EDMONDS — Hanging on the wall in Bryan Bunyatipanon’s bedroom is a list of goals he’s hoping to achieve his senior season. Every morning he scans the list, digests the information and uses the goals to remind himself that hard work could make them come true.
One of Bunyatipanon’s listed goals was to hit a game-winning shot. He revealed the goal to his team before the season.
Call it divine intervention or four years of hard, grinding work providing one golden opportunity, but with a tied game and the game-clock expiring in Edmonds-Woodway’s Friday night Wesco 3A/2A matchup with Marysville Getchell, Bunyatipanon hoisted a potential game-winning triple from the extended right elbow. He buried it. Nothing but net.
“Coach told me in the locker room it doesn’t matter who starts or who is on the bench, it matters who finishes,” Bunyatipanon said. “And I just want to contribute with my teammates. He reminded us yesterday at practice that we only have three weeks left, and I am just trying to make the most of it.”
Bunyatipanon’s game-winner capped a furious comeback. The Warriors trailed by as much as 16 in the second half and still faced a double-digit deficit with 3:10 to play.
But in a game where Edmonds-Woodway needed a player to elevate his game, Bunyatipanon delivered. He played clutch down the stretch, and led the Warriors to a dramatic 60-57 league win over Marysville Getchell at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Wesco 3A Boys Basketball
Edmonds Woodway 60
Marysville Getchell 57
— Dennis Dwan (@DennisDwan) January 18, 2020
Bunyatipanon not only won the game with his buzzer-beater, he tied it at 57-57 with another cold-blooded 3 with 14 seconds to play. The late fourth-quarter theater was just part of a big night for Bunyatipanon, who scored 19 points.
“What it was like for me, and being with Bryan for four years …,” E-W coach Robert Brown started to say before pausing to collect his emotions. “That kid embodies everything that is important. Period. Hard work, no complaints, taking advantage of opportunities. I’ve known him since he was in sixth grade in our feeder program, and he’s just waiting his turn. I’m just happy for him.”
Senior Mutdung Bol played a large hand in the comeback, too. The guard scored a team-high 21 points with 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Edmonds-Woodway (8-4, 4-2 Wesco 3A/2A) extended its win streak to four games and orchestrated an incredible fourth-quarter rally to do so. The Warriors ramped up their defensive pressure, flustered the Chargers (7-5, 3-3) and forced turnovers as Bunyatipanon and Bol made critical plays on the offensive end.
After Marysville Getchell extended its lead to 55-45 with a pair of free throws at 3:10 in the fourth, the Warriors went on a 9-0 run over the next minute-plus. Bol capped the scoring spurt with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 55-54 with 1:21 to play.
Chargers star Malakhi Knight, who scored 16 points, made a running floater to push Marysville Getchell’s lead to 57-54 with 36 seconds to go.
Bunyatipanon’s game-tying 3 with 14 seconds remaining and a subsequent steal from Bol with 5.5 seconds to go setup the game-winning sequence. Bol in-bounded the ball from halfcourt to teammate Chinedu Acholonu, who caught the pass going away from E-W’s basket. Unable to get the ball back to Bol, Acholonu raced upcourt before finding Bunyatipanon wide open on the right wing. The Edmonds-Woodway sixth man took one dribble, stepped into his shot and sent the Warriors home winners.