BOYS BASKETBALL: Neah Bay pulls off comeback, advances to state semifinals
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And it didn't, thanks to a fourth-quarter comeback in which the Red Devils flipped a 51-41 deficit into a 68-60 win at Spokane Arena on Thursday morning.
Now top-ranked Neah Bay advances to today's semifinals, where it will face fourth-ranked Pomeroy.
“It was a battle of wills,” Neah Bay coach Gerrad Brooks said after Thursday's game.
“Tulalip is a great team, and they had us on the ropes a little bit.
“Our endurance prevailed.”
Brooks said both teams are in good shape, but the Red Devils' past state tournament runs made them more equipped to handle the emotion of the game.
After three quarters, it looked bleak for Neah Bay.
Tulalip often limited the Red Devils to one shot per offensive possession, and the third-ranked Hawks (24-2) answered most Neah Bay scores with a bucket of their own.
They also had the hot-shooting of Ayrik Miranda, which caught Brooks and the Red Devils off-guard.
Miranda did most of his damage from 3-point territory, hitting 4 of 7 attempts, to led Tulalip with 16 points.
“Nobody else killed us in one area [of the game],” Brooks said.
Over the course of the third quarter, Tulalip extended a six-point halftime lead to a 51-41 advantage going into the fourth.
The Red Devils (19-2) spent the first five minutes of the final period chipping away at the Hawks' lead and the last three minutes pulling away.
Neah Bay tied the score at 58-58 with 2:32 remaining.
Moments later, sophomore Ryan Moss hit a 3-pointer that gave the Red Devils a 61-58 lead. That was followed by a series of big plays from seniors Josiah Greene and Zeke Greene.
“Ryan Moss hit a big shot,” Brooks said.
“Him, Joisah and Zeke stepped up.”
Moss led Neah Bay with 25 points and made 5 of 9 from 3-point range. Josiah Greene had 10 points, three assists and two blocks and Zeke Greene finished with 10 points and three steals.
Abraham Venske added 15 points and four assists for the Red Devils and John Reamer contributed seven points off the bench.
Neah Bay and Pomeroy do battle today at 3:45 p.m. for a spot in the 1B state championship game Saturday night.
Brooks said the Pirates will pose a different challenge than Tulalip.
“They have two big boys, one of which can shoot,” Brooks said.
“They're really disciplined.”
Pomeroy has three players listed between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-7. Neah Bay has one player within that size range, and none of its starters are taller than 6-2.
So how will the Red Devils defend the Pirates' bigs?
“Collectively,” Brooks said. “We're going to throw different looks at them, and then get out and try to make it a track meet [on offense].”
Neah Bay 68, Tulalip Heritage 60
Neah Bay 13 17 11 27— 68
Tulalip Heritage 14 22 15 9— 60
Neah Bay (68)
J. Greene 10, Z. Greene 10, McCaulley 1, Moss 25, Reamer 7, Venske 15.
Tulalip Heritage (60)
Jones 9, Fryberg 8, Miranda 16, Miles 7, Sanchey 12, Hamilton 8.
Last modified: March 06. 2014 6:31PM