EVERETT — Fixating on Kamiak guard Carson Tuttle’s flash and scoring ability is easy to do. When Knights big Daniel Sharpe is right, he’s among the top scoring forwards in Wesco. Conner Fitzpatrick and Patrick Olson are lethal from 3-point range when they’re on.
But make no mistake, defense is what had Kamiak cutting down the nets Thursday night at Everett Community College.
The Knights limited Cascade to 42 points during their district opener. In the semis, Kamiak shut down Colby Kyle and Monroe. Glacier Peak became the last victim.
Olson, who used his length to fluster the Grizzlies’ top scoring option, Bobby Martin, all night, recorded six blocks and scored a game-high 19 points to help Kamiak earn a 72-56 4A District 1 title game win over the Wesco 4A champs. Seventeen of Olson’s points came during the second half.
Tuttle finished with 16 points, and Fitzpatrick scored all 10 of his points during the final 16 minutes for the Knights (15-8).
The win solidified Kamiak’s third straight state-tournament appearance, while Glacier Peak moves on to a winner-to-state, loser-out game against Jackson at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Everett Community College.
Martin led the Grizzlies (19-3) with 18 points, Evan Mannes chipped in 13 and Trey Lawrence, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, scored 10 points.
Kamiak, which lost to Glacier Peak early in the season 72-35, beat the Grizzles two weeks ago 66-62, handing GP its only league loss.
The Knights built a first-quarter lead Thursday and never trailed the rest of the way.
Kamiak led 12-5 after the first quarter, but Glacier Peak used a 13-3 second-quarter run to tie the game at 24 with 1:07 to play until halftime.
Tied at 27 at the break, the Knights opened the second half on a 12-2 scoring run to take a 39-29 advantage with 3:55 to play in the third quarter.
Glacier Peak began double teaming Tuttle, which freed up Olson, and the senior guard took over, scoring eight points in the third before adding nine in the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies trimmed the deficit to 56-50 with 4:37 to go in the fourth, but Fitzpatrick spearheaded a Kamiak 7-0 scoring run that put the game away.