Coach Tim Kelly and the Curtis High School boys basketball team are used to seeing challengers in the South Puget Sound League South Division come and go over the years — with limited success.
But this possible up-and-comer — Spanaway Lake — showed something that should keep the Vikings’ attention for the rest of the season.
In the end, Curtis wore the Sentinels down, and got out of Spanaway with a 73-63 victory Friday night in SPSL South action.
Aushanti Potts-Woods tallied a game-high 27 points — 19 coming in the second half. Combine his efforts with frontcourt mates John Moore (10 of his 18 points came in the fourth quarter) and reserve Semaj Booker (12 of his 14 points came in the final 10 minutes), and it is easy to see how the Vikings finally gained control of this back-and-forth game on the interior.
Curtis made 17 of its 26 field-goal attempts in the second half.
“They outplayed us in the first half. They played harder than we did, with more intensity,” Kelly said. “I thought we came out in the second half and established ourselves in the first couple of possessions with defense.”
Constant attacking pressure, notably by sophomore Darrin Gethers, forced 23 Spanaway Lake turnovers.
“We have to get tighter in our execution,” Spanaway Lake coach Dominic Batten said. “We can’t win games with 23 turnovers against a good Curtis team. Those extra possessions we need.”
The Sentinels hung tight, building a 38-32 lead behind point guard Raven Frazier, who had eight points and 10 assists. But Curtis went on a 13-1 run in the next 21/2 minutes, capped by Booker’s short jumper, to grab a 45-39 lead late in the third quarter.
Spanaway Lake took its final lead, 54-53, at the 5:20 mark on Isaiah Turner’s basket. But four Moore free throws capped a quick 6-0 Curtis run, and the Vikings never trailed the rest of the way.