The Stadium boys basketball team struggled greatly from the free-throw line — missing 19 attempts.
Usually that would be a game-breaker, and while Tigers coach Dennis Johnson will likely make that a point of emphasis at the team’s next practice, the poor shooting performance failed to have any real impact on the outcome.
Credit Olympia’s 25 turnovers for that luxury.
Bobby Moorehead scored 18 points, Londrell “Prince” Hamilton added 17 and the visiting Tigers held the winless Bears scoreless for nearly all of the final five minutes as Stadium knocked off Olympia, 63-46, in 4A Narrows League play on Friday.
Winston Seaman scored a team-high 16 points for the Bears, who are now 0-6 overall and 0-3 in league play.
“We needed it to be a sloppy game,” Olympia coach Luke Salme said. “(Stadium) has two guys averaging around 30 a game. So we threw a junk defense at them and focused on those two players. I thought that was the only way we’d have a chance to win. And we had a chance at the end. Again, it’s the little mistakes that add up.”
Hamilton scored 12 points in the third quarter, two of which came on a pretty crossover in the lane, to help the Tigers (3-2, 2-1) take a slim 44-40 lead into the fourth quarter.
Liam Murphy’s free throw capped a quick 6-0 run for Olympia and inched the Bears within a point at 47-46 with 4:51 remaining in the contest.
But Olympia went cold from the field the rest of the way, failing to score and falling victim to a game-ending 16-0 run by the Tigers.
“Even as poorly as we played in that first quarter,” Salme said, “we still battled back and had a chance. It’s never a question of heart with these guys, or lack of hustle. That’s always there, but in the end you have to execute.”
Stadium made just 13 of 32 attempts from the free throw line.
Olympia coughed the ball up 10 times in the first quarter alone, including posting turnovers in five of its first six possessions as they went scoreless for the first 31/2 minutes and without a made field goal for the opening 51/2 minutes.
“Coming in 0-5,” Salme said “We wanted to come out and have a good start. And what do we do? Turn the ball over 10 times and don’t get our first shot attempt until four minutes into the game.”
Moorehead scored 12 points to help the Tigers to a 26-25 lead at the half.
The Bears cut the deficit to a point at the intermission on Eddie Beusch’s 3-pointer, which the junior guard launched immediately after he crossed the half-court line.
Beusch’s buzzer-beating heroics helped erase much of an early hole for the Bears.
However, Olympia was never able to establish more than a one-point lead, which happened twice in the second.
Brett Thompson and Beusch both scored eight points for the Bears, who are off to a rare slow start.
During the previous five seasons, Olympia’s worst record after six games was 4-2 — posted by last year’s squad. The Bears went 6-0 twice and 5-1 twice over the other four seasons.