It helped that Roberto Gittens’ dad was in town, visiting from New York on Wednesday night.
“My mom told me that he couldn’t make it because of work, and then I come to warm up, and he’s just right there waiting for me, and I almost started crying,” Gittens said. “But he’s like, ‘Don’t get emotional.’ So I was like, ‘I’ll hold it together.’ ”
He did a little bit more than hold it together.
Foss’ junior guard hit seven 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 36 points as the Falcons topped North Thurston, 80-69, at home.
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“I was just feeling it early on,” Gittens said. “My teammates got it to me, and I just let it go.”
Gittens’ contributions helped Foss to a 28-of-56 (50 percent) shooting effort. Demetrius Crosby tallied another 10 points for the Falcons.
“The whole team shot lights out,” North Thurston coach Tim Brown said. “We made some mistakes defensively, but early in the game offensive rebounds hurt us. We cleaned it up in the second half, but they just couldn’t miss. Tough to come back on them when they keep making 3’s.”
For every time the Rams — who shot 25 of 62 (40 percent) from the floor — did rally, Gittens had an answer.
He erased North Thurston’s final lead — with two minutes, six seconds to play in the first quarter — with a 3-pointer to make it 14-13.
He buried another 3-pointer from two feet behind the arc with 1:43 to go in the third to stymie a 8-2 Rams’ run.
And Gittens banked in a layup on a breakaway alley-oop pass from Damani Kelly with 32 seconds to play, matching Foss’ largest lead at 13 points.
“He’s capable of doing that, he shoots the ball really well,” Foss coach Mike Cocke’ said. “I think he’s an underestimated shooter — his stroke’s pretty effortless.”
The Rams stayed within a reasonable point-margin behind Wes Reynolds, who scored a team-high 18 points, and Zack Sibley, who added 15.
Kyle Stone — who scored 10 points — hit both of his 3-pointers in the final two minutes, but Foss was too far gone at that point.
The win keeps the Falcons (11-6, 8-3 3A Narrows) within chasing distance of second-place Wilson, which they play Friday on the road.
“Everyone is important in the Narrows League,” Cocke’ said. “Right now, everyone is looking at seedings, and the top (three) teams have home playoff games, and that’s really important.
“Thurston was a game behind us, so it was really important for us to get this one.”
North Thurston (7-10, 4-7) has a bumpier path to a possible West Central/Southwest bi-district playoff berth. It is in a four-way battle with Mount Tahoma, Shelton and Central Kitsap for the two remaining 3A Narrows seeds.
And it plays each of those teams in its final three regular-season games.
“We don’t have anything secured as far as the playoffs are concerned,” Brown said. “We’ve been playing better as of recent. We want to get better every game and go into the playoffs on a high — hopefully.”