Winter break may have lasted a little longer than the Gig Harbor High boys basketball team was hoping it would. Hosting Timberline on Wednesday night in the first league game since the holiday break, the Tides looked low on energy, digging themselves into a 28-15 hole at half before eventually falling to the Blazers, 44-37.
“I don’t know if that’s from winter break or whatever the excuse we want to have is,” said Gig Harbor coach Billy Landram. “The bottom line is we didn’t have a lot of fire in us in the first half.”
That changed in the second half, when Gig Harbor fought back in the third quarter, scoring 15 in the period to cut the lead to 36-30. The 15 points in the third quarter matched Gig Harbor’s entire first-half offensive output.
The Tides were led by freshman lefty center Drew Parrish, who scored a team-high 12 points off the bench for Gig Harbor (9-2 overall, 3-2 South Sound 3A). Parrish’s lefty hook and quick footwork was on full-display in the second half, in which Parrish scored 8 of his 12 points.
“We see it a lot in practice,” Landram said. “He hasn’t had as much chance with (senior center Patrick Fredrickson) doing a lot of the damage. He played well tonight and he was being rewarded with some minutes tonight. He did a good job and collectively as a group, we’ve got to keep pitching in and getting better.”
Gig Harbor senior Marcus Oman chipped in six points off the bench. All in all, 19 of Gig Harbor’s 37 points came from the bench, while the starting five accounted for only 18 points.
“These guys battle every day in practice,” Landram said. “So I see a lot of the good and bad from all the kids. The bench definitely picked it up for us tonight. We just had a hard time scoring. We fought back. We played pretty poorly offensively.”
Even with the lackluster offensive performance, Gig Harbor had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. Senior wing Avery Jones heated up from the 3-point line, draining three triples in the second half, including one to bring the game within three points with under two minutes to go. But Timberline went on a 4-0 run to close out the game and escape with the road win.
“We had a play to give ourselves a chance to tie it with two minutes to go and just couldn’t make it,” Landram said. “A lot of that is because of their quickness on defense. We just have to play better to win games.”