Emmitt Matthews Jr. tossed up a one-handed layup on the opening possession of overtime to break a 61-61 tie.
On the next possession, after the Wilson High School boys basketball team forced a turnover, he broke out in space and slammed the ball in the hoop.
“I was pumped, the emotions were going,” Matthews said. “I was pumped because I knew right after that, we were going to step on the gas, we were going to go.”
And off Wilson went to an overtime win, 71-68, over Spanaway Lake in the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict semifinals at Olympia High School.
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Matthews scored a game-high 29 points, including six in overtime, and the Rams stymied a late Spanaway Lake rally.
Ja’Ontay Foster’s 3-pointer just before the fourth-quarter buzzer sent the game to overtime — the Sentinels went on a 6-2 run in the final 1 1/2 minutes of regulation — but Spanaway Lake couldn’t complete the comeback.
“When we needed to pick it up, we picked it up,” Matthews said.
Wilson converted five free throws in the final 34.6 seconds to hold Spanaway Lake off.
Trailing 71-68, the Sentinels had a chance to send the game into a second overtime, but Jordan Garner’s 3-pointer from the corner rimmed out.
Spanaway Lake rebounded the ball, but hastily threw an errant pass out of bounds with one second to play, and Wilson held on.
“We stayed focused down the stretch and we locked in,” Matthews said.
Garner led Spanaway lake with 20 points. The Sentinels (16-7) play Timberline for third or fourth place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Capital.
Wilson (18-5) will play crosstown rival Lincoln at 2 p.m. Saturday at Puyallup in the district title game.
“This is the third time we’ll play them. We lost the first two times. Looking forward to it,” Matthews said. “A chance to cut the nets down. Who doesn’t like that?”
Wilson: Hamilton 12, Matthews Jr. 29, Doss 7, N. Stokes 9, Santana 1, A. Bates, Penor, D. Bates 2, A. Stokes 10
Spanaway Lake: Turner 18, Moffitt 13, Gadsden 2, Gordon Jr. 2, Foster 12, Smith 2, Garner 19, Jackson, Felagai, Flannigan.