For the first time ever, the District 5-A finals are going to be a two-ed Dragoo affair.
Arts & Sciences coach Mark Dragoo, who is enjoying his 25th season as Patriots head coach with one of his youngest teams ever, will have that team joined in tonight's tournament final by the CSAS girls. The Lady Patriots are coached this year by Dragoo's son and longtime assistant, Zach Dragoo.
The CSAS boys, who had a rust-proof game plan of playing everybody and working like crazy on defense, smothered Copper Basin 62-37 in one semifinal. The CSAS girls had to shake off a three-point first quarter to slip past Boyd-Buchanan 35-30.
Despite having the home court, both Dragoo teams will be underdogs tonight, as the top-seeded Silverdale Baptist girls and Boyd-Buchanan boys beat Grace Academy 51-38 and 62-44. The third-place games begin at 4 p.m. today at CSAS; the finals should start about 7.
The Patriots' ridiculously young lineup, which at times featured two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, had to play most of the first half without its lone senior, Nick Moore. Two quick fouls put Moore on the bench with only two points, but he came back in the second half and scored seven. Taking up much of the slack was Josh Carter, who hit three 3s in the first half on the way to a team-best 11.
"Nick played the equivalent of one-half a quarter in the first half," the elder Dragoo said. "But he is the engine that makes us run."
A Boyd-Buchanan team that has seven seniors makes tonight's game a daunting challenge. The Patriots lost twice to the Buccaneers by double digits in the regular season.
One of the Silverdale girls' two losses came at CSAS last week.
"Smothering you on defense -- we count on that every game," Zach Dragoo said after Monday's comeback. "If things are working right, the defense forces turnovers and that leads to easy baskets. As the game wore on, that's what we did."
Sarah McElvan scored all of her nine points after the Lady Patriots trailed the Lady Bucs 17-15 at halftime. The Lady Bucs made the climb that much tougher by hitting 8 of 11 free throws while CSAS made only 5 of 11.
The lone senior for Silverdale's Lady Seahawks (25-2), Sloane Woodard, had 13 points, eight rebounds and seven steals. Emily Skelton added rebounds. Jessica Bonner's 18 points led Grace.
Justus McMillan and Austin Walker led the Bucs (23-3) with 14 and 13 points, while Grace's Brandon McQueen had 19 in defeat.
Contact David Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.