Jaguars rally falls short against Battle Ground

Boys basketball: Harris' 30 points not enough in comeback bid against Tigers

of the HeraldFebruary 26, 2014 

The Emerald Ridge Jaguars had all the momentum Thursday night in a winner-to-state regional playoff game against the Battle Ground Tigers.

The Jaguars, who trailed by 15 points midway through the second quarter, closed the gap to two as the teams went into the fourth quarter.

But Battle Ground outscored Emerald Ridge 21-8 during the final eight minutes and cruised to a 69-54 win at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

The Curtis Vikings eliminated Emerald Ridge 67-40 in a winner-to-state, loser-out game on Saturday at Auburn High School.

The Jaguars might have been in a better position had they scored more than two fourth-quarter field goals on Thursday.

Battle Ground head coach Scott Churchill said his team focused on trying to slow down Marcus Harris, who finished with a game-high 30 points.

“Marcus is a great ballplayer,” Churchill said. “We got into trouble (in the second and third quarter) because we weren’t moving our feet very well.

“We knew Marcus was going to get to the foul line. We did a better job of moving our feet and playing better help defense in the fourth quarter.”

The Tigers were on fire from the perimeter early on. They hit four 3-pointers and led Emerald Ridge 27-17 after the first eight minutes.

Emerald Ridge’s pressure defense resulted in many turnovers in the middle two quarters.

“Sometimes we kind of go where our offense gets into little lulls,” Churchill said. “We just had to step it up. Emerald Ridge brought a lot of intensity. We knew they were going to punch us in the mouth. I’m really happy with how we responded.”

Harris also led Emerald Ridge on Saturday with a game-high 20 points in the final game of his high school career.

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