Warrior boys hoop reaches regional

Courtesy article by Gerardo Bolong

TACOMA - After dropping a 41-35 1A West Central District III basketball game to Vashon Island, Seattle Christian boys basketball head coach MIcheal Watts was searching for a way to make his team more offensive to its foes.

Taking a cue from the Warrior girls district champions, Watts incorporated the quick passing, ball movement tactics into the boys repertoire, resulting in much improved results.

On Sat., Feb. 18, at Bellarmine Prep High School, the offense was a prime mover in a winner-to-regional, loser-out 47-40 win against the Olympic League regular season champion Port Townsend Redhawks. Seattle Christian (13-10) will face Cascade Christian for the third time this season on Feb. 24 or Feb. 25 in a nearby regional site at time to be determined.

"We added the offense the girls played in a long, four-hour practice," he said. "The ball movement also got us more rebounds for more chances at the basket."

Other than a third quarter plagued by turnovers, SC executed the strategy well."

Ball movement manifested itself in Warrior resumption of strategy and renewed ball protection.

Senior guard Evan Toy commandeered the wheal of leadership with an assist to Harry Hohimer and his own driving layup. After a Port Townsend goal, Hohimer scored off another Toy assist.

Continuing his steady success, forward Zac VanderLey torched a left-angled 3-pointer ahead of action that showcased the SC unselfish passing attack. Dalton Saggau passed the ball to Hohimer who whipped the ball to Spencer Howell and Seattle Christian led 40-35.

Both teams took an unscheduled five minute break when an injured official had to be replaced in a possible momentum breaker for the Warriors

After play resumed, Detrius Kelsall, who was a thorn in SC's side for 16 points, five rebounds and three assists, fired home a 3-pointer to get the Redhawks within 40-38. Toy eventually fired down the lane for a lay in to stoke the Warriors to a four point edge with 66 seconds left in regulation.

Port Townsend was forced to continually foul after drawing within 42-39.

VanderLey canned two free throws with Hohimer's block of PT 3-point try ahead of his two free throw conversions with just more than 15 seconds left being key plays. The Redhawks fired up a multitude of 3-pointers at the end to no avail.

"I came out knowing I'm not a strong offensive player, so I concentrated on rebounds and assists," Hohimer said.

For Hohimer, the concentration netted six points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.

In the beginning, both teams had easy access to close-in shots in a revolving duel that had SC up, 13-11 after one quarter.

Trading short scoring runs, the Warriors were in a 20-20 draw until Saggau, Howell and Max Loorem ignited a 6-0 surge that later had SC leading 26-21 at the intermission.

Turnovers and unforced mistakes enabled the Redhawks to outscore the Warrriors 12-3 in the third quarter for a 33-29 lead going into the final quarter.

Toy recalled the formula for victory.

"I have quick first step that helped me get around the defenders," he said. "On defense, we just had to hustle and talk.

Toy hustled for nine points, six rebounds and four assists.

In a good display of inside and outside prowess, VanderLey notched notched 16 points with nine boards and three steals.

"We played better as a team and moved the ball way better," said VanderLey. "The movement gave us good shot selection and our offensive rebounds gave us more chances at the basket."

Coach Watts extolled Hohimer's virtues and also waxed eloquent on Toy's leadership plus other factors for the performance.

" Harry is our emotional leader and when he's going the others step up," he finished. "Evan is ourfloor leader and he ran the offense. When it was tough, he took over. The return of Max Loorem from a broken elbow also helped."

Loorem added seven points with Saggau scoring five. Howell posted four points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.

Kaiden Parcher notched nine points and grabbed eight rebounds as an added Redhawk benefit.
Seattle Christian Warrior players are Gabe Mateo, Chad Brubaker, Evan Toy, Andrw Coleman, Spencer Howell, Tyler Siedenburg, Dalton Saggau, AJ VanderLey, Max Loorem, Zac VanderLey, Connor Knack, Cole McKittrick and Harry Hohimer.

Head coach Watts' assistants are Casey Ribera, Braque Hildreth and Jon Gittins. Statisticians are Dave Laudan and Steven Laudan. Natalie Vittitow is the team manager and Craig Wrolstad is the athletic director.

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