The WIAA state basketball season ended March 4, 2023 with local teams from Olympia, Tumwater, North Thurston and Timberline competing in the state final “Hardwood Classic” games. The Olympia boys team won second place in the 4A boys tournament at the Tacoma Dome and the Tumwater boys captured the fourth place trophy in the 2A tournament held at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

The North Thurston boys (18-10, 3A SSC) and girls (19-5, 3A SSC) teams also competed with the boys team making it to the Tacoma Dome for first round action. They were joined in the 3A boys tournament by the Timberline (18-7, 3A SSC) boys team. The Tumwater girls (20-6, 2A EVCO) team also traveled to Yakima.

Olympia (25-6, 4A SPSL) fought defending champion Curtis in the final, losing 49-43 in a back and forth game. Olympia held a 41-40 lead late in the fourth but fell to the Vikings. “I love those boys and I’m proud of my team and I would battle with those kids anytime, against anyone” stated Olympia head coach John Kiley. “We are family and this is one of the best teams we have had at Olympia. I’m grateful for a tremendous season and thankful for my team, coaches, administration, parents and the best student body and community support in the state.”

The Tumwater (22-6, EVCO) boys took home the fourth place trophy in the 2A competition after a thrilling triple overtime 82-76 win over North Kitsap. Coach Josh Wilson thought the final game was one of the best in 2A state basketball history. “The team showed everyone why ‘T-Bird Tough’ is a saying in our program, by grinding out a triple overtime victory,” remarked Wilson. “I couldn’t be prouder of these players and what they have done for our program. They’ll have these memories for the rest of their lives and always know that hard work and mental toughness pays off.”

In the 3A boys Tournament, North Thurston lost 53-58 to Mountlake Terrace in the opening round March 1st, 2023. Timberline also was defeated in the first round after a tough 49-52 loss to Bellevue. The Tumwater girls competed in the 2A tournament winning in the first round 36-29 over Enumclaw before losing to Burlington-Edisison 30-39 in the quarterfinals and then losing to Sequim 24-38 in the “loser out” consolation bracket.

Area South Sound resident officials including Kent Standford from PNBOA (Pacific Northwest Basketball Officials Association) and four referees from the SSBOA (South Sound Basketball Officials Association) officiated. Dan Egybroad and Tom Turcotte officiated with Standford at the Tacoma Dome. Tom Jones, refereed in Yakima and Michael Iglesias was in Spokane.

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