SHORELINE — The King’s boys basketball team limped into Tuesday’s night’s showdown with first-place Cedarcrest. Losers of its previous two home games to Archbishop Murphy and Lakewood, King’s also just barely hung on to beat Granite Falls by a point one week ago.
But on senior night, a trio of seniors helped make sure the Knights didn’t lose its third straight home game and gave them a good shot at winning a conference title.
Seniors Caleb Taylor, Reid Jones and Mason Friedline combined to score 25 points and grab 20 rebounds as the Knights held off the Red Wolves 58-53 at Mike Martin Gym to create a tie atop the Cascade Conference standings.
“Confidence is big in sports especially at this age,” said King’s head coach Rick Skeen. “We tried to remind the kids of who we really are. Give a lot of positive messages and try to play harder with more emotion and passion.
“Kids have come into our gym and played harder and with more emotion (recently),” Skeen continued. “I thought our kids and our bench from the opening tip acted like they wanted it. I’m pleased because they acted like they wanted it and we beat a really good basketball team tonight. I’m proud of our kids for the bounce-back effort.”
King’s led for much of the game but Cedarcrest, behind five points from Jordan Corpus, outscored the Knights 9-2 to end the third quarter to take a 43-39 lead. In the fourth quarter, which Skeen said is usually when Cedarcrest’s Zach Taylor “takes over,” King’s turned the tables.
Behind scrappy defense from its own Taylor, Caleb, and Jones, King’s held Zach Taylor to just three points — a 3-pointer with 22 seconds to play to cut King’s lead to four — and outscored the Red Wolves 20-10 in the decisive quarter.
“We had something ready that was focused more on Zach and we saved it for the fourth quarter and it really made his shots tough,” Skeen said. “I thought that we were really intentional of knowing where he was when he tried to take over in the fourth quarter.”
Cedarcrest’s Corpus led all scorers with 21 points and Zach Taylor finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Red Wolves started the game on a 5-0 run but King’s countered as David Barhanovich hit three 3-pointers to help the Knights go on a 18-4 run of their own.
Barhanovich scored 13 for King’s, which was led in scoring by Caleb Taylor’s 14. Jones finished with six points and eight rebounds and Friedline had five points and six rebounds. Caleb Taylor also had six rebounds and five assists.
Cedarcrest has only lost two Cascade Conference games this season — both to King’s — and faces Lakewood on Friday for a chance to finish in at least a tie for first place in the conference. The Red Wolves have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming district tournament.
At King’s H.S.
Cedarcrest—Bennett Minnie 0, Zach Taylor 15, Chris Cole 3, Nick Peden 0, Jordan Corpus 21, Austin Patsy 0, Xavier Turner 2, Chad Klingenberg 0, Austin Paxman 2, John Soule 8. King’s—Andrew Ayers 4, Brian Hughes 0, Caleb Taylor 14, Reid Jones 6, Josh Alexander 0, David Barhanovich 13, Jacob Storkson 6, Daniel Fouty 0, Calvin Kispert 10, Mason Friedline 5. 3-point goals—Barhanovich 3, Storkson 2, Ayers 1, Corpus 3, Z. Taylor 2. Records—Cedarcrest 11-2 league, 11-8 overall. King’s 11-2, 15-5.