It was indicative of just how tight the race for the 3A Narrows League crown has been this season.
The 10th-ranked Foss High School boys basketball team edged No. 6 Lincoln 70-64 in overtime on Friday at Lincoln High School. The Falcons now control their own destiny in their chase for their first league title since the 2008-09 season.
Foss (13-3, 9-1 3A Narrows) entered the game in a three-way tie atop the standings with Lincoln (13-3, 8-2) and No. 5 Wilson (14-2, 9-1), which beat North Thurston 66-55 on Friday.
“We were one of the most doubted schools,” said Foss’ Haywood Irwin, who scored a team-high 19 points. “I remember looking on Twitter and everybody talking about Lincoln and Wilson. We were just out here to prove ourselves to the whole city, and we did it.”
Foss, which pushed its winning streak to six games, is now the only team to have beaten both the Abes and the Rams this season.
“I don’t mean any disrespect to Wilson and Lincoln, but ever since the season started, our goal was to win a league title,” said Foss coach Mike Cocke’. Foss lost to Lincoln, 64-56, on Jan. 2, but beat Wilson 69-67 on Jan. 9 after Wilson beat Lincoln 55-53 on Jan. 7. “I still see there’s not a lot of respect from people, and I don’t know why. But we like that. We like being the underdogs.”
Lincoln had control for a while in the fourth quarter. Foss turned the ball over on four of five possessions to start the period, and the Abes got three consecutive 3-pointers — two from Josiah Barsh and one from Trevion Brown — to push its lead to 56-49 before Foss began a comeback.
Barsh finished with a game-high 29 points and Brown had 17.
Then there was the free-throw line. The Abes made 13 of 23 for the game. But Brown, who had missed his previous three, hit two free throws with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 58.
Irwin, a transfer from Mount Tahoma, missed a pull-up jumper from the top of the key on the ensuing possession and the game went into overtime.
Foss’ Sam Dabalos-McMahon scored eight of his 11 points in the extra session, including a 3-pointer at the top of the key to put the Falcons up 63-60. Irwin followed with a steal at halfcourt and a layup at the other end to push the lead to five points, and Lincoln never recovered.
“For us, it’s all about mental toughness,” said Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton. “That’s been what we’ve talked about since Day One. There in the fourth quarter and overtime, things got tough, and they were more poised than we were.”
Foss hosts Wilson at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 in a game that will be critical in deciding the league title.
“We’re a team full of seniors, and this is our last chance together,” Irwin said. “This means the world to us.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677