Jackson’s Sylas Williams (5) shoots the ball during a game against Lake Stevens on Tuesday in Lake Stevens. Jackson won 87-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Jackson’s Sylas Williams (5) shoots the ball during a game against Lake Stevens on Tuesday in Lake Stevens. Jackson won 87-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Williams scores 42, Jackson boys overpower Lake Stevens

The Timberwolves clinch at least a share of the Wesco 4A title with 87-69 victory over the Vikings.

LAKE STEVENS — The Jackson High School boys basketball team found itself in an unwanted position just a few weeks ago.

After getting through a challenging eight-game stretch with a 7-1 record heading into Wesco 4A play, the team dropped two of its first three league games by just five combined points. With just five conference games left, the Timberwolves needed to make a run if they wanted to reach their goal of claiming a league title.

They finished off the run they needed Tuesday night.

Senior forward Sylas Williams poured in a game-high 42 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as Jackson beat Lake Stevens 87-69 for its fifth consecutive league victory.

“I don’t know if I’d really call it a turnaround,” Jackson coach Steve Johnson said of his team bouncing back from the tough early losses. “We just stayed the course and believed in ourselves.”

As a result, the Timberwolves clinched at least a share of the Wesco 4A title. Jackson (14-3, 6-2 Wesco 4A) won’t find out if it wins the conference outright until later this week. Mariner can tie the Timberwolves for first place with a win over Lake Stevens on Thursday.

“I’m proud of them,” Johnson said. “… At this point we’ve done all we can do to at least put ourselves at the top in a co-championship.”

Williams was an unstoppable force all night. The 6-foot-7 senior forward drained 3-pointers. He put his back to the basket and showed off his arsenal of post moves. He provided second-chance buckets off offensive rebounds. And when the Vikings (11-8, 4-3) brought double teams, Williams made the passes needed to find open shooters and keep the offense flowing.

Jackson’s Sylas Williams (5) shoots the ball during a game against Lake Stevens on Tuesday in Lake Stevens. Jackson won 87-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Jackson’s Sylas Williams (5) shoots the ball during a game against Lake Stevens on Tuesday in Lake Stevens. Jackson won 87-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

“He’s always composed, always calm. He never really gets rattled,” Johnson said. “I thought he made good decisions on when to attack when he had the advantage or maybe when he had to hit somebody that was open when the double team was there. … He’s really been scoring at all three levels at different times of the season. He’s a great kid and deserves all the credit he gets.”

Senior guard Harris Kampe and junior forward Ryan Mcferran helped provide the offensive spark alongside Williams throughout the night.

The trio combined for all 28 of Jackson’s points in the first quarter. Mcferran converted a 3-point play off a second-chance opportunity to spark a 12-0 run near the end of the first as Jackson grabbed a 28-18 lead.

Williams and Kampe hit 3-pointers late in the second, and Williams and Mcferran followed with buckets off offensive rebounds to push the Timberwolves’ lead to 52-36 at the break.

Lake Stevens made runs in the third and cut the Jackson lead down to 10 points five times throughout the period. But each time the Vikings made a run the Timberwolves had an answer.

“I think we had some good offense possessions when we needed to,” Johnson said of the third. “We got the ball where it needed to go and we didn’t take bad shots. … I thought we showed good poise and good composure.”

Williams scored 11 more in the fourth as Jackson pulled away.

Kampe finished with 17 points, including four 3-pointers, and Mcferran added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

“When we get multiple guys in double figures, that’s when we’re at our best,” Johnson said.

Jackson’s Ryan Mcferran (14) shoots the ball during a game against Lake Stevens on Tuesday in Lake Stevens. Jackson won 87-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Jackson’s Ryan Mcferran (14) shoots the ball during a game against Lake Stevens on Tuesday in Lake Stevens. Jackson won 87-69. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Senior Maddox Preder netted 27 points, senior Tyson Eyman scored all 16 of his points in the second half and senior Easton Gosser chipped in eight for Lake Stevens.

The Vikings were eliminated from league title contention with the loss.

“We just couldn’t quite close the gap (in the third quarter),” Lake Stevens coach Alex Iverson said. “It seemed like every time we got a chance (Jackson) hit an open shot or we gave up a rebound. … They’re well-coached and they’re tough.”

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