Poise helps Kamiak defeat Monroe, advance to district finals | Boys basketball

Knights face Grizzlies for 3rd time this year
By David Pan | Feb 14, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Landon Overturf attempts a shot against Cascade.

Kamiak’s veteran poise paid off against Monroe.

After taking a 17-point lead into halftime, the Knights saw the Bearcats rally and eventually cut the advantage to 5 points in the third quarter.

But Kamiak made the plays down the stretch to defeat Monroe 57-50 in a 4A District 1 boys basketball semifinal game Saturday, Feb. 10, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

The Knights (14-8) face Wesco 4A champion Glacier Peak (19-2) in the district championship game at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, at Everett Community College.

The winner advances to the state regional tournament, while the loser will play in a winner-to-state regionals/loser-out contest at 1:45 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, at Everett Community College.

The Grizzlies won the first meeting between the two teams 72-35, while the Knights prevailed in the rematch 66-62.

“Whichever kids execute and do a little bit extra are going to make the difference in the game,” Kamiak coach Cory West said.

Kamiak took a 14-13 lead into the second quarter against Monroe and then seized control of the contest with a 17-2 second quarter performance.

“Our guys turned it up a bit. Their big kid got in foul trouble,” West said. “Our kids got some pretty key stops. We rebounded well. We had a good handful of steals.”

Senior Carson Tuttle scored a team-high 17 points. Seniors Danny Sharpe finished with 13 points and Landon Overturf added 12 points.

The Bearcats (16-5) trimmed the Kamiak lead to 41-34 by the end of the third quarter and made another push in the final period.

West credited his players’ mental toughness, which he talked about prior to the game, for the victory.

“Experience and just composure and mental toughness, that’s what we practiced,” West said. “The team stayed mentally strong. I said before the game that whichever team stayed mentally tough throughout the game, that’s going to be the team that wins. Our guys stayed super composed throughout the second half.”

Senior Braden Leary made some key contributions in the final minute of the game, the Kamiak coach noted. Leary pulled down a crucial rebound, made a layup and also connected on 2 of 4 free throws to help preserve the Knights’ victory.

Kamiak opened district play with a 55-42 victory over Cascade Thursday, Feb. 8, at Kamiak High School. Tuttle and Sharpe each scored 19 points to lead the Knights. Kamiak has won five straight games and eight out of its last nine.

“It’s the right time of the season to be playing well,” West said.

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