Different night, different star.
The Richland High boys basketball team advanced to the seventh state title game in school history Friday, beating Todd Beamer of Federal Way 75-61 in the Class 4A state semifinals at the Tacoma Dome.
A night after Jacob DeVries went for 33, Richland sophomore Steven Beo lit the nets on fire, scoring 29 points, including hitting four 3-pointers.
“I got in the rhythm and then came out and lit it up,” Beo said. “It was amazing. Once I shot the ball, I knew it was going in. I’m pumped right now.
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“It’s undescribable. We’re playing in the championship!”
The Bombers (25-0) will play Garfield at 3 p.m. Saturday, seeking the fourth state title in program history and first since 1979. Richland High also won titles in 1958, 1972 and 1979.
Richland High is also looking to become the first team in school history to finish a season perfect.
“It feels good right now,” Richland senior Jacob DeVries said. “We got to get focused up and ready for Garfield (Saturday).”
One of the reasons for their magical season has certainly been their ability to not rely on any given player.
Beo took over in the second quarter, as Richland blew the game open thanks to a 16-3 run. The Bombers went from a 12-12 tie with 57 seconds left in the first quarter to a 28-15 lead with 1:07 left in the half.
Beo scored seven consecutive points to start the second quarter.
“It is really fun to watch him play,” DeVries said of Beo. “When he is hot, it is really hard to stop him.”
Beamer had a few runs left, though, pulling within 10 points late in the third quarter after Richland had stretched the lead to as many as 19.
But an unlikely source helped push the Bombers back into a comfortable position, as backup post Carson Miller hit two free throws and made a baseline jumper.
Miller often found himself open on offense, as the Beamer defense keyed in on the many weapons that Richland features.
“We knew that Beamer was going to extend on us a little bit,” Richland coach Earl Streufert said. “If we are going to make mistakes, they will be aggressive mistakes and we are going to share it and the guy that is hot, is going to get the ball.
“That is exactly what they did. Super unselfish play all over the court. That is why we win, that is why we won all the games all year long.”
Beo capped the third quarter with a three-point play. He also played solid defense, using his size to give the Beamer wings problems all night.
Miller also helped Richland maintain the lead from the end of the third and into the fourth as Streufert sat with four fouls.
“I feel my biggest role is just to rebound,” Miller said. “We have the scorers. I know my role isn’t to score this year, but it to get rebounds and get other guys points.”
Beamer made another run in the fourth quarter, pulling within 57-46, forcing Earl Streufert to put Nathan Streufert back into the game.
Streufert made a free throw, Beo made a pair, Radliff had a backcourt steal and a layup, DeVries added two free throws and a layup and Beo added two more to push the lead back to 68-48.
All in all, it was another team effort that led the Bombers into the title game and gives them the chance to wrap up a dream season with a title today.
“I don’t know if I can describe it at all,” Beo said. “I’m playing in the state championship tomorrow, against a pretty good team, but we’ll be ready. We’ll come out and put it to them. I’m pumped.”
Beo also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists. DeVries finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Radliff had 10 points and five assists. Miller had 10 points and eight rebounds and Nathan Streufert had eight points, 12 rebounds and four assists before fouling out.
TODD BEAMER — Charles Frazier 4-14 2-2 13, Quadir Williams 6-13 0-2 14, Giiovanni Jackson 1-2 0-0 3, Trey Burch-Manning 4-17 3-6 11, Jalen McDaniels 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan Havilli 0-0 0-0 0, Diallo Redd 0-1 0-0 0, Trevon Richardson 1-1 0-0 2, Ferron Flavors 1-1 0-0 3, Raybonne Freeman 1-7 0-3 2, Bogdon Bliznyuk 3-12 3-5 10, Patrick Kennedy 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 22-69 9-20 61.
RICHLAND — Jacob DeVries 7-12 3-5 18, Daniel Torres-Elfering 0-0 0-0 0, Mason Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Drew McCullough 0-0 0-0 0, Nate Perry 0-0 0-0 0, Steven Beo 8-17 9-9 29, Payton Radliff 4-13 0-0 10, JP Leahy 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Streufert 2-3 4-6 8, Carson Miller 4-6 2-4 10. Totals 25-51 18-24 75.
Todd Beamer 12 8 21 20 — 61
Richland 14 19 22 20 — 75
3-point goals—Beamer 8-20 (Frazier 3-8, Williams 2-3, Bliznyuk 1-4, Jackson 1-1, Flavors 1-1, Burch-Manning 0-3), Richland 7-19 (Beo 4-8, Radliff 2-7, DeVries 1-4). Rebounds—Beamer 37 (Frazier 8), Richland 46 (Streufert 12). Assists—Beamer 10 (Williams 3), Richland 14 (Radliff 5). Turnovers—Beamer 12, Richland 21. Fouls—Beamer 20, Richland 15. Fouled out—Freeman, Streufert.