FORKS — Forks’ Grady Earls attacked along the baseline, getting past Raymond’s 6-foot-7 post Talen Yearout for the go-ahead basket with six seconds left as the Spartans held off the Seagulls in a 54-53 Pacific League boys basketball triumph Wednesday.
“Grady’s winning shot was beating the big guy baseline and keeping separation with his body with some physical play,” Forks coach Keith Weekes said.
With the win, Forks (5-5, 6-9) moved past Raymond (4-6, 8-10) into fourth place in the league standings.
Forks built an 11-point lead heading to the fourth quarter, only to see the Seagulls whittle the advantage down with outside shooting.
“Raymond has a couple good shooters who were able to make some shots in the closing minutes,” Weekes said. “We ended up down one with about 20 seconds left in the game after a big Raymond 3 pointer.
“We weren’t able to get our first option out of a timeout, but the boys never quit attacking. Grady Earls got what ended up being the game-winning basket with six seconds left. Raymond got a decent look at a 3 at the buzzer, but the guys played good cover defense while also not trying to give any reason for a foul to be called.”
Brody Lausche had a double-double to lead the Spartans, leading Forks with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Earls added 12 points, three steals and four rebounds, and Dylan Micheau reached double-digits with 10 points, four steals and three boards.
Forks earned the win despite 30 turnovers as a team.
“Turnovers have been our downfall all season and they hurt us again [Wednesday],” Weekes said.
“I think they realize they are playing meaningful games at the end of the season and guys are really starting to step up and do the hard things. If we can stay at our high level more consistently and not let our lows get quite so low, this group of guys are able to compete with anyone they are willing to put in the work with.”
Forks (5-5, 6-9) hosts third-place Ocosta (6-4, 10-8) with district seeding at stake on Tuesday.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at mcarman@ peninsuladailynews.com.