The unusual format didn’t faze the Lakes High Lancers’ talented four-guard rotation.
The draw in Tuesday night’s SPSL 3A three-way mini-tiebreaker at Bonney Lake High School played right into the group’s strengths.
Guards Terrell Toney, Taron Rogers, Tim Boulding and Diondre Worthy put on an impressive display of feisty defense and a solid effort on offense as the Lancers defeated Auburn Mountainview, 30-22, in overtime of a mini-game to wrap up the SPSL 3A’s No. 1 seed heading into Friday’s sub-district tournament.
“They all can play lockdown defense and they all can put the
ball in the hole,” Lakes coach Nick Jensen said of his foursome. “And they’ve really bought into being a four-headed monster. That way they don’t get tired and they can play at full strength.”
Lakes defeated Enumclaw, 36-28, in the first mini-game (two eight-minute quarters) to advance to the second contest. Enumclaw will head to sub-districts as the No. 3 seed, while Auburn Mountainview, which drew a bye for the first mini-game, is the No. 2 seed. All three teams finished the regular season as division co-champions with 7-3 league records.
Starters Toney and Rogers combined for nine points and four assists in the first mini-game against Enumclaw, while Boulding (seven points, four steals) and Worthy (nine points) came up big in the second game against Auburn Mountainview.
“They get the tempo up real quick and then me and Diondre come in and we just keep it going,” Boulding said. “It’s a nice rotation. We can keep coming at people and they don’t know what to do. No matter who it was (tonight), we were going to score and get the job done.”
Boulding came up big late against Auburn Mountainview. With Lakes trailing 18-16 with 15 seconds remaining in regulation, the 6-foot senior swiped an inbounds pass in the backcourt and took it in for an easy layup to tie the score.
“We knew the play was coming … it was just a matter of anticipating it, getting in the passing lane and making the play,” he said.
Worthy then made a 3-pointer to open overtime, and Boulding added another steal and layup on the next possession to give Lakes a 23-18 lead early in overtime, which they closed out for the victory.
Senior Jordan Johnson also had a strong night for Lakes, combining for 17 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in the two mini-games.
Auburn Mountainview was playing without its leading scorer, JJ Lacey, who was dealing with the severe effects of a bloody nose. Coach Terry Johnson said he should be good to go for the sub-district tournament at Auburn Riverside High School on Friday.
“I don’t think any of us knew what to expect tonight (with the format),” Johnson said. “So I think it was a little bit of a hard adjustment. I don’t know if there was a benefit to us — obviously not in terms of the final outcome there. But it was interesting and fun.
“We had some offensive breakdowns and we missed some shots, (but) I actually was pretty pleased with the way we moved the ball. Give them some credit because they made some very athletic plays defensively as well.”
The Lions will open sub-districts at 5:30 p.m. against Kennedy, the No. 1 seed out of the Seamount League, while Enumclaw faces Lakes at 7:30 p.m.
Bethel 47, Emerald Ridge 39: Bryce Bowers scored 16 points, and the Braves clinched a spot in the West Central District tournament by claiming the SPSL South’s No. 4 seed at Graham-Kapowsin High School.
Emerald Ridge will play Kent-Meridian at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Puyallup High School for the league’s final playoff spot to the district tournament.
In the SPSL North tiebreaker at Auburn High School, Mount Rainier beat Kent-Meridian and Jefferson to claim the division’s No. 3 seed, followed by the Raiders (No. 4).