Tuttle leads Kamiak past Mariner in OT | Boys basketballJunior guard makes 5 of 6 FTs in fourth quarter and overtime
Kamiak’s Carson Tuttle came up big when his team needed him the most.
Tuttle scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime period to lead the Knights to a 68-67 victory over district rival Mariner in a Wesco 4A boys basketball game Jan. 24 at Mariner High School.
The junior co-captain calmly made two free throws to tie the score at 63 with 11.9 seconds left in regulation and then connected on 3 of 4 free throws in the final two minutes of overtime, including what turned out to be the game winner with 2.4 seconds left.
“It’s a great win,” Tuttle said. “The atmosphere was great. It was packed. … It’s tough to win in this kind of atmosphere when the home crowd is loud and going hard for their teams. We’re glad to pull it out in the end.”
Tuttle’s late game performance didn’t surprise Knights coach Cory West.
“That’s what he does,” West said. “I expect nothing else.”
Tuttle was confident that he would make his free throws.
“That is something I work on daily,” he said. “I just got up there and did the thing I practiced.”
West expected that the Marauders would come out strong, which is exactly what they did. Mariner led 29-22 at halftime. Kamiak (9-2 in the league, 14-4 overall) battled back in the third quarter and went into the final period trailing 46-44.
“They came out ready to play. They came out competing,” West said. “I think our guys looked past them a little bit and they just played relentless. … I don’t think our guys came to play to be honest. I’m not satisfied. I’m happy with the win because we need games like that before we get to the playoffs.
“I think our guys came in just expecting to blow them out. That’s not going to be the case. Those guys are hungry.”
Tuttle agreed with his coach’s assessment of their opponent.
“They came out with a lot of energy,” he said. “We came out a little bit slower. It took us into the second half to start picking up our tempo and our speed.”
The Knights started executing the game plan in the second half, West said. “We started getting the ball in the paint, which opened up the guys on the outside.
“They were double and triple teaming in the paint and we kicked the ball out and got some open shots.”
Mariner senior Drake Cardoza scored 23 points and senior Jalen Hayes added 13. Senior Stavarai McSwain had 10 points. Kamiak senior Christian Clausen scored 18 points, including two key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and senior Daniel Sharpe had 17 points.
Mariner (1-10, 3-15) trailed 61-56 with just over two minutes left in regulation but then outscored the Knights 7-0 to take a 63-61 lead on a 3-point play by Hayes. Tuttle then was fouled and made two free throws to send the contest into overtime.
The teams traded baskets in the first two minutes of overtime before a Hayes’ basket again gave Mariner the lead at 67-65.
Tuttle tied the score with two free throws at the 1:51 mark and then made one of two free throws after being fouled with 2.4 seconds.