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Originally published Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:21 PM

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Marquis Davis' return sparks Rainier Beach past Franklin

The No. 1 Vikings (21-3) beat Franklin (16-8) for the third time in two weeks, 59-45.

Special to The Seattle Times

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BELLEVUE — Rainier Beach guard Marquis Davis didn't miss a beat.

The No. 1 Vikings (21-3) were without him in Tuesday's win over Eastside Catholic as he served a one-game suspension. Having him back on the court helped Rainier Beach beat Franklin (16-8) for the third time in two weeks, 59-45.

On Rainier Beach's first possession, Davis found himself open in the left corner for a three-pointer. He swished it.

"After I hit that, my confidence came back," he said.

Davis finished with a team-high 14 points, but also brought something else to Beach's lineup.

"He's kind of like the heart and soul of this team," Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea said. "He's our energy guy. When he's out of the lineup, we miss him."

While Davis found success hanging around the perimeter and knocking down threes — he made three of them — Rainier Beach's big men bullied Franklin inside.

Elijah Foster, Jordan King and Fuquan Niles combined for 28 points, which made up for the fact that Vikings' star forward Shaqquan Aaron finished with just three.

Bethea knows his depth is a blessing. The Vikings have won 15 games in a row and have lost only once to an in-state team.

"A couple of the guys were just really flat tonight and had a hard time getting going," he said, "but that's ... the beauty of a team with the type of depth we have. Chances are one of the 10, 11 guys I've got is going to have a good night. And I like those odds."

Franklin's defensive issues inside, it stayed in the game through the third quarter by being efficient. The Quakers turned the ball over just twice in the second half.

But facing a nine-point deficit heading into the fourth, Franklin couldn't do much to stop Rainier Beach from extending the lead. The Vikings scored 20 points in the fourth quarter.

Thursday was the third meeting between Franklin and Rainier Beach since Feb. 2, all of which have been wins for the Vikings. Beach has won each of the three by at least 11 points.

The margins of victory may be large, but Bethea is happy that the streak of games against Franklin is over for now.

"Those are kind of scary games," he said. "Because it's hard to beat a team three or four times. I hope we don't have to play them again."

Rainier Beach faces Lakeside Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for the SeaKing tournament title at Bellevue College.

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