The Lincoln Abes were tested late in their Narrows League 3A boys basketball game against the Timberline Blazers.
But thanks to high-scoring performances from Ahmaad Rorie and Tre’Shaun Fletcher, the Abes hung on down the stretch for a 70-60 victory in Lacey to remain perfect in league play.
The Abes (12-1 overall, 6-0 league) led 54-52 with 6 minutes, 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and then 58-54 with 3:37 left after a put-back from Timberline’s Levi Lambert-Wilson.
But a two-minute scoring drought ensued for the Blazers, and a crucial possession for Lincoln down the stretch turned into three extra possessions because of offensive rebounding.
“We feel like we should play with that intensity against other teams,” said Blazers senior forward Elijah Sanders, who finished with 12 points on 6-for-13 shooting. “They’re No. 1 in the state. We were right there.”
Soon, Lincoln led 64-56 and Timberline was forced to foul. Lincoln converted six free throws in the final 32 seconds.
Junior guard Ahmaad Rorie, a California commit, led all scorers with 24 points for the Abes; senior forward Tre’Shaun Fletcher, who has committed to Colorado, added 20.
Donaven Dorsey led the Blazers with 18 points on 4-of-15 shooting. He was aggressive in attacking the basket and made 10 of 15 free throws. Dorsey was one of four Blazers to reach double figures, along with Elijah Sanders, who had 12 points, and Chase Ryan and Tyler Gartner, who scored 11 points apiece.
Timberline’s zone forced Lincoln to shoot 17 3-pointers, and the Abes made eight.
The Blazers trailed by as many as 11, at 36-25, before making a 9-2 run in the final three minutes of the first half to close to 38-34 at halftime.
Another deficit and run came when Timberline trailed 48-38 after a pair of free throws by Rorie with 5:04 left in the third quarter, but when Blazers junior guard Tyler Gartner hit one of his three 3-pointers inside a minute left, the Lincoln lead was cut to three going into the fourth quarter.
First-year Timberline coach Allen Thomas said his team’s performance against the Abes was one of the best all season in terms of effort.
“Our execution wasn’t there in crucial moments,” Thomas said. “We wasted a lot of energy fighting back.”
The Blazers (8-5, 3-3) are now tied with Mount Tahoma for third place in the league.