Michael Sampson’s clutch shot in the final seconds of the game helped Grays Harbor pull off an improbably 73-70 victory over Tacoma on Saturday at Grays Harbor College.
In a back-and-forth game that saw multiple lead changes, Grays Harbor (13-10, 4-4 NWAC West) took a 60-53 lead on a Sampson jump shot with 5:29 left in the game.
But Tacoma (4-17, 1-7) responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game on Elijah McLaughlin’s 3-pointer with 3:34 left in the second half.
With the game tied at 67, the Chokers’ Zach Marrotte hit 1-of-2 free throws to give Grays Harbor the slight edge.
But with five seconds left, Tacoma’s Kashaud Babbs hit a 3-pointer, giving Tacoma a 70-68 lead with five seconds left.
With time for one last shot, Sampson hit a jump shot and was fouled with just one second left on the clock. He hit the free throw to give Grays Harbor the 71-70 lead.
Tacoma then turned the ball over on the subsequent inbound play. The Chokers’ Matt Pearson was fouled and hit two free throws with no time left on the clock close out the victory at 73-70.
Sampson led Grays Harbor with 28 points with Genuine Powell and Marrotte scoring 22 and 15 points, respectively.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL
Willapa Valley 57, Northwest Chr. 47
The Willapa Valley Vikings proved they are ready for postseason play with a 57-47 victory in a seeding game over Northwest Christian on Saturday at Ocosta High School.
Willapa Valley (16-6 overall, 14-4 Pacific 2B) finished tied with Northwest Christian (16-5, 14-4) for second place in the Pacific League.
Rather than having a coin toss divvy up the league’s No. 2 and No. 3 seeds between the two teams, the Vikings and Wolverines decided to meet for a third time this season to play for it.
Willapa Valley’s defense started strong, holding NWC to just seven points in the first quarter en route to a five point lead by the end of the frame.
But the Wolverines hit the glass in the second half and were able to trim the Vikings’ lead to 29-26 by halftime.
“In the first half, they were out-rebounding and out-hustling us,” Willapa Valley head coach Jay Pearson said. “Our game plan was to play them man-to-man, block out and not give up our baseline.”
But Willapa Valley turned up the heat on offense in the second half. The Vikings moved the ball well to create good looks for their shooters. Willapa Valley shot 20-for-42 (47%) from the field in the game, including a blistering 9-for-18 (50%) from 3-point range.
“It was one of our best shooting nights all season,” Pearson said. “Our ball reversal broke their defense down and we were knocking down open shots.”
Logan Walker led the Vikings with 20 points.
Carter Pearson and Beau Buchanan also scored in double digits. Pearson had 20 points while Buchanan finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Chad Flemetis was cited by Coach Pearson for having a solid floor game with nine points, five steals and five assists.
After finishing last season tied for second and losing a coin flip to end up as the league’s No. 3 seed, Coach Pearson was glad to play for the seed this season.
“We really wanted second place bad,” he said before reflecting on his team’s performance on Saturday. “My message to the team was there is a direct correlation to playing hard, running our offense and working the shot clock,” he said. “And we shot 47% from the floor because of it.”
Willapa Valley earns a bye and will play in the 2B District IV on Saturday, Feb. 15 at WF West High School. Opponent and time to be determined.
North Beach 68, Chief Leschi 62
North Beach’s Reagan Harnagy couldn’t be stopped in the Hyaks’ 68-62 victory over Chief Leschi on Saturday in Ocean Shores.
Harnagy scored 31 points and had four assists to lead the Hyaks (6-14, 6-12 Pacific 2B).
Tre’Vaughn Greene scored 15 points, all in the second half to go along with a team-high 13 rebounds and three blocks for North Beach.
Peyton Scholler added 12 points and three assists for the Hyaks.
North Beach will take on Adna in a 2B District IV Tournament play-in game at 7 tonight at Adna High School.
Women’s College Basketball
Tacoma 106, Grays Harbor 41
Girls Prep Basketball
Mary M. Knight 38, Wishkah Valley 35
(WV – Erica Bomhoff 12 pts., 10 reb., 6 stl. MMK – Kaylee Ruggles 12 pts.)