Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School boys basketball team saw their 34-game undefeated streak end Thursday, falling to Findlay Prep of Henderson, Nevada 67-59 at the DICK’S High School National Tournament in New York.
Rainier Beach, the No. 2 seed in the eight team bracket, had to get special permission from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to play in the tournament.
“It was definitely worth it,” Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea said. “It wasn’t about Rainier Beach. It was about setting a precedent, not just for Washington, but for other states to get on board with this tournament. It was a good opportunity. As far as us going through the fight we went through, it was definitely worth it.”
What doomed Rainier Beach, more than anything, was the Vikings (30-1) shot only 30.8% from the floor and were outrebounded 49-43 by Findlay Prep, which put a damper on Rainier Beach’s go-go offense.
“The last time we played like that was probably the city championship game,” Bethea said. “We squeaked the game out. Our team prides itself on running and hitting shots. If we’re not hitting shots, we’re not running and if we’re giving the other team second shots, we’re not getting out in transition.”
Rainier Beach won the Washington state 3A championship with a 47-45 win over Eastside Catholic last month.