RICHLAND – Two things that normally don’t happen to the Ferris boys basketball team occurred at the wrong time Saturday afternoon.
The Davis Pirates shot better than any team had against the second-ranked Saxons this season, and Ferris picked an inopportune time to play shaky defense.
Davis made the key shots down the stretch – especially from long range – as the Pirates ended the Saxons’ season 78-69 in a 4A state tournament advancement game at Art Dawald Gym.
Late in the first quarter, it appeared the Saxons (23-3) were on the brink of putting the Pirates (20-4) in a deep hole. Riley Stockton got inside for a basket that gave Ferris a 24-15 lead.
From that point on, though, the Pirates played toe to toe with the Saxons, eventually taking a 38-37 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was nothing more than an exchange of baskets. An 8-0 surge to open the fourth quarter allowed the Pirates to start building some separation.
A long 3-pointer by Jackson Marquis gave Davis a 67-60 lead with 5 minutes remaining. From that point the Saxons had to play catch-up, and the Greater Spokane League champs never got closer than five points thereafter.
Davis made 26 of 58 shots from the field, 11 of 28 from 3-point range. Marquis was particularly deadly from beyond the 3-point arc as he made six. He finished with a game-high 28 points.
“You have to take your hat off to them. They came out and shot and played hard,” Ferris senior post Taylor Kamitomo said. “I don’t think we’ve had a team shoot on us like that all year.”
Kamitomo had to fight through foul trouble in the first half, essentially sitting for one quarter. He scored 19 of his team-high 25 points in the second quarter.
“I had to sit and that was tough,” Kamitomo said. “I knew they were going to try to take charges so I couldn’t drive. I had to get the outside shot.”
Ferris’ Riley Stockton and Chris Wilson each had 13 points. Wilson had eight rebounds and Stockton had seven assists.
“They deserved to win. They shot a little better than us,” Stockton said after emerging from a teary locker room. “You can’t fault our effort.”
Ferris coach Don Van Lierop rattled off his team’s feats – a 20-game winning streak and league title.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” he said. “To win the league in a tough league and to win three straight loser-out games says a lot about them.”