By Mike Curto
Defending Class 3A state boys’ basketball champion Rainier Beach is going for a repeat.
The Vikings advanced to the title by defeating Metro League rival Franklin in the semifinal on Friday night, 73-59.
Rainier Beach (24-4) was 4-0 against Franklin this season, with all four meetings coming in the last 10 games.
Senior guard Will Dorsey led the way for the Vikings, pouring in 21 points while dishing our four assists. Dorsey scored most of his points on layups coming off dribble penetration.
“It just came,” said Dorsey. “I tried to get my guys the ball, but I was open. When you are open you gotta make shots and you gotta take shots.”
The score was tied in the third quarter, 33-33, before Rainier Beach pulled away with a 21-4 scoring run.
The Vikings’ bench contributed much of the offense, scoring 40 – over half – of Rainier Beach’s points.
“Our bench is so deep,” said Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea. “We have 10 or 11 starters out there.”
Franklin held a 21-14 lead in the second quarter, but Shaquaan Aaron hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game heading into halftime.
Aaron, who has been hobbled by a groin injury, was held to five points on 2-of-9 shooting. The Louisville commit leads the Vikings in points per game.
“The kid is playing on pure guts right now,” said Bethea.
Arell Hennings led Franklin with 24 points.