Top performer: Luke Lovelady, Life Christian
Scored 26 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, had six assists and five steals in 62-29 win over Ocosta.
Lincoln 66, Spanaway Lake 59: Despite building a 23-4 lead after the first quarter, the Abes had to hold on to grab first place in the 3A PCL on Thursday.
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Most of the damage was done by Jordan Garner, who scored 37 points for Spanaway Lake and grabbed 13 rebounds.
“We got off to a great start, we were up big, but then got flat as the game went on,” said Abes coach Aubrey Shelton. “We let Garner do whatever he wanted.”
Garner’s scoring led to an offensive spark for the Sentinels, allowing them to creep ever closer to the Abes’ lead.
“(Garner) is a leader. Once everyone settled in, it showed what we can do,” said Sentinels coach Dominic Batten. “Our guys kept it together and fought back. We are a good team, and if we play hard, we can beat anybody.”
But as the Sentinels were finding their groove in the fourth quarter, so did the Abes. Jayden Simon was a big factor as he grabbed a few rebounds and put them back for points.
Willie Thomas proved crucial as some of his eight blocks kept the ball alive for the Abes and allowed them to make plays.
Lincoln had four players finish with at least 10 points, including Le’Zjon Bonds, who led the way with 16.
“Come tomorrow, we need to maintain effort in all four quarters,” Shelton said. “It’s much better to be playing a game than to practice.”
Tacoma Baptist 46, No. 5 Puget Sound Adventist 45: The Crusaders and Sharks had an back-and-forth fourth quarter where neither team could stay ahead for long.
With the clock reading 30 seconds and time running out, the Sharks hit a jump shot that put them up by two over Tacoma Baptist. However, the following possession would define the game.
“We came down to move the ball around, and Jin So found himself alone in the corner,” Crusaders coach Rich Hamlin said. “He hit the bucket and we went up by one.”
The rest was history for the Crusaders as they disrupted the Sharks’ perfect season with their win. Leading the scoring for Tacoma Baptist was PJ Talen with 19 points. But it was So’s eight points, and particularly the last three, that were crucial.
Life Christian 62, Ocosta 29: All the Eagles had to do was let Luke Lovelady do his thing against the Wildcats.
Lovelady finished his night with a game-high 26 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and five steals to ensure victory. The next highest scoring Life Christian player was Payton Shamp with eight points.
Top performer: Nay Chapman, Life Christian Academy, junior
Scored game-winning basket in 41-40 victory over Ocosta
Tumwater 39, Centralia 36: The Thunderbirds needed all the points they could get, but the team’s defense proved to be the winning combination against the Tigers on Thursday.
“Our defense was outstanding,” Tumwater head coach Alysa Vogt said. “Allie Smith, our senior post, shut down (Ellie) Corwin, holding her to eight points, two in the first half. That set the tone for our defense.”
The biggest contributor to the Thunderbirds offense was Sarah Snyder. Snyder scored 15 points, going 4 for 7 from three-point range. The T-Birds took advantage of free-throw opportunities, converting on nine of their 10 attempts.
The Thunderbirds will host Rochester at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Life Christian 41, Ocosta 40: The Eagles walked away with a win after an unlikely player scored the winning basket.
Nay Chapman scored four points on the evening — none more important than the final two that would prove to be the winning points. Chapman got an offensive rebound, and put the ball up and in.
A pair of Eagles led the team in scoring. Alea Yun and Alyssa Donaldson each scored 12 points. However, the offense wasn’t as free-flowing as coach Chris Chapman would have liked.
“Unfortunately, we had 18 turnovers and they capitalized on them,” Chapman said. “We came out and the girls rallied together and went into pressure defense, got them to turn the ball over and we capitalized on fast breaks.”
The Eagles will host Chief Leschi at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.
Tacoma Baptist 44, Puget Sound Adventist 20: The Crusaders led from whistle to whistle, picking up a win over the Sharks.
The Crusaders scored 17 points in the first quarter. They played tough defense, allowing the Sharks five points in the first half. Abby Leaman led Tacoma Baptist with 13 points while Emily Crone added 10.
The Crusaders will host Pope John Paul II High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday.