By David Krueger
MILL CREEK — There were some special people in attendance for Thursday night’s Wesco South boys basketball showdown between Jackson and Kamiak.
And it wasn’t just Washington State University head coach Ken Bone.
“I don’t know what it was. The basketball gods were with us,” said Jackson’s Jason Todd, who scored a game-high 32 points.
Todd and the Timberwolves seemed to score at will, shooting 49 percent (35-for-71) from the field, and Jackson overcame an aggressive, full-court Kamiak defense while defeating the Knights 87-47 Thursday night.
Both teams came into the Wesco South 4A matchup undefeated in league play, but instead of a close contest for first place, the game quickly turned into a rout.
“We knew they were going to pressure us and keep it uptempo,” Jackson head coach Steve Johnson said. “We talked about controlling the tempo and we did a pretty good job of that.”
Todd, who is the second-leading scorer in Wesco with 23.3 points per game going into the Kamiak contest, came up just short of a triple-double with 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. He said he didn’t care about missing the triple-double, he’s just happy to get the win.
“I’m not concerned about stats,” Todd said. “All I want is wins.”
Todd’s performance caught the eye of WSU’s head coach, who chatted with the Jackson junior after the game and invited him to today’s Cougars game. WSU plays Buffalo at KeyArena in Seattle today.
Jackson came out firing right from the start of Thursday’s game. The Timberwolves shot 48 percent (11-for-23), netting 30 points in the opening quarter. Todd had seven points in the first quarter and point guard Dan Kingma added 11.
“Dan and Jason are really good players,” Johnson said. “They make good decisions.”
Todd said that Jackson was fired up to face the team with which it was tied for first place.
“We were ready to go,” Todd said. “Both teams were 4-0 in league. It was a big test for us. It was good to get up early on them.”
The Timberwolves continued to score and with 2:44 to play in the game took a 40-point lead, ushering in a running clock.
Kingma finished with 13 points six rebounds and Brian Zehr added 12 points and five rebounds for Jackson (5-0 league, 7-0 overall), which remained undefeated while taking over sole possession of first place in the Wesco 4A South.
Wesco-leading scorer Imaan Vicente, who was averaging 24.7 points per game going into Thursday night, led the Knights (4-1, 4-3) 13 points — all of which came in the first half. He briefly left the game in the second quarter after falling hard to the floor going for a rebound, but was able to return soon after.
Senior Josh Wisnubroto added seven points and five rebounds for Kamiak.
“They’re a great team,” Todd said. “A lot of people were excited to see two good teams match up.”
Despite the big win — and perfect record through the first third of the season — Johnson says the Timberwolves have to keep working hard and getting better.
“Things are good, but we’ve got to keep our nose to the grindstone,” he said.
Johnson is giving Jackson a six-day break before the Timberwolves play in a holiday tournament. Then, Wesco 4A North crossover games begin.
“Before you know it we’ll be back in school Jan. 2nd and continuing league play,” Johnson said.
Even with the vacation Johnson is giving his team, Todd isn’t sure how much of a break he’ll get during the holiday season.
“My brother (Seattle Pacific University guard Ryan Todd) came back,” Todd said. “I’m sure I’ll be in the gym with him (today).”
At Jackson H.S.
Kamiak—Josh Wisnubroto 7, Chance Lord 1, Liam Jouett 2, Tyler Nielsen 9, Aman Hussein 0, Imaan Vicente 13, Jonathan Lee 4, Drew Blacksmith 3, Brandon Wright 4, Henderson Belk 2, Simran Mand 2. Jackson—Kyle Graff 2, Dan Kingma 13, Jason Todd 32, Brian Zehr 12, Marcus Blake 9, Derrick Bates 6, Connor Willgress 6, Blake Ozuna 0, Holden Roberts 3, Riley Waite 1. 3-point goals—Vicente 1, Wisnubroto 1, Kingma 3, Todd 2, Zehr 1, Blake 3. Records—Kamiak 4-1 league, 4-3 overall. Jackson 5-0, 7-0.