Erik Muelheims stood at the east hoop in Spokane Arena and struggled. It was frustrating, almost maddening. Finally, the St. George's point guard pulled the piece of net free from the grasp of the rim, turned and hugged a coach.
That was pretty much the only thing Muelheims struggled with all night.
The junior guard scored 17 of his team's first 21 points to spark the Dragons to a big lead they would never look back from in a 50-22 win over Colfax on Saturday to claim the boys 2B state title.
Colfax was just simply unable to stop Muelheims, as the guard was able to penetrate to the rim almost at will, scoring 18 prior to halftime and 26 before it was all said and done.
"I was just using my strengths, I'm a pretty quick kid," Muelheims said. "We knew they'd be doubling Dexter [Sienko] and that opens up me through that. If they tried to double me, then we had kicks outside. It was a good game plan."
If Colfax ever did try to double Muelheims, it didn't show.
"Just an unbelievable competitor," Dragons head coach Ryan Peplinski said. "He's so good and so strong. [He] gets to the rim whenever he wants and he has a decent outside game. He can knock down threes, so you have to honor that, too. He really pushed tempo today and got the ball up in a hurry."
The Bulldogs quest for back-to-back championships never got much hope, as the closest they would get in the second half was 11. Colfax star Brandon Gfeller struggled with a 2-of-15 night from the floor. Brady Ellis led the Bulldogs with nine points.
With every player that appeared in Saturday's game returning next season, it might be tempting to look at what next year has in store for the Dragons.
"Got a lot of them back," Peplinski said. "But you know, that changes year to year. Even when you bring them all back."
But that's next season. Tonight, St. George's can relish this championship.