As the reigning 1A state champions warmed up for their game against Kentwood during Monday’s King Showcase, you couldn’t help but notice Corey Kispert standing under the basket with a boot on his right foot.
He will be wearing a Gonzaga University men’s basketball uniform next winter, but Kentwood coach Blake Solomon wanted to see him in his King’s uniform.
“We were excited to play against him because of how good he is and what he does for their team,” Solomon said. “Those guys are so well coached, they play so hard and execute their stuff that it was still a great test for us.”
But Kentwood had some standouts of its own step up. Senior guards Darius Lubom and Rayvaughn Bolton combined for 31 of Kentwood’s 64 points as the Conquerors rolled to a 64-38 nonleague victory at the ShoWare Center in Kent on Monday.
Kentwood took advantage of the missing Kispert by opening the game in a full-court press. That defense led to offense, as it would for the entire night for Kentwood.
Lubom got his team off to a fast start, scoring six of the team’s first 10 points.
Kentwood took a 17-9 lead into the second quarter. King’s gained some ground when sophomore Nate Kleppe caught a long outlet pass before being fouled on a layup. He converted the free throw, to bring the Knights within five.
But the Conquerors responded by going on a 10-4 run to close out the half, taking a 29-18 lead.
Bolton took over in the third quarter with a pair of 3-pointers early. From there, the 6-foot-2 guard was able to create turnovers, leading to easy buckets and Bolton finished the quarter with 12 of his game-high 18 points.
“He’s really long and he can defend,” Solomon said. “He likes to get out in passing lanes and create havoc that way. He did a good job of forcing turnovers and getting out and running. He got himself a lot of easy buckets, which then got him in a rhythm to make jump shots.”
The duo had help from junior guard D’Angelo Minnis. Minnis was deadly from deep. He hit a pair of 3s in the first half and added three more in the fourth quarter to finish with 15 points.
Mount Tahoma 58, Lindbergh 54: Despite a late push from the Eagles, the Thunderbirds hung on for the win.
The Thunderbirds carried a 52-40 lead into the final quarter. The Eagles would outscore the Thunderbirds 14-6 in the final quarter, but fell shy. A pair of Thunderbirds led the team in scoring. Ed Heater and Zehki Johnson combined for 26 points, scoring 13 apiece.
Mount Tahoma hosts Spanaway Lake on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Tahoma 54, Vashon Island 39: A balanced scoring attack from the Bears led to a routine victory over the Pirates.
Eight different Bears contributed points. Clayton Stultz led the team in scoring. The 6-foot-9 post did his work underneath the basket, scoring 12 points. Kimball Cottam added 11, sinking five shots, including one from deep.
Tahoma returns to league play with a game at Kentlake on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
Seattle Prep 74, Spanaway Lake 50: The Sentinels had no answer for the size of the Panthers as they powered their way to victory.
Junior Nic Lynch stands at 6-10 and did whatever he wanted in the paint. He led all scorers with 21 points.
Jordan Garner had a nice night for the Sentinels, pouring in 15 points. The junior guard hit three field goals, and three 3s.
Sunset (Ore.) 52, Auburn Riverside 50: Free throws won the game for the only out of state school in the King Showcase as the Apollos beat the Ravens.
Rosie Pflug led all scorers with 23 points. She was 9 for 13 from the charity stripe. As a team, the Apollos were 20 for 25.
The Ravens’ offensive production came from just four players. Faith Turner did work in the paint, dropping 19 points, with most coming close to the basket. Olivia Denton dropped 15 points. McKenzi Williams had 13 points with going 5 for 6 from the free throw line.
Auburn Riverside heads across town to Auburn Mountainview to resume league play on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 5:45 p.m.
Kentlake 49, Seattle Prep 29: The Falcons flew past the Panthers in the fourth quarter of Monday’s King Showcase game.
The Falcons grabbed the lead early and expanded on it throughout the game. The dagger came in the fourth quarter when the Falcon offense came alive, scoring 22 points in the final frame. Aniston Denckla led all scorers with 18 points, hitting from inside and out. Kiernan Denckla added 10 points of her own.
The Falcons head to Tahoma on Tuesday for a 7:15 p.m. tipoff.