The Freeman Scotties weathered a flurry of shots from Medical Lake in the third quarter and came away with a 71-58 win in the District 7 1A championship game Tuesday night at West Valley High.
“We don’t panic,” Ryan Maine said of his teammates. “We’ve been to state and that was a great experience for us.”
“It’s always a game of runs.”
Medical Lake (15-8) made a second quarter charge at the Scotties, charging back from an eight-point deficit after one quarter to get within two points with under three minutes to play. Freeman closed the period on an eight-point run and took a 10-point advantage into halftime.
But the Scotties (21-1) opened the second half suffering from a shooting freeze and Medical Lake scored the first 14 points of the half and took a 39-35 lead after Xavier Butler’s moon-shot 3-pointer dropped.
“We were missing shots and we weren’t playing defense the way we can,” Maine said. “But we got it together.”
Maine got Freeman’s first points on a 3-point play, then grabbed the lead for good by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers, the second coming in rhythm with a second left in the quarter to take a 49-45 lead.
“He has a habit of hitting those shots,” Freeman coach Marty Jessett said. “He’s been hitting shots at the end of quarters, big shots all year.
“We’ve been in tougher spots than that all year. We were down with under three minutes left at Medical Lake and came back.”
Quin Hopkins, who scored a clutch put back to set up Maine’s end-of-quarter heroics, knocked down a 3-pointer a minute into the fourth and Rhys McVay lasered home another trey to push the lead to eight, 57-49.
Maine finished with 20 points to lead Freeman. Michael Coumont added another 13.
“I really think (the Northeast A League) can get three teams into the state tournament,” Jessett said. “Medical Lake is a good squad and if they can hit their shots they can do some damage. And I think Newport can do the same thing.”
The Scotties, who sit atop the WIAA’s 1A Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), will play the lowest-ranked team to reach the regional round his weekend.
Freeman got a morale boost with principal Jim Straw in attendance for the game. Straw is battling cancer.
Newport 50, Lakeside (WA) 41: Koa Pancho scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Grizzlies (14-8) in a comeback victory over the Eagles (11-11).
Pancho shot 5 of 7 from the field and 4 of 4 at the line in the fourth, guiding Newport to a 21-1 run. The Grizzlies applied a full-court press and shut down the Eagles offense by forcing seven turnovers in the fourth quarter. Pancho also ended with 12 rebounds.
Danny Bradbury added 12 points for Newport, which travels to Chelan on Saturday for an NEA/Caribou Trail League crossover game, with the winner moving on to regionals.
Micah Holmes and Tristan Cox scored 13 point apiece to lead Lakeside.