Ailing King's Way beats Medical Lake (video)
Highlights and interviews from King’s Way Christian’s 47-45 win over Medical Lake in the 1A state quarterfinals on March 3, 2016.
King’ ‘s Way Christian High School ‘s Karter Graves listens to head coach Daven Harmeling during the second half of King ”s Way Christian ”s game against Medical Lake High School March 3, 2016 game in the state class 1A boys ‘ basketball tournament in the Yakima SunDome in Yakima, Wash. King ”s Way Christian beat Medical Lake 47-45. (GORDON KING/Gordon King Photography)
King ”s Way Christian’s Kienan Walter passes around Medical Lake High School defender Cole Soliday in the second half of of their March 3, 2016 game in the state class 1A boys ‘ basketball tournament in the Yakima SunDome in Yakima, Wash. King’ ‘s Way Christian beat Medical Lake 47-45. (GORDON KING/Gordon King Photography)
YAKIMA The ghostly, tired faces emerging from the King s Way Christian boys basketball locker room didn t look like those of a team that had just won a nail-biter in the state playoffs.
King s Way beat Medical Lake 47-45 on Thursday to reach the Class 1A semifinals at the SunDome.
But the Knights faced their biggest foe before the 2 p.m.
tipoff. As a stomach flu swept through the team, several players fell ill between breakfast and the game s start.
After a sluggish first half saw King s Way fall behind 29-21, Karter Graves supplied the remedy.
The guard hit three straight 3-pointers, each shot injecting life into the Knights.
When the last of those 3 s tied the game at 32 four minutes into the second half, King s Way had found its stride.
Honestly, he saved the game for us, senior Kienan Walter said. No question about it.
We were down a little bit mentally even though we still knew we could win. But Karter made it a reality.
Walter scored 24 points and Graves had 16. The rest of the team had just seven points.
The King s Way offense was like a V-8 engine with just two cylinders firing, but it got the Knights across the finish line.
You could tell we weren t all there with the way we were playing, Graves said. We were obviously fatigued. But being able to come together as a unit and get the win is very satisfying.
Graves and Walter teamed up for the winning basket in an unconventional way.
Walter s putback after Graves missed a free throw gave the Knights a 47-45 lead with one minute to play.
Medical Lake missed a one-and-one free throw on its next possession, but had a chance to at least tie the game after getting the ball back with 17 seconds to play.
Cory Wagner s tightly defended 3-point attempt hit only the backboard. Cole Soliday grabbed the offensive rebound, but his off-balance shot at the buzzer missed.
Next, King s Way (21-4) will face defending state champion King s on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Seattle team is 22-3.
The challenge is going to be great, King s Way coach Daven Harmeling said.
But you don t work hard to hope things are easy.
Medical Lake (19-8) controlled the tempo in the first half with Jaelon Stith scoring 15 of his team-high 20 points. But it was a different story when King s Way switched to man-to-man defense after halftime.
Some of the zone defense we have run has been effective for us recently, Harmeling said. But they started to carve it up, get open looks and kill us on the glass.
We had to switch out of that and get to our staple, what our guys know best.
And that s when some Knights made key contributions that didn t involve scoring. Preston Danberg had a team-high six rebounds, most of them in the second half. Darion Lycksell dialed up the defensive pressure on Medical Lake s two starting guards, who scored just 13 points in the second half compared to 23 in the first.
He s like guarding him for the full length of the court, Walter said of Lycksell.
That s a lot of effort and it was cool to see him do that. We knew something needed to change to get us back in the game, and it started with defense.
After Graves began knocking down 3-pointers, Medical Lake began defending more on the perimeter. That opened up space near the hoop for Walter, who scored 10 straight Knights points from the late third quarter to early fourth.
Kienan owes Karter, Harmeling said.
I think he had six free points from them flying out at Karter. They re really close friends, so it was fun to watch them will our team back into it.
KING S WAY CHRISTIAN 47, MEDICAL LAKE 45
MEDICAL LAKE (19-8) Cory Wagner 15, Nizhole Sherman 1, Donte Brown 1, Cole Soliday 2, Jaelon Stith 20, Trenten Garza 4, Cooper James 0, Damarius Brown 0, Joey Jasmer 2, Xavier Butler 0, Skylar Johnson 0. Totals 18 (4) 5-9 45.
KING S WAY CHRISTIAN (21-4) Skyler Freeman 5, Karter Graves 16, Kienan Walter 24, Joe Mills 0, Preston Danberg 2, Nick Puicella 0, Judah Smith 0, Darion Lycksell 0, Kyle Gonzales 0.
Totals 16 (6) 9-13 47.
Medical Lake 21 8 11 5 45
King s Way 13 8 17 9 47