Pullman boy’s basketball undefeated no more

Pullman loses perfect season with loss to Mark Morris Monarchs 



Mark Morris players begin to celebrate after defeating Pullman 52-49, March 3, 2023, in Yakima, Wash.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief

In a game that came down to the last second and saw 14 lead changes, a final-second 3-point shot from Tanner Barbour missed short and the undefeated season and State Championship dream for the Pullman Greyhounds came to an end.

No. 1 seed Pullman (25-1) lost to No. 4 seed Mark Morris (25-2) in the semifinals of the 2A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Boy’s Basketball Tournament with a 52-49 final score. 

The name of the game was shooting from behind the arc, a staple of the Greyhound offense to this point in the season. As a team, they shot 3-16 from behind the arc and star guard Jaedyn Brown shot 2-9 from deep and 4-14 overall. 

Pullman point guard Jaedyn Brown drives to the hoop during a 2A state semifinal game against Mark Morris, March 3, 2023, in Yakima, Wash.

In the first half, the Greyhounds shared the offensive load but still went into the half down 29-27. Brown had 7 points, Barbour made several key plays and had 7 of his own, but leading the pack was Dane Sykes with 8 points. 

In that first half, Pullman only spent 1:33 of game time with the lead but kept themselves in the game by never falling behind by more than 6 points. 

The second half of the play started as many other Pullman games do, an alley-oop for a quick 2 points, this time being to Champ Powaukee, part of the 9 total points he had in the game. 

Pullman shooting guard Champ Powaukee drives to the hoop during a 2A state semifinal game against Mark Morris, March 3, 2023, in Yakima, Wash.

After trailing for most of the first half, the Greyhounds led for most of the second half, a total of 10:02 of game time. Momentum looked in their favor and as if they were going to run away with the game, building up to a 6-point lead with 4:32 left in the third quarter.

But the Monarchs showed fight and kept themselves in the game behind a magnificent performance from Malakai Gray, who had 17 points and five 3-pointers made. 

One of Gray’s threes was the nail in the coffin, as it sapped the Greyhounds of all momentum and gave the Monarchs a lead they did not relinquish. 

Gray said the team is happy to see their hard work paying off in this Tournament. They are happy that the days they went to the gym but did not want to, or worked out over summer break are paying off. 

He said that a win in the Championship would mean a lot to his team and himself and he is excited about the opportunity to play. 

Pullman shooting guard Tanner Barbour jumps for a layup during a 2A state semifinal game against Mark Morris, March 3, 2023, in Yakima, Wash.

For the Greyhounds, the 18.8% shooting from beyond the arc and 37.7% shooting overall were not enough to finish and win. Still, with 3.8 seconds remaining, they had one more shot to tie the game at 52. They went to Barbour for the shot, but his miss ended the game. 

Leading the scoring for Pullman was Sykes with 17, who also recorded a double-double as he had 11 rebounds, 6 of which came from the offensive glass. Austin Hunt scored just 3 points but had 9 rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Brown was the only other Greyhound to score double-digit points, having 12 of his own.