John Kiley seemingly has a pep talk for any basketball-related situation, but he had to go deep into his well Thursday night.
His Olympia High School boys basketball squad was shockingly beaten by last-place Graham-Kapowsin on the final night of the regular season to lose a share of the 4A SPSL title.
“Nobody slept well that night,” Kiley said.
And 48 hours later, the Bears were facing Puyallup in a tiebreaker game for the league’s No. 2 and No. 3 seeds to next week’s 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament.
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Kai Johnson scored 18 points, and Ethan Gahm made all four three-throw attempts in the final 25 seconds as Olympia turned away the hard-charging Vikings, 64-58, on Saturday afternoon at Sumner High School.
Olympia clinched the 4A SPSL’s second seed, and will host Kentwood on Thursday. The Vikings are the No. 3 seed, and will host Enumclaw.
What is the real benefit between the two playoff seeds?
Both schools have tough draws, with the Bears potentially clashing with undefeated Union in the bidsitrict quarterfinals, and the Vikings on a collision course with 4A NPSL champion and state favorite Federal Way in that same round.
“(The benefit of the higher seed) is really minimal,” Puyallup coach Scott Campbell said. “The West Central District tournament is loaded, so you are going to have to beat some really good teams to get out of it.”
If the Bears had suffered any hangover from their crushing loss, it did not not show up in their play Saturday. They shot 63.2 percent from the floor (24 of 38) in building a 55-41 lead with 3:59 remaining.
Puyallup had one final push, however. It was triggered by sophomore guard Cobi Campbell, who drilled 3-pointers on three consecutive Vikings’ possessions to cut it to 57-54 with 1:13 to go.
But, Andrew Lindsey answered with an inside bucket, and Gahm took care of business at the free throw line to hold the Vikings off.
“We had to get back to team basketball,” Johnson said.
Campbell finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Kendall Munson chipped in with 21. The Vikings shot just 41.1 percent — 23 of 56 on field-goal attempts.
“I was very pleased with how our kids came together after some adversity,” Kiley said.
P – Cobi Campbell 22, Jacob Holcomb 6, Luke Holcomb 1, Zane Foster 6, Kendall Munson 21, Jaeden Ingram 2.
O – Ethan Gahm 11, Kai Johnson 18, Drew Thompson 4, Jackson Grant 12, Zack Swanson 4, Andrew Boyd 2, Andrew Lindsay 13.