TACOMA -- The west side of the state might not have given Kamiakin much credit entering the Class 3A boys state tournament, but it certainly is paying attention now.
The Braves cruised to a 65-42 quarterfinal victory against Seattle Prep on Thurs-day at the Tacoma Dome.
"I think when they see us and see we're not very big, they overlook us," Justin Pedley said. "Once we start hitting those 3s, they see we are not someone to be bargained with."
The Braves hit nine 3-pointers Thursday and played stifling defense against a much bigger opponent for the second consecutive game to pick up the victory. Kamiakin (23-2) will play Lakes in a semifinal at 7:15 p.m. today.
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"I think every year the east-side teams have to prove themselves," Kamiakin coach Brian Meneely said. "We certainly don't think we're finished."
Despite giving up nearly three inches to each Seattle Prep player across the frontline, the Braves outrebounded the Panthers by 17 and held 6-foot-8 Seattle Prep post Mitch Brewe to 15 points and four rebounds.
"We kind of swarmed them inside," Kamiakin's Tyler Holle said. "We knew the guards had to rebound well, and they did. We just kind of battled."
The Braves led 15-11 after the first quarter, then opened the second on an 11-2 run to build a cushion.
Kamiakin closed the half with an 8-3 run capped by two Holle 3-pointers, including one right before the final buzzer.
"We really executed well offensively," Meneely said. "We were able to function off ball reversal and made shots.
"I was really happy with how our offense controlled the pace."
The Braves shot 48 percent for the game while allowing the Panthers to make just 15 field goals -- including a 3-for-18 showing from 3-point range.
The rebounding was the biggest key, though as it portended to the hustle play of the team as a whole.
"Our ability to rebound vs. them was a huge concern coming in," Meneely said. "We knew we had to get to the 50-50 balls."
Garrett Anderson, Zach En'Wezoh and Pedley played big roles guarding the Seattle Prep post players and holding the Panthers (22-6) to just 24 total rebounds.
In an elimination game last week, the Braves' posts also stepped up in shutting down Mercer Island 7-footer Kaj Sherman.
"Pedley played a lot bigger than his size for the second game in a row," Meneely said. "His ability to shoot and defend gives us another dimension."
Holle led all scorers with 25 points and had five rebounds and four assists.
Case Rada added 14 points and five rebounds, Pedley had 13 points and nine rebounds, and En'Wezoh had seven points.
Anderson also tied the school record for rebounds with his eight Thursday.