YAKIMA — A scorching three minutes of basketball got the Anacortes boys’ basketball team back into its Class 2A State Tournament game against Lynden.
A woeful 40 seconds cost the Seahawks the game as the Lions rallied for a 47-44 victory Thursday at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
With the loss, the Seahawks play Pullman at 10:30 a.m. today in a loser-out game.
“It was a tough one to lose,” Anacortes coach Brett Senff said. “Now we have to bounce back, regroup, refocus and get the kids ready to play a very good Pullman team. There is only one option and that is to win.”
With 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining in the quarterfinal game against Lynden, the Seahawks held a 44-40 lead as Derek Vance stepped to the line for a one-and-one opportunity.
The ensuing half-minute would be crushing for Anacortes.
Vance missed his free throw and after Lynden regained possession after having a shot blocked by Anacortes’ Jesse Kelter, the Lions got a 3-pointer by Christian Zamora over the outstretched arms of Keltner.
While Zamora finished the game with 15 points, none were as big as those three.
“We missed a front end of a one-and-one,” Senff said. “Jesse blocked Zamora, then turns around and hits a really tough shot over him. That was tough.”
Anacortes then lost the ball — one of 17 turnovers it committed — and Lynden’s Clayton Whitman raced to the rim for a dunk to give the Lions a 45-44 lead.
“We turn the ball over in the backcourt, and Whitman gets a full head of steam and dunks it on us,” Senff said.
On its next possession, Keltner got the ball deep in the lane, but as he rose to the rim he was called for an offensive foul with 10.5 seconds left to play.
With Anacortes forced to foul, Lynden went 2-for-4 down the stretch from the free-throw line.
The fourth-quarter collapse overshadowed an amazing run by Anacortes to finish out the third quarter. The frame began with the Seahawks trailing 27-19 and ended with Anacortes leading 33-31.
“We got the game into our tempo,” Senff said. “We were reading the passing lanes really well and creating easy opportunities.
“I am really pleased with how the team regrouped at the half. They left it all out on the floor.”
The Seahawks scored 13 of their 14 third-quarter points in the final 3 minutes of the quarter.
Connor Rodriguez had a big game off the bench, making three 3s and finishing with 14 points.
Keltner ended the game with 11 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, while Trystan Lowry tallied 10 points.
Whitman scored a game-high 16 points for the Lions, while teammate Andrew Kivlighn finished with 10 points.
Senff said Kivlighn was a difference-maker for Lynden.
“He (Kivlighn) is a senior, and he was not ready to go home,” Senff said. “He played a tough game.”
Senff said his team came out tight, falling behind 17-9 at the end of the first quarter and managing only 19 points in the first half. Turnovers plagued the Seahawks throughout.
“We lost some of their scorers,” Senff said of his squad’s early effort. “And we ended up committing way too many turnovers. This time of the year, we should have around eight turnovers, not 17.
“That is a game we want to have back.”