Miles Gurske was not stopped for most of the second half.
He just couldn’t miss it.
With 18 points in the first half – and another 19 – in the second – junior guard Timberline exploded at 37 and led the Blazers to victory over Kelso at Auburn High School 67-57. Blazers coach Alain Thomas recognized the performance as the best in Gursk’s career.
Even random long-term “thermal checks” failed to stop it, and it took an ankle injury two minutes left before the competition to stop its production.
“In fact, it was the open views of my teammates,” Gursk told The News Tribune. “Just rode and kicked, finding me open in the corners and wings. (These were) good plays and I accidentally caught fire. Good findings of teammates.
“I just had to throw out a few.”
Timberline entered its district tournament as the first seed and on Thursday night proved why. Of the 37 in Gursk – and another 21 in Darrell Gipson – Timberline after the first quarter leads with double-digit figures. They led in the break with a score of 13, and despite Kelso’s rise in the third quarter, held on to a 3/4 3A County semifinal victory.
They are scheduled for Saturday’s district championship game, and win or lose, have already booked a ticket to the 3A state tournament.
“That’s all,” Thomas said. “From where we started, to where we are now, I couldn’t ask for more. These guys are bought, they are all in each other, and what a wonderful performance today on the road.
What distinguished the Blazers from the tip was their defense and Gipson’s ability to change blows inside. Kelso, who could not find an open view, stopped with six points in the first quarter. Gipson, meanwhile, had 10 points in the first few minutes and worked not only to minimize Kelse’s points but also to maximize his.
“We really wanted to attack their big boy,” Thomas said of Michael Fust of Kelso, who led the Hilanders of 22. “We researched him all week. We just wanted to put pressure on him throughout the game, and Darrell worked great throughout the game. I don’t think he swapped once. It is stable on glass all year round. “
In the first quarter, in which there were no free throw and three-point attempts, Timberline’s physical physical ability made Hilander’s points hard to find at first. And before the break Gurske started attacking Blazer, scoring 18 points in the first half, which was the result of the game.
When Timberline took a timeout in the second quarter with a score of 20-6, Gipson took control of the game on his own. He finished the half with a score of 13.
Only four Blazers have scored in the entire competition: 37 in Gursk, 21 in Gipson, six in the Brooklyn Hicks defender and three in the B. Richards Arena.
Less than a minute later in the third quarter, Hicks collapsed from his ankle and soon resumed play. Gursk, two minutes before the end of the fourth, landed on the opponent’s foot and demanded help off the field.
After the win, Thomas told The News Tribune that they hope Gursk has avoided ankle sprains, though that seems to be the case. Gursk is icy, will rise and hopes to return by the time Timberline performs in the state in the coming weeks.
“Now it’s just pulsating,” Gursk said. “I think it’s a slight fit or run, just a landing on someone’s foot. But I have to be fine. “
Ethan Mitchell of Kelso added 16, Tyler Hayes scored 10 in the Hilanders.
After the victory of Timberline, Auburn and Mount Tahoma reached the second semifinal in the network – the winner gets blazers for the title of district champion.
Gurske admits it will be a tough match, regardless of the winner, although defense will be key, he said.
Thomas, summing up the Gur night, stopped. A second or two later he said, “It was his best performance as a blazer. Every time we needed a shot, he did it, and he did it.
“He showed why he is one of the best players not only in our league but also in the state.”
Score: (T) Miles Gursk 37, Darrell Gipson 21; (K) Michael Faust 22, Ethan Mitchell 16
This story was originally published February 17, 2022 at 8:18 p.m.