Led by a huge game for Malachi Flynn, Bellarmine Prep rallied in the fourth quarter to knock off Todd Beamer, 75-67, on Tuesday in the Class 4A West Central District consolation bracket at Mount Tahoma High.
“I’m glad we pulled it out,” Bellarmine head coach Bernie Salazar said. “Beamer is a good team. They’re talented and have good basketball players. We hung in there and it was a close game. We did things well defensively and offensively at the end to pull away.
“It was fun to watch,” Salazar said about Flynn. “At this level, you should have those kind of players. I’m very proud of Malachi.”
Finishing with a game-high 32 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter, Flynn grabbed much of the limelight for the Lions, but it was junior Isaac Wojtanowicz who had the tag of the unsung hero with all six of his points coming in the fourth quarter.
“When the unsung heroes step up, it’s big,” Flynn said of the Lions’ role players. “When they step up, we’re a very good team. If they keep doing that, we can go far.”
With the win, Bellarmine is one win from the regional around of the state tournament. The Lions (14-9) play Timberline at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mount Tahoma in another elimination game.
Not relinquishing ground, Charles Frazier took over the show for Beamer in the second half and found himself often trading baskets with Flynn, reminiscent of a classic grudge match between NBA stars.
Frazier finished the night with 26 points, but 20 came in the second half on many very difficult attempts.
“He (Frazier) was making some tough shots,” Flynn said. “Ultimately, I am just trying to win. I was just trying to do what I think I can do for my team to win.”
Despite trailing much of the game, the Lions stayed within five points at all times.
Besides Flynn, a big part of Bellarmine’s ability to stay close was the solid play of Rex Bodoia, who had 23 points and was also very effective defensively with a tough matchup against Frazier.
Timberline 75, Rogers 54: In nightcap of the doubleheader, the Blazers secured their spot to play Bellarmine. Jarryn Bush led the way for Timberline with a game-high 21 points.
Kentlake 52, Spanaway Lake 47: Carson Stowell scored 18 points as the Falcons took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter and held on from there.
Stowell is averaging 21 points in three postseason games for Kentlake (15-10), and scored 29 in a district quarterfinal loss to Curtis on Saturday.
The Falcons advance to face Gig Harbor in another elimination game at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Mount Tahoma High School.
Leroy Lawrence scored 19 points in the season-ending loss for Spanaway Lake (12-12).
Gig Harbor 65, Puyallup 61: Sam Gagliardi scored 15 points as the Tides knocked off the Vikings.
Tony Gutierrez scored 19 points and Ross Dombrowski had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Puyallup (13-11) in the elimination game.
Gig Harbor (15-8) was tied with Puyallup at the end of the third quarter.