3-pointers, defense lift Marauders past Knights | Boys basketball
Last updated 1/16/2019 at Noon
Mariner had at least two reasons to be especially happy after its 68-56 victory over district rival Kamiak.
The Marauders and Knights came into the Thursday, Jan. 10 game tied for fourth place in the Wesco 4A boys basketball standings. Because of its win, Mariner moved into a tie for third place with Mount Vernon.
The victory also helped the Marauders shake off a disappointing 71-50 loss to defending league champion Glacier Peak a day earlier.
But for senior guard Edwin Bouah, who scored a team-high 19 points and had 12 assists, Thursday’s contest had added meaning for him and the other seniors.
“It’s a really big win. We worked so long for this,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve beaten Kamiak in all my years.”
The last time the Marauders (4-3 in the league, 8-5 overall) defeated the Knights was in February 2015.
Junior Diego Septimo-Ruiz scored 14 points and had 9 rebounds. Elijah Harrell and Chris Hendrickson each scored 9 points. Mariner connected on 6 of their 9 3-point shots in the first half to take a 45-30 halftime lead. Four different Marauders made 3-pointers in that first half.
“We live and die by the 3 because we know we have shooters,” Bouah said. “If they’re hitting, we’re unstoppable.”
Mariner coach Tevin Dillon noted that the Marauders also have players who are good at driving to the hoop when the outside shots aren’t falling.
“When we don’t make them, we’ve got to be able to go inside and attack the rim, which Eddie and Elijah are good at,” Dillon said. “We have other guys who are getting to the rim. We’ve got to get to the rim when the 3 ball is not falling.”
The Knights (3-4, 6-7) were led by junior Charlie Powers, who scored a game-high 20 points. Sophomore Jaye Ohonme added 15 points and sophomore Brendan Beier had 10 points. Senior Dakota Bueing had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
A 3-pointer by Septimo-Ruiz to start the third quarter extended the Mariner advantage to 18 points, 48-30, before Kamiak started chipping away at the lead.
Ohonme scored 9 points as the Knights cut the deficit to 55-44 by the end of the third quarter.
Septimo-Ruiz again hit a 3-pointer to start the final period before Kamiak went on a 9-2 run to draw to within 7 points 60-53 with 5:51 remaining in the game.
“We had a great second half,” Kamiak coach Brandon Corsi said. “We made some adjustments at halftime. Our style of play, we’re looking to wear teams down. There are going to be teams that are going to come on a run on us that we’ve just go to be able to withstand it and see if we can match a little bit of that offense and wear them down a little bit more like we did in the second half.”
Corsi said the Marauders didn’t make as many 3-point shots in the second half because the Knights were able to get Mariner to play more of Kamiak’s style of game, which is a little more up-tempo up and down the court.
The Knights trailed 63-55 and had an opportunity to cut the deficit to 6 points with just under four minutes left in the game but missed two free throws. The Knights then went cold from the field, misfiring on the rest of their field goals.
Corsi said that Kamiak’s youth and inexperience likely played a role in the final minutes before a boisterous crowd in a jam-packed gym.
“We need to execute,” he said. “That’s something obviously we’re working on daily in practice It’s a lot harder in that atmosphere for some of these younger players.”
Bouah and Dillon credited Mariner’s defense for preserving the victory.
“We pride ourselves on defense,” Bouah said. “We work hard on it every day in practice.”
Dillon noted that the Marauders were aggressive on Kamiak’s screens, quickly rotating on the Knights and getting to their shooters. Glacier Peak also runs a similar offense to Kamiak, the Mariner coach added.
“We kind of saw the same thing last night, so we were prepared for it going into tonight,” Dillon said.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Kamiak that included two close games against Monroe (56-55) and Lake Stevens (57-55). The Knights are scheduled to take on two teams ahead of them in the standings on the road against Mount Vernon (7:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16) and at home against first place Jackson (7:15 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18).
“Overall we’re continuing to get better,” Corsi said. “If we do that, we’re going to be just fine and give ourselves an opportunity to put ourselves in a position for the playoffs.”
Bouah likes how the Marauders are playing.
“We can go as far as we want if we work hard for it and we play as a team,” he said.
Mariner hosts Monroe (7:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16) and then travel to Cascade (7:15 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18).
Dillon is also feeling confident.
“We can go on a run here,” he said. “It’s all about believing in ourselves.”