By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — All day Glacier Peak’s Zach Pederson couldn’t hit a jump shot.
It wasn’t a surprise, however, when the Grizzlies junior post was asked to hit the game-winning shot with 6.8 seconds to go in the 3A state regional play-in game at Mountlake Terrace High School Tuesday night.
Pederson did make nearly every mini hook shot against Shorecrest on the way to 24 points. His final hook was from jump-shot range about 18 feet from the basket and it was all net, giving the Grizzlies a 53-52 victory and a berth in the state tournament for the third straight year.
“I don’t shoot many of those,” Pederson said of the length of his game-winning hook shot. “But the clock was going down.”
Emmanuel Chibuogwu Jr.’s desperation 3-point attempt a few seconds before the buzzer was short, ending the Scots season.
Shorecrest led the entire game until the final few seconds, holding a 15-point edge with 5 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Never give up; that epitomizes our program,” Hunter said. “We’ve won by not quitting.”
The first spark to the GP comeback may have been Chibuogwu picking up his third foul of the game with 4:07 left in the third. Two made free throws by Pederson trimmed the Scot lead to nine.
In the first half it was a battle of Chibuogwu and Pederson. The Grizzlies center was unstoppable when he got the ball in the post with his deadly hook that was good for nearly all of his 10 first-half points. Chibuogwu scored 13 in the half seemingly every way possible, including a sweet in-rhythm 3 that showed the one part of the offensive game Pederson seemed to be missing.
Chibuogwu picked up his fourth on a block call that could have gone either way at the end of the third quarter. The senior sat out the next four minutes and never regained his shooting touch, finishing with 14 points and no second-half field goals.
With the Scots star on the bench, Trevor McCoy kept the Grizzlies at bay, scoring six in a row to give Shorecrest a 50-42 lead near the 4-minute mark in the fourth quarter. But the Scots went cold from the floor.
Glacier Peak still seemed out of luck until Ramsey Rosales hit the second biggest shot of the game. The Grizzlies reserve hit his only shot and one of only two GP 3s with 1:10 to go to pull the Grizzlies to within 52-49.
“Ramsey’s 3 told the rest of the team, ‘Let’s go win this game,’” Hunter said.
And that’s exactly what Pederson did, earning the Grizzlies a matchup with perennial power and former No. 1-ranked Rainier Beach Friday at Bellevue College.
Jon Saperstein covers high school sports for The Herald, follow him on twitter @jonsap and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Glacier Peak—Tarvin 5, Klop 0, Vader 0, Rosales 3, Kiser 0, Preece 4, Wampler 0, Pederson 24, Porhman 2, Davelaar 15. Shorecrest—Lawson 0, Canfield 5, Oishi 0, McCoy 12, O’Neill 0, Keith Shattuck 13, Nelson 2, Chibuogwu Jr. 14, Pontrello 5, Horning 1. 3-Point Goals—Canfield 1, Shattuck 3, Chibuogwu 1, Davelaar 1. Rosales 1. Record—Glacier Peak 17-7. Shorecrest 17-8.