Shoreline Christian boys need two more wins for Class B state berth

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise writer
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:38am

SHORELINE — All five were quality, close range looks at the basket and Shoreline Christian couldn’t convert a single one. And that was just one trip down court.

That first possession of the second half was a precursor to what was in store for the Crusaders in their Class B Tri-district boys basketball playoff showdown with Clallam Bay Tuesday night at King’s High School.

Shoreline Christian watched 12 of its first 13 attempts in the third quarter veer off course, allowing the unbeaten Bruins to erase a seven-point deficit and clinch their first trip to state since 1996 with a 63-42 comeback victory.

While Clallam Bay moved on to the championship game against Darrington, the Crusaders still have a shot at earning the tournament’s third and final state berth.

Shoreline Christian faces Northwest B League rival Mount Vernon Christian at 8:30 tonight at King’s, with the winner advancing to meet the winner of Lummi/King’s West at 1:30 p.m. March 1 at King’s in the consolation final.

After coming back from eight down at the start of the second quarter to take a 26-21 halftime lead, the Crusaders were doomed by a 6-for-35 shooting performance in the second half, including a dreadful 0-for-12 showing from 3-point range.

“In the first half, we kept them off balance by scoring and getting the lead,” Shoreline Christian coach Daryl Broekhuis said. “In the second half, once they got the lead they got a lot of confidence and momentum.”

Despite their struggles from the field, the Crusaders (17-5 overall) still were up by three heading into the fourth quarter thanks to Garth Brandal’s 3-point play in the final minute of the third period.

But the Bruins (19-0) regained the lead with a 9-0 spurt to open the fourth quarter. Their seven-point edge swelled to double digits with a 17-4 run over the final three minutes. Senior forward Fidel Angulo scored eight of his 17 points in the last 1:12 for Clallam Bay and teammate Annan Bowlby led all scorers with 22 points.

“In the fourth quarter, we just started playing lousy defense,” Shoreline Christian junior Garth Brandal said. “We didn’t finish the inside shots we got and we didn’t hit any threes the whole game, so that killed any chances to drive on them.”

The Crusaders experienced a similar fourth-quarter collapse when the teams first met Dec. 6. The Bruins escaped with a 62-57 win — their second-closest of the season.

“We felt that in the fourth quarter it turned into a football game,” Broekhuis said. “It got very physical. They started diving in and going for the ball and ripping it out. We didn’t respond to their physical play.”

In the second quarter, Shoreline Christian’s finesse got to the Bruins. Brandal spun free from two defenders for a soft jumper in the key to give the Crusaders their first lead midway through the quarter as part of a 16-3 run.

Clallam Bay was held well below its 78.5 scoring average but nonetheless overpowered Shoreline Christian down the stretch.

“They crash the boards pretty hard,” said Brandal, who led the Crusaders with 16 points along with senior Darren Broekhuis. “If you don’t box them out, they’re going to get the rebound. That’s what happened all game — we let them jump over us.”

The Crusaders defeated Christian Faith 62-50 in the first round Feb. 21. Broekhuis scored a game-high 22 points, point guard Tim Gunderson added 15 and Brandal had 13.

Though Shoreline Christian swept its season series with Mount Vernon Christian, Broekhuis cautioned his players not to take tonight’s rematch with the Hurricanes lightly.

“We’ve already talked about how all of that doesn’t matter,” Broekhuis said. “If anything, it hurts us. They want that game real badly. And they’re playing good basketball right now.”

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