wait to be playing in front of all those people.”

Gig Harbor's starters celebrate after a teammate hits a big shot. The Tides have won 23 games so far, due in part to a team that is as cohesive as it is talented.

Gig Harbor’s starters celebrate after a teammate hits a big shot. The Tides have won 23 games so far, due in part to a team that is as cohesive as it is talented. Courtesy of Christi Adams