Top performer: Clay Christian, North Thurston
Scored 36 points in 62-61 loss to River Ridge.
River Ridge 62, North Thurston 61: A spark in the second half from Clay Christian allowed the Rams to come within a few points, but the Hawks’ defense prevailed in the end Thursday.
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“We executed better in the second half and played a littler harder,” said North Thurston coach Tim Brown. “Christian got it going with his hot hand and that was a big part as to why we were able to come back.”
However, in the final possessions for the Rams, there were no good looks and shots were blocked. Christian came away with 36 points, but that was not enough.
The Hawks were led by DeNero Washington, who scored 18 points, and Jordan Skipper-Brown, who had 15.
Peninsula 48, Aberdeen 44: Between Elijah McLaughlin, Seth Kasteler and Jared Brinkman, points were plentiful for these three Seahawks.
McLaughlin and Brinkman each scored 10 while Kasteler put up 15 to lead all scorers.
Braden Castleberry-Taylor led the Bobcats with 12 points.
Life Christian 61, Adna 58: Luke Lovelady had a big game. And by big game, he had a 30-point, 22- rebound and six-block type of big game.
However, that didn’t stop the Pirates from cutting the game close in the fourth quarter. The Eagles missed some shots that were not part of the normal rotation of the offense and didn’t shoot well at the line.
However, riding on the back of Lovelady was all the Eagles needed to narrowly escape with a victory.
Chief Leschi 70, Charles Wright Academy 55: Yahola Gower of the Warriors was locked in a scoring duel with the Tarriers’ Michael Tucci all night.
Gower edged out Tucci by scoring 20 points to 19. Ecko Augkhopinee’s 15 points also helped the Warriors.
Stadium 85, Stevenson 69: Marcel Ferguson ran away with the game for the Tigers, scoring 31 points.
But Ferguson had some help. Davion Gaines scored 19, Jacee Hughes 16 and Blake Wilcox 15.
Capital 64, Steilacoom 50: The first quarter was a slow start for the Cougars as they were outscored by the Sentinels, 18-10.
However, TJ Mickelson was about to put up a big night.
Mickelson scored 27 points to lead a comeback for the Cougars, whose defense limited Isaiah Hampton of the Sentinels to 13 points.
Mount Rainier Lutheran 72, Klahowya 53: Points were not a problem for the Hawks as they jumped out to a large lead and never looked back.
Adam Bailey led all scorers, and his 27 points made it hard for the Eagles to keep up. Chipping in 17 points was Daniel Perry.
Auburn Riverside 88, Eisenhower 52: The Ravens continued to successfully defend their home court in the Riverside Holiday Classic. This time, the Cadets were the ones to go down.
Julian Gulchuk led the Ravens with 24 points. Deltay Redick led the Cadets with 12 points.
Puyallup 102, Vancouver College 78: The Vikings’ explosive offense carried them all the way to a championship at the Tamawanis Holiday Tournament.
Finishing their run against Vancouver College, a British Columbia prep school, Puyallup’s Landen Neff had 22 points to lead all scorers. Jacob Holcomb nearly met that total as well by scoring 19 points.
Top performer: Keshara Romain, Timberline, junior
18 points in 44-39 win over Emerald Ridge
Timberline 44, Emerald Ridge 39: Keshara Romain led the Blazers with 18 points as they burned the Jaguars on Thursday.
The Blazers held a two-point lead at the break. That’s when they locked down defensively, holding the Jaguars to four points in the third quarter. The Jaguars scored 15 points in the fourth, but it was too late.
“Emerald Ridge came out with man, then switched to zone and we attacked it to get some open looks and converted on those shots,” Timberline head coach Tim Borchardt said. “Romain earned 20 rebounds, made moves on the posts.”
The scoring help for Romain came from Natalie Stark, Rayanna Dyas and Kiara Brooks. Stark scored eight points, while Dyas and Brooks each had seven.
Timberline will host Gig Harbor at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Bonney Lake 43, Fife 37: The Panthers cranked down defensively in the second half to pick up the win.
The Panthers held the Trojans to seven points in both quarters of the second half. Shaya McQueen led the scoring charge for the Panthers, dropping 13 points. Her teammate, Payton Mitchell, wasn’t far behind with 11 points.
Bonney Lake will host Auburn at 7 p.m. Friday.
Spanaway Lake 38, Bremerton 37: Despite scoring one point in the third quarter, the Sentinels advanced to the finals of the Spanaway Lake Annual Christmas Tournament with a win over Bremerton.
“Obviously we had trouble scoring in the third quarter,” Spanaway Lake head coach Rob Morrison said. “We had 17 field-goal attempts and four free throws, but only made a free throw. It lit a fire under them and they did a much better job in the fourth.”
Eight different Sentinels contributed points in the victory. Anika-Jo Muna led the way with 11 points. Andrea Fresch had eight points while Chinedu Nnadi had six.
Federal Way 43, Kent-Meridian 34: A big fourth quarter helped the Eagles secure a win over the Royals.
The Eagles missed double-digit scoring in every quarter until the last, when they scored 17 points. Sydney Dewitt accumulated 15 points while Hannah Togia added 12.
The Eagles will host Todd Beamer at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Klahowya 52, Mount Rainier Lutheran 45: A slow start for the Hawks proved to be their demise as they lost to the Eagles.
The Hawks scored six points in the first quarter. They made up for it by adding 17 in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough. Claire Lyons led all scorers with 17 points for the Hawks. Isabella Foxley poured in 10 points.
The Hawks will host Seattle Lutheran at 6 p.m. Tuesday.