YAKIMA — For all of King’s first-half struggles, the Knights found themselves a basket and 4.6 seconds away from a state championship berth.
But King’s couldn’t convert on its final possession, and the Knights’ bid for a state title ended in heartbreak.
Trailing by one, King’s guard Hunter Reeves navigated the length of the floor with 4.6 seconds left, but his layup attempt was blocked as time expired, and the No. 10 Knights suffered a 43-42 1A state semifinal loss to No. 11 King’s Way Christian on Friday.
King’s (21-6) next plays either Zillah or La Center in a third/fifth-place game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Tyler Linhardt scored a game-high 22 points, 15 of which came during the third quarter, and Elyon Zevenbergen added seven points.
King’s, which shot over 50 percent in its two previous state tournament wins, was 1-of-22 from the field in the first half against King’s Way and trailed 21-11 at halftime.
King’s had a chance to extend a 42-41 lead with 20 seconds to play, but missed two free throws. King’s Way’s Khalfani Cason, who scored a team-high 20 points, made a layup with 4.6 seconds left to give King’s Way the lead for good.
Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s consolation game, it will be the seventh straight season with a top-five state finish for King’s.