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Peninsula Daily News
YAKIMA — Sequim to Yakima is a long way to travel to get your heart ripped out after 36 minutes of hard-fought basketball.
Renton’s Zack Lee made a 42-foot desperation heave to give the Indians a 59-56 overtime win over Sequim in the opening round of the 2A state tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome on Thursday.
The Wolves move on to the fourth-place bracket where they play a loser-out game with Burlington-Edison today at 9 a.m.
With five seconds to play in overtime and the score tied at 56, Sequim passed the ball in underneath Renton’s basket.
Near half-court, the ball was poked away and Lee scooped it up and launched his game-winning shot.
“All I did is look up at the clock and see there was a second left,” Lee said.
“I heard [teammates] say ‘shoot it,’ and I just shot it, and, you know, luckily it went in.”
The Wolves stood near their bench for a few moments, stunned at what just happened.
“At first it was just shock. It didn’t hit me until I got into the locker room,” Sequim forward Gabe Carter said.
“It’s hard to lose a game like that because we had it in our grasp. I really think we could have gotten that win.”
Now, the Wolves (21-5) are left wondering if a 20- or 30-point loss would have been a more enjoyable fate.
“That’s what my wife said, it might be easier to swallow if we had been blown out,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said after the game.
The Wolves started slow and trailed 14-6 after one quarter.
From that point on, though, they showed they belong as one of the final eight teams standing in the state tournament.
Behind the scoring of Jayson Brocklesby and Alex Barry, Sequim quickly got back in the game and was only behind by three at halftime, 27-24.
“Sequim is a great team, and I think because it was a name [our players had] never heard of and a name they couldn’t pronounce, they overlooked it a little bit,” Renton assistant coach Rashaad Powell said.
“Sequim is a great, great basketball team. I preached to [our players] all week: At this point, there’s eight teams here, and they are all great basketball teams.”
The Wolves held slim leads for much of the second half and even built a 49-42 lead with 2:27 to play thanks to free throws by Brocklesby and Rory Kallappa, who both made a pair, and a couple of big plays by big man Erik Christensen.
Christensen scored on a short jumper after a pass by Carter to give Sequim a 45-40 lead, and a minute later he forced a jump ball that gave the ball back to the Wolves.
But the Wolves went scoreless for the remainder of regulation while Renton chipped away at the lead and forced overtime after a free throw by Levelle Smith with 19 seconds remaining in regulation tied the scored at 49-49.
Smith led all scorers with 17 points.
Overtime was a four-minute back-and-forth tussle.
A three-point play by Barry gave Sequim a 52-50 lead. A Barry-to-Kallappa connection cut Renton’s lead to 55-54.
Then a pair of free throws by Anthony Pinza tied the game at 56-56 with 36 seconds to play.
Carter grabbed a rebound after a Renton miss and Sequim called a timeout with five seconds left to set up its final play, which led to Lee’s miraculous shot.
The Indians dominated the glass throughout the game, out-rebounding the Wolves 50-27, a total that included 29 offensive boards.
“If you give up 19 offensive rebounds, you’re not going to win,” Glasser said.
Brocklesby led Sequim with 16 points, and Barry had 13, including two 3-pointers.
Carter, who scored 12 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds, said the Wolves need to regroup for today’s matchup with Burlington-Edison.
“You give yourself a little bit of time to feel bad, but then you’ve got to bounce back because we have [another] game,” Carter said.
“I feel like by the time we’re out of this gym, we’ll all be all right and be focused on the next game.”
Burlington-Edison (16-9) knows what being blown out feels like after opening the 2A state tournament with a 56-36 loss to Pullman on Thursday morning.