The countdown to a championship is on for the Seaside boys basketball team.
The Gulls are two games — 64 minutes of basketball — away from a three-peat, following an easy 75-50 win over North Marion in a quarterfinal game of the Class 4A boys basketball state tournament.
Thursday’s game at Pacific University brought an end to Day 1 of the boys’ state tournament, which now moves to Forest Grove High School for the next two rounds.
Seaside will play Stayton in a Friday semifinal. A win would clinch a fourth straight trip to the state championship game for the Gulls, which would play either Banks or Woodburn in the final (Saturday, 3:15 p.m.).
The Gulls’ victory was their second of the season (and fifth in five years) over the Huskies, a common nonleague opponent. The Gulls won at North Marion in January, 58-57.
Not surprisingly, Thursday’s game was also the only non-competitive contest of the day in Forest Grove, as Seaside set the tone early in the rematch.
The Gulls trailed 8-6, but then scored nine straight points, which included three scores from Ryan Hague, who capped the run with a three-point play. Duncan Thompson closed the first quarter with a 3-pointer as time ran out, and Seaside’s lead was soon 29-17.
Hague had 19 of his 29 points in the first half, as the junior finished the second quarter with a tip-in at the buzzer to give the Gulls a 35-24 halftime advantage.
The Huskies tried to keep it close — a 3-pointer from Brady Hansen had North Marion within 41-33 early in the third quarter — but Seaside answered with a 9-0 run to put the game on ice.
Brayden Johnson and Beau Johnson had back-to-back scores, followed by baskets from Hague and Chase Januik for a 50-33 lead.
And the Gulls didn’t let up in the fourth quarter. Seaside poured it on and scored at will midway through the period, with buckets from Hague, Payton Westerholm, Beau Johnson and Januik.
Seaside was a sizzling 32-for-56 from the field. Hague was 14-of-18 and also had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Januik added 16 points for the Gulls, whose lead reached 73-46.