Tomahawks fall to Knights in overtime | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — Winning seven games in a row to end the season isn’t easy, but that’s what the Tomahawk boys have to do to make the District playoffs.

Kamiak made sure Marysville-Pilchuck would have to do just that as they outlasted the Tommies for a 74-63 overtime win on Jan. 12.

“You guys battled,” said M-P head coach Bary Gould after the game. “Your defense and execution were great, and that’s two games in a row where we had a chance to win at the end. You guys are warriors and you come to work every single day, but for whatever reason things aren’t falling our way.”

M-P and Kamiak met early and often below the baskets with their low post attacks. The Tomahawks stepped up with authority on defense and blocked two of Kamiak junior guard Imaan Vicente’s shots inside the key. Vicente was the center of the Knights’ offense early on, but senior guard Nicholas Kussman bumped inside for buckets as well.

The Knights led 12-7 with pressure on Tomahawk dribblers when M-P called timeout with 2:46 left in the first quarter.

Tomahawk junior wing Jalen Apel-Henderson kept M-P’s defense strong by blocking Kamiak senior post J.D. Blacksmith’s shot in the paint. Senior wing Phillip DeSanctis backed his man down in isolation on the outer right of key and hit a jumper to revive the offense. M-P led 15-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Kamiak returned for more low-post physicality as Vicente and Kussman crashed the boards and muscled up against the Tomahawk attack. Vicente avenged his earlier blocked shots with a mean block and sent an M-P layup into orbit.

DeSanctis took off on a dancing drive that ended in a jumper from the right side of the key.

Kamiak put the squeeze on Tomahawk point guard passing. M-P swatted Kamiak layups left and right but the Knights out-rebounded the Tommies to take a 28-23 lead into halftime.

M-P junior wing Conner Martinis hit two three-pointers in a fast-paced third quarter as the Tomahawks went low to DeSanctis for points in the key. Kamiak, conversely, looked to run M-P out of the gym with frenzied offense.

Knights senior guard Anthony Berg nailed a three to tie the score at 41, but the Tomahawks outshot Kamiak for a 43-41 lead after three quarters.

Martinis hit another three to bring the Tommies back to within a point at 49-48 with 5:30 to go in regulation.

Kussman took a charge to slow M-P’s momentum, but Apel-Henderson took a charge right back to level the field.

The Tomahawks called a timeout down 57-55 with 2:16 left and Apel-Henderson sank a three-pointer from the left shoulder to lead 59-57. Kamiak, however, tied the game at 59 with a quick basket, after which M-P called another timeout with 48.3 seconds left.

DeSanctis missed two free throws and Kamiak called timeout, tied at 59 with 31.7 seconds to go.

Vicente’s careless perimeter pass sailed out of bounds while the Knights attempted to hold for a final shot with 14.6 seconds remaining. The Tomahawks took a timeout with a 59-59 score and the game went to overtime when senior guard Dominique Kiblinger’s shot would not fall.

Kamiak scored two quick baskets to start the four-minute overtime with a 63-59 lead.

Kiblinger made 1 of 2 free throws to trail only 63-60, but the Knights’ lead became 67-60 with 2:31 left after two more buckets off quick steals.

Kiblinger collided with Knights guard Ron Manchester at midcourt but made only 1 of 2 free throws.

Manchester made a pair of free throws when Kiblinger fouled him to stop the clock and Kamiak notched another steal for a quick layup and a 71-61 lead with 1:39 left.

Kussman made 1 of 2 free throws and two more a minute later to lead 74-61.

DeSanctis’ shot would not fall but Kiblinger put in a layup on a hustle drive. Kamiak, however, ran the final seconds off the clock for the 74-63 win.

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