Thirty one years. Thirty one long years filled with generations and generations of dawgs. Thirty one years since both Garfield boys and girls basketball went to the state championship in the same season. Yes, in the 1986-1987 season both teams won. But win, lose, or draw, on March 3rd, 2018 at the Tacoma Dome, we witnessed history that not many people get to be apart of.
Earlier this season February 13th, the boys lost by three points to Seattle Prep. This was the first loss of head coach Brandon Roy’s career, along with sophomore Marjon Beauchamp’s.
“We knew people would talk,” senior captain J’raan Brooks said. “We really had to come together as a team, block out the noise, and realize that we weren’t unbeatable. It really helped us in our run to state because it reignited that fire within us.”
“We definitely had some ups and downs during the season,” sophomore Tari Eason said. “At times we struggled to play with consistent effort, and to play as team. Because of this we’d put ourselves in holes that we had to dig out of. We finally dug a hole we couldn’t climb out of in that prep game.”
Although nobody wanted to lose this season, you could tell the loss sparked a change in attitude the team.
“The next game we came out mad and just blew them out,” Brooks said. “We played together as a team and everybody got theirs.”
For the next three games, everybody continued to work together, winning by a combined 71 points.
“We really wanted to get that ring and nothing was going to stop us,” Eason said.
In the 3a state semifinal game, Eastside Catholic put up a fight, to no avail. But in the game to decide it all USC commit Kevin Porter Jr, and Trevante Anderson gave the dawg pound a run for their money.
“I had never won a state championship,” Brooks said. “Beach played extremely tough and KP [Kevin Porter Jr.] and Tre [Trevante Anderson] did a lot of special things. But for myself and the other seniors, there was no way I was leaving that dome without that gold ball!”
With Brooks, Eason, and the rest of the team hoisting the gold ball in the air, it marked the 14th boys championship in Garfield history, and first since 2015.
A couple days after the boys lost to Prep, the girls took a surprising four point loss to a Cleveland team they had beat earlier in the season by twenty two points. Nine days later, they took another loss to a West Seattle team they had just beat two weeks prior.
“When we were losing those games, we all got some attitudes,” said senior captain Kayla Brundidge. “Nobody likes to lose, especially on this team. But we worked together and got past the attitudes and came together.”
But the attitudes after games weren’t the only problems the girls faced throughout the season.
“At the beginning of the season during summer league, we didn’t get along at all,” Metro League MVP Dalayah Daniels said. “There was no cohesiveness and we all played selfish.”
Throughout all the ups and downs, the team grew closer and closer, and it showed on the court.
“Instead it being oh I got mine so I’m good, it was everybody ate and the team won,” Brundidge said. Entering state as underdogs, the girls made it all the way to the final show, where late game mistakes made them fall just short..
“Although we didn’t get what we wanted, it was still a great season,” said head coach Lee Adams. “Our girls fought all season and accomplished something that hadn’t happened in years at Garfield.”
Joyce Walker, Brandon Roy, Tony Wroten, Jaylen Nowell, and more. All of these great players made history at Garfield, some history we didn’t get to witness. But due to all the hard work of the boys and girls, we got to witness one of the greatest years in Garfield’s rich basketball history.