Makenzie May works on her passing prior to a Seattle Christian girls basketball home game against Cedar Park Christian (Bothell).
SLIDESHOW: Seattle Christian wins on tip-in
By Gerardo Bolong
Breathless in SeaTac was the situation on Fri., Jan. 31st.
Jeffrey Sutherland's tip-in at the buzzer sucked the air out of visiting Nisqually 1A League leader Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) in a 51-50 Seattle Christian boys basketball home victory.
Fans, players and coaches immediately rushed the court to congratulate the winning Warriors in celebration of the miracle moment
This tip-in came on the heels of a final charge by the Eagles who trailed most of the way, but stayed in striking range and even assumed small leads in the third quarter until a 9-0 scoring run from two seconds remaining in the third quarter until 5:35 showed in the fourth quarter gave CPC a 43-39 advantage.
"It's a game of runs," observed Miller who finished the game with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists. "As a leader, I kept everyone pushing. We practiced attacking the rim in practice."
The Eagles still led 48-44 with 2:24 remaining in regulation as the tension was tightened up before the Warriors worked themselves back into striking range. Cody Miller struck from the outside to narrow the score to 48-46 and proceeded to grab a rebound of a missed Cedar Park Christian shot. SC was later bailed out to keep possession when a player was fouled just before the shot clock ran down.
Tyler Fox then drained a straight on three-pointer from the outer reaches for his only points of the game as the Warriors reclaimed the lead at 49-48 with just more than one minute left.
In the end game, Seattle Christian's initial possession began with 44.5 seconds showing, but the Eagles had two fouls to give before the penalty free throw chance would come for Seattle Christian.
Using its fouls carefully, Cedar Park Christian fouled with 24 seconds left and 12.9 seconds to go. SCS inbounded from the side and took its shot with nearly four second left in the quarter to set the final scene.
"I saw Alex Hay shoot and looked," a truly incredulous Sutherland recalled. "I saw a second and a half on the clock, grabbed the ball with my right hand, fell back and saw it go in." Sutherland closed out the game with nine points.
This was thoroughly satisfying after losing two close games to Cedar Park Christian last year - including an overtime defeat- and being displaced by double figures earlier this season.
Seattle Christian sowed the seeds for victory with special preparations in practices leading up to the game.
"We've been practicing four days for this game," said Seattle Christian head coach Shaun DeYager. "They came to battle and I asked them to battle every second. The last time we played, Cedar Park boxed us out and kicked the ball to the corners for open shots. This time we nneded to do the boxing out and stop their corner shots. We've been preaching crashing the boards. At the end, we counted on Cody (Miller) to get us back.""
Seattle Christian fired away with aggression early, showing execellent execution on box outs while also attacking the basket to set up kick outs for outside shots. This strategem worked well for the duration of the game and resulted in four three-pointers in the first half and five in the second half as the Warriors outscored the Eagles 27-9 from beyond the arc. For the game, Seattle Christian also held a slight 24-23 edge in total rebounds - eight to five on the offensive boards.
It was corner three-point swisher from Miller that gave the Warrriors a 12-9 lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter Taggart Anderson's three-pointer from outer space, a Cedar Park Christian technical foul and a Miller three pushed the SC lead to 20-12. Trey Drechsel's three-point bomb narrowed a 23-15 Warrior lead to 23-18 just before halftime.
It was Drechsel who kept igniting the CP offense as Cedar Park Christian trailed 39-37 before the Eagles and Warriors fought it out for supremacy in the fourth quarter.
In a game this close every minute contributed by the SCS reserves was critical.
Logan DeVries scored two points and helped on the interior defense. Besides Fox and DeVries, Payton Gunhus scored four points while Trent Siedenburg also saw court time.
Joining Miller as a double figures scorer was Anderson with 10 points. Hay added nine points from his starting position. Ryan Gifford started but did not score.
Drechsel fired home 27 points with seven caroms for Cedar Park Christian.
Cedar Park Christian (10-2 league, 10-6 overall) fell into a fisrt place tie with Vashon Island. Seattle Christian improved to 7-6, 11-7, respectively.
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