Tides trim sixth-ranked Timberline to improve to 3-0 in boys basketball

Posted on December 10th, 2021 By:

The Gig Harbor boys basketball team’s goal for the season is simple. Make it to the Tacoma Dome for the state playoffs.

The Tides got their first test Wednesday against the then-sixth-ranked Timberline Blazers in their South Sound 3A Conference opener. The back-and-forth, physical battle between two of the league’s favorites did not disappoint.

Christian Parrish (11) whoops it up after his Tides defeated Timberline 73-71 Wednesday.

Christian Parrish (11) whoops it up after his Tides defeated Timberline in a 73-71 thriller on Wednesday. Kevin Doucette / Gig Harbor Now

Playing without one of its top scorers, senior Asher Raquiza, the Tides’ defense stepped up and, combined with strong offensive performances from Will Landram, Christian Parrish and Luke Browne, sweated out a 73-71 victory.

“I think every win is a good win,” head coach Billy Landram said. “It was a little strange having our first game of the season against one of the top teams in the state, but it was a good test for both of us and it was good to have a close game and see how it works out.”

The Blazers are a good, talented team, paced by reigning league MVP Brooklyn Hicks, and it took a collective effort to subdue them, Landram said.

“We were trying to stop everyone,” Parrish said. “Yeah, (Hicks) is their main guy, but they are all ballplayers.”

“We played physical and stayed in front of our man,” added Will Landram.

Landram, a 6-foot-5 junior, scored 14 of the Tides’ first 30 points as Gig Harbor took an early lead, but Hicks led the Blazers back. The 6-foot-3 junior guard closed out first-half scoring with a dunk and reverse layup as the Blazers took a 42-35 lead.

Coach Billy Landram exhorts his Tides during a timeout on Wednesday.

Coach Billy Landram exhorts his Tides during a timeout on Wednesday. Kevin Doucette / Gig Harbor Now

Browne drained a pair of threes to help the Tides pull within 52-50 at the end of the third quarter. The 6-foot-6 junior, who Coach Landram said played especially well in Raquiza’s absence, finished with 24 points, including nailing four of 10 shots from 3-point range.

In the fourth quarter, the Tides continued to feed the ball inside to Landram, who was able to score in the paint and get to the free throw line.

“We were feeding the post. I knew the guy defending me was smaller so I was able to make some moves,” said Landram, who finished with a career-high and a game-high 25 points.

“(Will) played well tonight,” Coach Landram said. “But playing well together is the key, and that makes all of them better. Tonight, Will had a big night, but next game it could be someone else.”

Parrish nailed a pair of free throws, then came up with a steal that led to a breakaway layup. After Browne’s fourth three of the contest, Parrish again drove the lane for a basket that gave the Tides a 68-62 advantage with just under two minutes left. The Blazers’ defense pressed, forcing Gig Harbor turnovers that let Timberline back into the game.

With 18 seconds remaining, the Blazers caught a break when a baseline 3-point attempt kissed the backboard and went in to even the score at 71.

Coach Landram called a timeout and drew up a play for the final shot. Parrish drove the lane and was fouled with nine seconds to go. Parrish, who finished the night shooting 7 for-8 from the line and tallied 15 points, drained both free throws.

“(Parrish) played great,” Coach Landram said of the 5-foot-11 junior point guard. “He has had a long road with injuries in football the last couple years, but he is an absolute stud, and he has been since I coached him in first grade.”

Hicks tried a last-minute drive, but the Tides shut him down and sealed the nail-biting victory.

The Tides improved to 3-0. They face Central Kitsap tonight followed by non-conference home game against Mount Vernon on Saturday.