VANCOUVER, Wash. — Forks didn’t let a 230-mile-long road trip deter them from playing King’s Way Christian tough in three out of four quarters, but the Spartans basketball team got blitzed by a big Knights third-quarter that put them in a deep hole.
The Spartans (15-7) lost their Southwest District 4 1A Tournament game 67-59, played on the Knight’s home court in Vancouver.
King’s Way outscored Forks 20-10 in the third quarter, taking a 53-41 lead into the fourth. The Spartans outscored the Knights 49-47 in the other three periods.
“Obviously the third quarter was a big one. They hit three 3-pointers and got to the free-throw line. They executed and attacked our zone well,” said coach Rick Gooding.
Parker Browning had 19 points for the Spartans, while Marky Adams scored 18. King’s Way is likely one of the few 1A teams that can really match Forks’ size, with two 6-3 players and a 6-5 and 6-6 player on their varsity roster.
Karter Graves for Kings Way scored 24, while Joe Mills scored 18.
The Knights are ranked No. 16 in the WIAA’s 1A RPI rankings. The Knights have a pedestrian record of 14-9, but they were 9-1 in the Trico 1A League and five of their losses were to 2A and 3A teams.
Forks’ season is not over. The Spartans are now in the District 4 consolation bracket. Their next game is against Evergreen 1A rival Montesano at 6 p.m. today at Rochester High School in a loser-out contest. The Spartans split two games during the league season against Montesano. The Bulldogs finished 5-3 in the Evergreen 1A League, while second-place Forks finished 6-2.
“They’re a good matchup for us, its a good matchup for both of us,” said Gooding.
If Forks wins tonight, they move to the District 4 third-place game against the winner of La Center and Stevenson. Forks beat Stevenson earlier in the tournament while La Center crushed Montesano and took Hoquaim, the first-place team in the Evergreen 1A, to three overtimes before losing.
“Our backs are against the wall. The next time we lose, our season is over,” Gooding said.
King’s West Christian 67, Forks 59
Forks 19 12 10 18 — 59
KWC 20 13 20 14 — 67
Forks (59) — Browning 19, Adams 18, Ramsey 7, Baysinger 5, Schumack 4, Prose 3, Johnson 3.
KWC (67) — Graves 24, Mills 18, Pulicella 9, Garrison 8, Freeman 8.