This outcome, Lakes boys basketball coach JoJo Rodriguez believes, will pay off when games matter most.
Garfield, Class 4A’s top-ranked team, rallied to clip the previously undefeated Lancers, 71-69, in overtime Tuesday night in front of a raucous, standing-room-only crowd at Lakes High School.
“We put this schedule together for this reason,” said Rodriguez. “As a coach, I knew we wouldn’t win every single game, but I go into it to win every game.”
Tied at 69 with seven seconds left in overtime, Lakes (7-1), ranked fifth in 3A, had a chance to topple the Bulldogs. The Lancers had possession at halfcourt, but Washington-bound guard Tony Wroten stole the inbound pass.
“We had it perfect, the play was perfect, but we didn’t down-screen on Tony like we were supposed to,” Rodriguez said. “He kind of flashed through there.”
Said Wroten: “I ducked down, got invisible and came up with the steal.”
Wroten dashed down court and missed a contested layin. Tucker Haymond grabbed the rebound and was fouled on a put-back attempt with 0.6 seconds remaining. Haymond made both free throws to secure the victory for Garfield (7-1).
Wroten scored a game-high 30 points, including six of the Bulldogs’ nine points in overtime. Rodriguez said the Lancers knew Wroten would score plenty, but they wanted to limit his impact on the game. Wroten swished a three-quarter-court shot – his only 3-pointer of the night – as the first half expired.
“Let him get some (points), but you can’t let him go crazy,” he said. “He made some Division-I moves out there. I thought his Division-I status stood up a little on us and made plays that a Division-I athlete makes, and that was the difference in the game.”
Despite more than doubling the point totals of any of his teammates, Wroten played unselfishly. Trailing 62-60 with nine seconds left in regulation, Wroten brought the ball up court, penetrated the paint and passed to forward Daeshon Hall, who dunked and sent the game into overtime.
Lakes guard Andrew Holloway scored 18 of his 20 points after halftime. Forward Isaac Winston added 17 and Taylor McAllister had 10.
Garfield coach Ed Haskins, who saw his team fall to 3A No. 2 O’Dea earlier this month, was impressed by the Lancers.
“Lakes is a tremendous team,” said Haskins, a 1990 graduate of Clover Park. “It took everything and some overtime to get the win. I think they’ll be right in the mix come March.”
Doug Pacey: 253-597-8271 firstname.lastname@example.org