High School Sports

Stanwood 62, Rainier Beach 61: Bryson Kelley sinks go-ahead shot to give Spartans their highest state finish

In a fast paced game, the Stanwood High School boys basketball team won a narrow victory, 62-61, over Rainier Beach to take fourth place, something not ever seen before in the school’s history.

Despite the historical significance of the game, the Spartans remained cool under pressure throughout the game.

“They’re a group that doesn’t show a lot of emotion either way,” Ward said. “They’re really just even keeled, steady kids.”

Ward said the last play was designed to go to Bryson Kelley for a baseline shot, and it worked as designed: Kelley scored the final basket of the game to take the lead with 4.2 seconds left.

“We figured they’d switch screens and they’d try to take away something over the top,” said Ward. “That’s his area right there.

Rainier Beach still managed to get a last second shot off but ended up coming up short.

“That’d be a shame if that went in,” said Ward when asked what he was thinking at the moment. “Actually I was thinking don’t foul.”

The win was a hard fought one for the team, and Ward was proud of the team’s performance.

“5 opponents in 8 days, we played the best in the state,” said Ward. “I think we showed that we belong with them and to walk out of there with that hardware, it says a lot about these kids.”