Greg McCorkle
West Seattle's Deandre Love takes it to the house in the 4th period in their game vs. Chief Sealth. West Seattle won the game in a physical romp 62-46.

SLIDESHOW: West Seattle Wildcats roll over Sealth in physical game

By Jeremy Martin

Every season fans and players alike have select dates circled on the calendar.

Friday night’s matchup between Chief Sealth and West Seattle was one of those occasions as the heated neighborhood rivalry always brings out the best in both teams.

A packed gym at Chief Sealth International High School witnessed an old school, physical and highly emotional 32 minutes of basketball that would eventually be conquered 62-46 by an energetic and fired up West Seattle squad.

Emotions ran hot all night, but the crowd was at its loudest following an emphatic first quarter dunk from the Wildcat’s Deandre Love.

The senior forward stole the ball just passed mid court, flipped it to point guard
Nate Prior who gave it right back to love who by then was cutting towards the basket where he finished the play with a powerful two handed slam.

Spurred on by an eruption of visiting crowd noise, the wildcats would go on a run, extending its lead to double digits by the end of the quarter.

Love would bring some more thunder for good measure in the closing minutes of the game when he received an ally-oop off a sideline inbounds and slammed it home once again.

Love led the Wildcats with a game high 19 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
Fellow senior Ruslan Burduzha contributed 17 points and 6 boards to the cause while the freshman prior ran the team, picking up five assists and four rebounds.

The Seahawks, who were forced to use a couple JV players to round out a slightly depleted Varsity roster employed a trapping 1-2-2 press that fell back into an aggressive 2-3 zone in order to slow down the athletic Wildcats.

The pressure went a long way towards disallowing West Seattle to efficiently run its halfcourt sets, but it also led to a slew of fouls as Sealth ramped up its physicality after falling behind.

Despite trailing, the Seahawks patiently remained in its zone which paid off in the second half as West Seattle began to settle for quick and often contested long range shots, allowing Sealth to slowly crawl back into the game.

Sealth was able to pull back to within 11 points with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest. But just as it seemed momentum might turn in favor of the hosts, the lid on the Wildcat basket suddenly became unlatched, as
Burduzha, Malachi Cain and Spencer Elder drilled back to back to back three pointers making any chance for a Sealth comeback highly unlikely.

Offensively, the Seahawks showed off a balanced attack as nine of the eleven players entering the game scored, led by junior guard Khaleef Griffin who netted 12 points. Both LJ Burns and Leeandre Dickerson scored 7 for the Seahawks with Dickerson also grabbing six rebounds.

Four players, including Burns, grabbed four rebounds for the Seahawks.

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