Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Dru Clark, left, tries to evade Lynden’s Coston Parcher on Friday night in Port Angeles.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Dru Clark, left, tries to evade Lynden’s Coston Parcher on Friday night in Port Angeles.

PREP BASKETBALL: Dru Clark’s buzzer-beating bank shot lifts Port Angeles past powerhouse Lynden

Watch video of the game-winning basket

PORT ANGELES — Capping a life-long dream with a banked-in game-winner at the buzzer, receiving some hearty back slaps and congratulations from the boys and a run into the stands to celebrate the win with a hug from Mom.

Not a bad way to spend a Friday night.

Dru Clark’s running prayer of a shot in the lane banked in cleanly with 3.5 seconds left, lifting Port Angeles to a 41-40 win over perennial state powerhouse Lynden and capping a game that featured dogged defensive efforts from both sides.

“Get it in [bounds] and everybody go downhill,” Clark said of the final moments. “And we got it in to John [Vaara], I was doubled, ran off John and I thought I would get the foul call [when he was jostled away from the ball momentarily]. I saw the ball, I went and grabbed it and I had to get my feet set and let it fly.

“The crowds are a lot smaller now, but it was loud in there [when the shot went down]. All my teammates having my back and everybody coming together [to celebrate]. It was amazing. I’ve always dreamed of doing something like that.”

The Roughriders’ Jeremiah Hall set up the winning play with what else, a defensive gem, forcing a Lions turnover on an out-of-bounds pass with 12.3 seconds remaining.

“There was just nothing easy tonight. Both teams were phenomenal in taking care of the basketball and making each other work,” Riders coach Kasey Ulin said. “That was a state semifinal at the SunDome, executing in the half court-type of contest.

I was just excited for our guys. We’ve been on the other side of that many times [falling in close contests].”

Port Angeles both weathered and created scoring droughts. The Riders went 4:19 of the first and second quarters without a bucket and took 3:52 to score their first points of the third, but were able to hold Lynden off the scoreboard for a combined 5:30 of the third quarter.

And they withstood foul trouble that sent the 6-foot-9 Vaara to the bench with three fouls with 7:45 to go in the second quarter.

Wyatt Dunning also had to play gingerly at times after picking up two quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game.

The Riders also were without Chase Cobb, a player Ulin has said is his squad’s top defender, due to an ankle injury.

“Chase is a senior captain, doesn’t get to play in that game and he was the happiest guy there [after Clark’s shot],” Ulin said. “To see the kid who can’t play in a game like that be so happy for his teammates was great.”

Port Angeles also survived the shooting and athleticism of Lynden’s top player, Jordan Metcalf. Metcalf scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including knocking down three triples.

“Just a grinder. Lynden will not beat themselves,” Ulin said. “They came back every time it would seem like we would have a chance to get a two-possession lead and they would hit a 3.”

He also quieted the crowd with a first-quarter steal and a somewhat unexpected but expertly executed two-handed slam dunk over Xander Maestas.

Maestas would go on to spark Port Angeles with Back-to-back 3-point baskets in the third quarter.

“Xander made some big plays in the second half,” Ulin said.

And Clark brought it home in the fourth quarter, driving inside against Lynden’s tall timber and hitting a pair of free throws with 1:52 to play, knocking down a crucial 3 with 1:13 left and putting up the game-winning runner. He led the Riders with 13 points.

“He does so many things that don’t show up in the box score and he makes winning plays,” Ulin said. “Dru is 10-feet tall and bulletproof when he’s at his best and our kids feed off that.”

Ulin was happy to see his players hard work pay off with such a memorable win.

“To see the things we have been working on like the ability to be disciplined and focused in critical moments is really exciting, it makes you really proud and says a lot about the character of your guys,” Ulin said.

Port Angeles 41, Lynden 40

L 14 7 6 13 — 40

PA 10 10 6 15 — 41

Port Angeles (41): Clark 13, Maestas 8, Dunning 7, Vaara 7, Wheeler 5, Watkins 1, Hall, Gunderson.

Lynden (40): Metcalf 22, Hanenburg 6, Parcher 5, Whitman 3, Adams 2, Ayres 2.

Port Angeles 41, Lynden 40

Lynden 14 7 6 13 — 40

PA 10 10 6 15 — 41

Port Angeles (41) — Clark 13, Maestas 8, Dunning 7, Vaara 7, Wheeler 5, Watkins 1, Hall, Gunderson.

Lynden (40) — Metcalf 22, Hanenburg 6, Parcher 5, Whitman 3, Adams 2, Ayres 2.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Xander Maestas, center, tries to work around the defense of Lynden’s Jordan Medcalf, left, as teammates Dru Clark and Wyatt Dunning, right, wait for a pass during Friday evening’s game at Port Angeles High School.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Xander Maestas, center, tries to work around the defense of Lynden’s Jordan Medcalf, left, as teammates Dru Clark and Wyatt Dunning, right, wait for a pass during Friday evening’s game at Port Angeles High School.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Quanah Wheeler, left, gets a block from teammate Adam Watkins, right, as he escapes the defense of Lynden’s Jordan Medcalf on Friday at Port Angeles High School.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Quanah Wheeler, left, gets a block from teammate Adam Watkins, right, as he escapes the defense of Lynden’s Jordan Medcalf on Friday at Port Angeles High School.

More in Sports

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Heidi Hietpas of Sequim completes the kayaking leg of Saturday's Big Hurt as part of a tandem team with her husband, Forest Hietpas.
OUTDOORS SPORTS: Big Hurt returns in a big way

After a two-year layoff, the team of Hammer Down… Continue reading

The Port Angeles and Sequim volleyball teams celebrate their showings at the Monarch Volleyball Tournament held in Longview this weekend.
PREP ROUNDUP: Port Angeles, Sequim spikers make good showings at tourney

The Port Angeles volleyball team made it to the semifinals… Continue reading

Lukas Teague of Port Angeles and Grady White of Port Townsend battle it out on the second of three events in the Little Hurt Triathlon on Sunday at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles. The events included 10 laps on the Lincoln Park BMX track, a 2,000-meter row on rowing machines, and a 1.9-mile run. Both eighth-graders led various legs of their seventh- and eighth-grade heat, with White pulling ahead on the final leg. Teague finished within a minute of the overall champion for second place. Both boys also compete for their respective middle school cross-country teams.
OUTDOORS SPORTS: Little Hurters compete in new event

Lukas Teague of Port Angeles and Grady White of Port Townsend battle… Continue reading

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Crescent quarterback Weston Hart, center, looks for help from teammate Wyatt Lee, right, as Muckleshoot Tribal defender Donavan Heredia closes in on Saturday in Joyce.
PREP FOOTBALL: Eight is enough for the Loggers

Wyatt Lee: 266 yards rushing, four TDs and 27 tackles

Peninsula College Pirates.
COLLEGE SOCCER: Peninsula men beat Highline on late goal

The Peninsula College men played another NWAC powerhouse Saturday,… Continue reading

Spartan Ryan Rancourt (13) clutches a Logan Olson pass between two Titan defenders Friday night at Spartan Stadium where Forks defeated Pe Ell-Willapa Valley 22 to 21 in a thriller.  Photo by Lonnie Archibald.
PREP FOOTBALL: Emotional win for Forks football

Coming off a devastating week for the team and community,… Continue reading

PREP FOOTBALL: Forks wins thriller; East Jefferson wins

Friday’s scores Forks 22, Pe Ell/Willapa Valley 21 East Jefferson 9, South… Continue reading

Most Read