Shorecrest stuns Steilacoom in OT - surges to State

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Steven Lin (40) and Omar Camara celebrate with their teammates after SC's OT win
Photo by Geoff Vlcek

For the second week in a row, the Shorecrest boys' basketball team overcame a horrid first half to charge from behind in the second half to overtake a scrappy squad from Steilacoom Friday night, 66-57 in overtime, to advance to next week's 2A State Championship tournament in Yakima.

Trailing 34-24 at the half, Scots' Coach Brian Fischer pleaded with his team "to quit thinking so much and just play ball like we know how".

As big a hole as the Scots dug themselves in the first half, it would have been substantially worse had it not been for the long-range shooting accuracy of junior Daggy Menelik, who hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the second quarter. Later in the game, it was Menelik whose 3-pointer with :30 to play in the game finally brought the game back to even for the Scots.

The Sentinels had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Philip Pepple had his eighth blocked shot as time expired.

#10 - Dagi Menelik with one of his 3-pointers that got SC back into the game
Photo by Geoff Vlcek

In the overtime, SC took the lead for good on a free throw from Tobyn Lawson. Then junior Malcolm Rosier-Butler made a lay-in, was fouled, and sank the free throw to extend the Scots' lead to 58-54 with 1:30 to play.

"Coach reminded  us at halftime that we'd come from behind last week (in Districts against Squalicum), and that we could do it again", said an excited Rosier-Butler minutes after the game. 
"We had, I had, too many turnovers in the first half. We wanted to feed the ball to Philip (Pepple) down low. It was a great team win for us". 

Feed Pepple they did, as he had 12 of his 14 points in the second half and overtime, while Rosier-Butler led the Scots with 18.

For Coach Brian Fischer, he felt the relief of a jinx being removed. Seems the site of the game, Mountlake Terrace HS, has been a haunted house for him over the years.

Four years ago his team had a chance to advance to State with a win over Glacier Peak. The Scots led the entire game until 8 seconds remained when GP took a 1 point lead. A shot at the buzzer was off the mark, and that dream of going to State was dashed.

Two years ago his team faced O'Dea with a berth at State on the line. Roaring back from 11 points down with three minutes to play, the Scots had the ball and a 2 point lead with 30 seconds to play, only to have that game slip through their fingers.

"I think I know how the Boston Red Sox felt when they finally won the World Series in 2004 and lifted the Curse of the Bambino".

Steilacoom                 15         19        9      10       4         57
Shorecrest                    7         17       18     11      13        66

On Sunday, the WIAA will announce all the pairings for the State Tournament which begins on Thursday.

--Frank Workman


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