Aaron Knox scores the game winning points at the freethrow line after getting fouled when he stole the inbounds pass from the Crusaders with 17.2 seconds left. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE OR SEE THE GALLERY BELOW THE STORY
SLIDESHOW: Sealth squeaks by Eastside Catholic 56-54
The Seahawks first two opponents of the season didn’t put up much of a fight. Not so with the Eastside Catholic Crusaders.
The Crusaders matched up well with the Seahawks. Equally fast, a swarming defense, and able to shoot from outside and in the paint.
Eastside Catholic quickly jumped out to a five point lead before Sealth got on the board. But the Seahawks never got rattled in front of the home crowd and in no time had erased the deficit.
The two teams battled back and forth. No team gaining an advantage and at the end of the first quarter the score was tied at fifteen.
The half ended with Eastside Catholic up 27-26. The Crusaders aggressive defense, while flummoxing Sealth’s ability to get points, also committed many fouls but the Seahawks were unable to capitalize at the line and left many points on the floor.
In the third period the Crusaders found a rhythm and sliced lanes to the post. The Seahawks found themselves the victims of their own style of play as the Crusaders fast break cut through the Sealth defense, and by the end of the third period the Seahawks were down by eight, 45-37.
As in the first half, even though being fouled numerous times, Chief Sealth’s lack of production at the free throw line was their undoing.
However the Seahawks never caved in, and rallied behind the shooting of Bronte’ Corbray who finished the contest with a game high 28 points.
The Sealth faithful came alive when, with 4:03 left in the fourth period, Corbray drove the ball like a man possessed almost the entire length of the court to tie the game at forty seven. He came to the sideline jumping up and down and that fired up the Seahawk squad.
The Crusaders stayed with the Seahawks for the next four minutes but, when Sealth scored with 17.2 seconds to go up 54-52, the Seahawks pressure defense became their hallmark and forced an errant inbounds pass that was taken by #30 Aaron Knox. Eastside Catholic quickly fouled Knox to send him to the line for two.
The crowd became silent with anticipation as Knox stepped up to the line… would he be able to sink these two shots to put Sealth up by four?… or would he fall victim to the spotty line play that had plagued Sealth throughout the game.
When the first shot passed through the hoop the energy in the house ramped up, and when the second shot got nothing but net the crowd erupted knowing that a victory was at hand.
The Crusaders didn’t give up and pressed the ball down the court to pull within two points. But that took almost thirteen seconds off the clock and with 3.2 seconds left in the game, despite heavy pressure by the Crusaders, Sealth made good on their inbounds pass and the game was over with a Seahawks win, 56-54.
The Seahawks next game is Friday December 7th at Bainbridge High School. Game time is 6:15.
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