An all-star showcase suddenly turned into a real basketball game.
That normally isn’t how it goes when the Class 4A and Class 3A boys hook up at the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association all-state game.
But as soon as the 4A squad started making shots late, a more serious expression came over the face of coach Tim Kelly, who just led Curtis High School to the WIAA state title two weeks ago.
“I said, ‘Can you play just a little bit of defense now?’ ” Kelly asked his players with a chuckle.
And after trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, the 4A team rallied for a 108-107 victory at Curtis High School.
The 3A team, which had won four games in a row in the all-star series, was held scoreless the final 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
Trevaunté Williams of Garfield led the 4A squad with 25 points. Ballard’s Seth Berger added 14, and Curtis’ Dom Robinson had 13.
Lincoln’s Tre’Shaun Fletcher led the 3A team with 20 points. He had a chance to win it in the final seconds, but his corner 3-pointer with a second remaining came up short.
The game featured high-flying dunks, NBA-length 3-pointers and an array of crazy passes – all until the final three minutes.
That’s when Berger came off the bench and hit a long straightaway 3-pointer to give the 4A team a 108-107 lead with 1:45 to go.
“A lot of these guys played in the (state) tournament, and I did not,” Berger said. “But I felt like I belonged here.”
In the final 32.4 seconds, Kelly and Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea exchanged three timeouts. The last one came with 4.6 seconds to go as the 3A team set up a play underneath its basket. University’s Brett Bailey fed the ball to Fletcher in the left corner. Against a double-team, Fletcher’s long shot missed.
In the other games, the 2A team beat the 1A squad, 92-83, and the 2B squad edged the 1B team, 94-89.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles