High School Sports

Haywood Irwin’s game-winner lifts No. 10 Foss over No. 5 Wilson, 69-67

Good luck trying to guess who is going to win the 3A Narrows League, because it’s a dead heat after six games.

The 10th-ranked Foss High School boys basketball team knocked off No. 5 Wilson on Friday night, 69-67, causing a three-team tie atop the conference. Foss, Wilson, and Lincoln are each 5-1 in league play — and they have all defeated each other. Foss beat Wilson which beat Lincoln which beat Foss.

So much for the tiebreaker.

Fortunately the teams all play each other again, so there is still plenty of time for more drama.

There was no lack of drama at Wilson on Friday, when Foss guard Haywood Irwin snapped a 67-67 tie by hitting a fadeaway jumper from the left corner with four seconds remaining. It proved to be the game-winner when Wilson’s Montre Lofton-Brown just missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Irwin finished with 30 points, and it figured that Foss coach Mike Cocke’ was going to call his number during a timeout before the winning shot.

“It was an optional play,” said Irwin, a senior transfer from Mount Tahoma. “Whoever had it last just shot it.”

It didn’t look like Foss (9-3, 5-1 3A Narrows) was going to be in this situation. The Falcons came out of the gate hot, dominating the glass and forcing turnovers to build a 15-2 lead just five minutes into the game.

“In that first quarter we lost the game,” said Wilson coach Dave Alwert. “At the end we were gassed. We were gassed because we had to put so much effort in the comeback.”

The comeback came from senior guard David Jenkins, who scored 22 first-half points and finished with 31.

“We started getting too comfortable, just letting Jenkins shoot,” said Irwin.

Jenkins was hitting from everywhere — including buzzer-beaters to end both the first and second quarters.

“If it wasn’t for David Jenkins in the first half we probably would have been down 25,” said Alwert.

Wilson (9-2, 5-1) took its first lead early in the third quarter when Lofton-Brown made a steal and coasted in for a layup and a 43-41 lead.

Wilson led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, but Foss closed the game with a 17-6 run.

Sophomore forward Roberto Gittens had a pair of key baskets down the stretch and finished with 16 points, while senior Stephen Shaw had 18 points including a put-back to tie the game 67-67.

But in Wilson’s eyes — after it had won five consecutive games since a 74-36 loss to Bellevue at the Showare Center — the game was lost at the beginning.

“We just didn’t execute our game plan and that’s what makes me sick,” said Alwert. “On our home turf. We were undefeated on our home turf against Foss for seven years.”