Fear the mullet? More like fear the Moffet.
Odessa’s Ryan Moffet set an individual scoring record Wednesday night at the State 1B boys basketball state tournament, finishing with 48 points to lead his Tigers to an 81-73 opening-round win against Neah Bay at the Spokane Arena.
Several Tigers touched up their mullets in advance of the tournament in a display of camaraderie dating back to Odessa’s march to a State 1B championship in football last fall. The hairstyles had little effect on the scoreboard, but Moffet embraced the look of his teammates, and boasted that specific style “is indicative of where we’re from, because people think we’re just a bunch of rednecks.”
The Tigers needed most of Moffet’s production to turn back Neah Bay, which was capable of keeping pace with Odessa’s up-tempo attack for four quarters.
Red Devils senior Cameron Moore knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor, giving Neah Bay a 68-65 lead with 4 minutes left in the game. Moffet answered with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, restoring Odessa’s lead at 70-68.
A pair of layups 30 seconds apart by Marcus King stretched the Tigers’ margin to 74-68 with 1:27 left. Moffet sealed the game at the foul line, converting two free throws with 29 seconds left to break the previous scoring record of 44 points set by Derek Isaak of Almira/Coulee-Hartline in 2012.
Moffet hit 15 of 24 shots from the floor, including 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also hit 13 of his 14 free-throw attempts.
“Ryan was as hot as can be,” Odessa coach Larry Weber said.
King was the only other player to score in double figures for Odessa with 17 points.
The Tigers (23-2) entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed despite losing a regional final against ACH last weekend. That loss forced Odessa to play in the opening round Wednesday and has set the stage for the No. 2-seeded Tigers to play top-seeded Sunnyside Christian in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
“I see it as a good thing we got to play on Wednesday,” Moffet said. “That’s one more game than Sunnyside Christian, who we play. They haven’t played with a backdrop. It took us three quarters today to get going. Maybe it will take them four quarters and it will be too late.”
Moore and Keith Johnson Jr. scored 22 and 21 points, respectively, for Neah Bay (16-7).
Riverside Christian 56, Lummi Nation 40: Reagan Haas scored 16 points and the 11th-seeded Crusaders (19-5) eliminated the third-seeded Blackhawks (22-3). Duncan Toby led Lummi Nation with 12 points.
Oakesdale 66, Tulalip Heritage 50: Kieron Anderson scored 19 points with 12 rebounds and the 12th-seeded Nighthawks (17-7) eliminated the Hawks (20-6).
Naselle 54, Garfield-Palouse 51: Corey Gregory scored 18 points and the eighth-seeded Comets (18-6) eliminated the ninth-seeded Vikings (17-9). Ely Hawkins led Garfield-Palouse with 14 points.
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