The last time Renton High School’s boys basketball team took the state championships was 1967. For the 2018-2019 season, the boys are back in the top three.
The team placed third at the Washington 2A state tournament at Yakima Valley SunDome over the weekend, securing the spot after beating Pullman 61-42 on March 2.
Head Coach Rashaad Powell, a Renton graduate and assistant coach for over 10 years, said the team should have been in the championship game and deserved to be one of the top two teams in the state.
The team finished the season 22-8.
Team captain and senior Damarco Williams was selected for First Team All-Tournament. Williams led Renton’s win against Pullman with 12 points.
Williams and Vershan Jackson were also named First Team SPSL All-League postseason.
Team captain and junior O’Shae Barquet was selected for Second Team All-Tournament and Second Team SPSL All-League postseason. Another junior, Terrance Meneese, was awarded SPSL honorable mention.
The Indians also won their division championship for the third year in a row.
Coach Powell said his team was resilient on and off the court this season. He said he didn’t change much as head coach from previous years, and the main goal was to teach life lessons in basketball.
Those life lessons come out on the court as the athletes learn characteristics of success. Over the weekend, Powell said he saw poise and composure from the student athletes.
“We played four great games of basketball,” Powell said. “I can’t compliment them enough or explain how proud I am of them for how they handled themselves with grace and class.”
In his first year as head coach, Powell said it was a great season and the team made a tremendous amount of progress.
It’s a blessing to give back and help young people achieve their goals, Powell said. The team has faced both individual and team-wide adversity, and many of the lessons have helped the students grapple with that.
The group also had to meld quickly this year, Powell said, but the chemistry was present in their playoff run. They spent time together on and off the court, he said, to help their overall success.
“It’s more than guys who go to school together, it’s a brotherhood. A true family,” Powell said.