Kamiak falls to Bellarmine Prep | Boys basketballLions pull away in fourth quarter of playoff contest
In a game marked by runs on both sides, Bellarmine Prep pulled away from Kamiak late in a 4A state regional playoff game.
Freshman guard Jaylen Scott hit back-to-back 3-pointers and the Lions outscored the Knights 23-11 in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter to prevail 79-68 in a loser-out boys basketball game Saturday, Feb. 25, at Jackson High School in Mill Creek.
After a first half that ended with the teams tied at 34, Bellarmine Prep was able to take a 50-47 lead into the final period. The Lions extended their advantage to 54-47 before Kamiak used an 8-0 run, capped by a basket and free throw by senior Christian Clausen, to take a 55-54 lead with 5:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Bellarmine Prep responded with a shot by Garrett Horner to take a 56-55 lead. Junior Carson Tuttle then gave the Knights their final lead of the game, 57-56, with a shot at the 4:43 mark.
“There were a lot of runs throughout the game,” Tuttle said. “We’d have energy arise on our side and they’d have energy arise on their side. I know we were down a little bit in the fourth quarter at the beginning and then we made that comeback and then they had the last run. Unfortunately, they finished on a high note. We were a little slower at the end. They played a great game.”
Kamiak coach Cory West was surprised at how quickly the game shifted.
“It escalated so fast,” he said.
The Lions had second chance opportunities that they took advantage of, West added. “We can put points up. We weren’t getting stops. That’s what it comes down to. … I felt like they kept getting offensive rebounds.”
Bellarmine Prep was led by senior Joey Bodoia, who scored a team-high 21 points. Three other Lions scored in double figures – Jaylen Scott (17 points), Christian Moore (13) and Horner (12).
West said that the play of Bellarmine Prep’s role players – Scott and Horner – was instrumental in the Lions’ win.
“They made the difference,” he said. “Their role players stepped up when they needed to step up.”
The Knights (18-8) did a decent job of executing the defensive game plan against Bodoia and Moore, West added. “We said if they hit them (shots), they hit them, as long as they’re contested.”
Tuttle finished with a game-high 29 points and Clausen added 15 points.
But in the end, 79 points was too much to overcome.
“If you’re having a shootout like that, you’ve got to be putting up points,” West said. “The guys left it on the court.”
This was the second straight season the Knights advanced to the state regional playoffs. Last year was the Kamiak’s first state appearance since 2005.
“We’re very happy. It’s great to be here,” Tuttle said of finishing at state. “We really want to get over that hump next year. We’re going to work really hard in the offseason and do our best to just get over that hump and get to the Tacoma Dome.”
West credits the seniors – Hunter Watkins, Josh Santiago, Keller Whitney, Travis Rucker, Swell Ewing and Clausen – as being catalysts for the Knights’ success the last two seasons.
“Our seniors had a lot to do with that,” West said. “They came in four years ago. The bar wasn’t set like that. We’ve set the bar. Now we’ve got to figure it out – how to surpass that and take the next step.”
Clausen, a co-captain with Tuttle, came into the program as a freshman, who could shoot but couldn’t defend a single thing, West recalled.
“Now he comes into his senior year and he played like he didn’t want the season to be over, not only knocking down shots and getting a huge steal,” West said. “He’s done so much for the program.”
Tuttle is especially close to the seniors, who he has been playing with since he was a young boy.
“I have so many memories with those guys,” Tuttle said. “I was probably 6 or 7 years old when we started up. We played all the way up until the Kamiak feeder system. There are so many things that they have taught the underclassmen and taught us juniors. Those memories I’ll have forever. I’m going to miss those guys so much.”
TOP 3-POINT SHOOTER: Senior Christian Clausen finished the 2016-17 season as Washington state’s top 3-point shooer with 111 in 26 games, according to Maxpreps.com. Nationally, Clausen tied for 21st overall.