SNOHOMISH — Glacier Peak boys basketball follows a particular creed.
“We kind of have a motto around here that we don’t want to do something twice not positive,” Grizzlies coach Brian Hunter said. “You do something twice, and it becomes a habit. We don’t want bad habits.”
Glacier Peak didn’t want back-to-back losses. Senior guard Trey Lawrence craved redemption following two game-altering missed free throws last Tuesday. So the Grizzles earned back-to-back Wesco 4A titles instead, and Lawrence put together one of his finest performances this winter.
Lawrence posted a game-high 25 points, as Glacier Peak earned a back-and-forth 66-61 Wesco 4A win over Monroe on Thursday night at a rocking Glacier Peak High School gym.
The win gave the Grizzlies a league championship for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
“It feels good to go back-to-back for sure,” Lawrence said. “We lost on Tuesday, so we wanted to bounce back against a really good team like Monroe, and we were able to do that.
“After last game, (my teammates) are not going to say it was on me, but I take the load for the loss when I missed two free throws at the end of the game. We didn’t want to lose twice. We took that to heart.”
Glacier Peak (17-2, 12-1 Wesco 4A) beat Monroe (15-4, 10-3) 72-53 earlier this year, but the Bearcats were without arguably the league’s top player, 6-foot-7 Princeton commit Colby Kyle, for most of the game after he exited early in the second quarter with a wrist injury.
This time Monroe had Kyle, and although he affected the game (five assists, five blocks, eight rebounds), Glacier Peak impressively limited him to nine points.
“They packed it in, but there was more that we as a coaching staff could have maybe done to help him out,” said Monroe coach Ben Williams of Kyle. “It was tough. I actually thought it was one of the best officiated games we’ve had. They let us play. It was playoff basketball. It was hard work in there. He was getting hit, but you know, you got to score through contact. There were maybe some opportunities he didn’t take advantage of, but just as a team I thought we could have helped him out more.”
Seven of Kyle’s nine came in the first half, and his defense and passing were key to the Bearcats owning a 34-30 halftime lead. The Grizzlies led 27-24 with 3:40 to play in the second quarter, but Monroe ended the half on a 10-3 run that was capped with a Mcklain Thompson 3-pointer with 3 seconds on the clock.
Glacier Peak responded out of the break, venturing on a 14-0 run highlighted by a pair of Lawrence dunks. The first came on a fastbreak, and his second was an alley-oop feed from sharpshooter Bobby Martin, who finished with 18 points.
The Grizzlies led 44-36 with 4:00 left in the third and 53-42 with 1:21 to go. But back came the Bearcats.
They responded with a 13-1 run to take a 55-54 lead after Efton Chism hit a triple with 3:55 remaining in the fourth quarter. Glacier Peak scored the next six points until Monroe’s Spencer Davidson scored to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 60-57 with 1:17 to play. A 3 by Bearcat Isaiah Cole, who finished with 11 points, cut the lead to 62-60 with 23 seconds remaining.
After GP’s Fletcher Douglas followed a quick foul by making the first of his two free throws, then came arguably the play of the game.
Douglas’ second shot bounced off the rim, and somehow Martin and his 6-foot-3 frame snuck between Kyle and Davidson, who stands 6-foot-5, to grab the rebound. Monroe was forced to foul again, Lawrence knocked down both free throws and ended the game.
“I was sitting there in the key,” Martin explained. “Fletcher was shooting the free throw, and I was thinking, ‘What if I got the rebound right now?’ I went up, and it went right to me. I was like, ‘That’s mine. I’ll take that.’”
The board was Hunter’s favorite play of the game.
“That just shows how big of a competitor he is,” said the GP coach with a smile.