KELSO — The Forks basketball boys’ season came to an end after a long run in the district playoffs when they finally ran into a buzzsaw in the form of King’s Way Christian.
King’s Way Christian, undefeated in league and champion of the Trico 1A League, beat the Spartans 69-36 in the Southwest District 4 tournament consolation finals Saturday night for the tournament’s last slot for regionals.
There’s no shame in losing to this team, which beat Hoquiam by 54 points and beat Evergreen 1A champion Montesano by 38 points. King’s Way Christian ended up in the consolation bracket because they were upset by Seton Catholic, which went on to the win the District 4 championship by beating La Center.
“They move the ball better than any other team we’ve seen,” said Forks coach Rick Gooding. “They hit 10 [3-pointers] from five different guys.”
Gooding said he felt until the fourth quarter that the Spartans could make a run and make a game of it. A King’s Way Christian 22-8 run in the fourth put the game out of reach.
“I felt like we were still in the ball game. We just needed to make a run and we never did,” Gooding said.
Trey Baysinger led the Spartans with 16 points, while Logan Olson had nine.
Still, the Spartans had a good tournament, winning two games — 58-49 over Hoquiam and 65-59 over Stevenson. The Spartans finish their season with a solid 15-9 record despite only having one senior on the team — Oscar Gonzalez.
“I kind of had a thought that if we play a style we can play well, we could be good — run and gun, trap and press. It’s a good way to stress out a coach,” Gooding said.
It was Forks’ final game for the foreseeable future at the 1A level as the Spartans move down to 2B next season.
The Spartans won those 15 games with a very young team. Co-league MVPs Baysinger and Tony Flores are returning next year, as well as Olson, who had a number of big games this year.
“We won’t have the excuse of not having experience next year,” Gooding said.
King’s Way Christian 69, Forks 36
Forks 6 12 10 8 — 36
KWC 18 13 16 22 — 69
Forks (36) — Baysinger 16, Olson 9, Windle 4, Gonzalez 3, Hernandez-Flores 2, S. Steffen 2, Davis, K. Tanner-Steffen, Beebe.