High School Sports

Life Christian boys basketball barely escapes Walla Walla Valley in state 2B consolation game

Once again, the Life Christian Academy Eagles could not breathe easy over a lead at the Class 2B state boys basketball tournament.

And this one was much larger than Thursday.

The Eagles led by 14 points with six minutes remaining, only to watch Walla Walla Valley Academy storm back and erase all of it.

But Life Christian senior Andy Comfort sank a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining to finally put away the Knights, 49-46, in a loser-out consolation game Friday at the Spokane Arena.

The Eagles (26-2) will play Okanogan on Saturday at 8 a.m. for fourth place, which would be the highest finish in school history.

“Just an amazing accomplishment,” Life Christian coach Mark Lovelady said. “We’ve just had a great season with these guys who have played so well as a group.”

After Walla Walla Valley Academy rallied to tie the game at 45-45, Comfort got an open look on the Eagles’ end on a short shot. It bounced off, but Luke Lovelady was there on the weak side for an easy putback basket to give the Eagles the lead back.

The Knights never did match it, although they did make a free throw with 10 seconds remaining — then quickly fouled Comfort.

Comfort made both free throws to put Life Christian ahead, 49-46.

Cameron Fitzgerald got off a game-tying attempt near halfcourt for the Knights that fell short.