I’m at the ShoWare Center today for the Les Schwab (Free Beef!) Shootout. Five games are on the schedule. Here they are:
2 p.m. – 1A No. 1 Cascade Christian 74, Emerald Ridge 50 (boys)
3:30 p.m. – Kentlake 47, Kent-Meridian 45 (girls)
5 p.m. – Kentlake 56, Kent-Meridian 53 (boys)
7 p.m. – 4A No. 8 Kentwood 66, Kentridge 22 (girls)
8:30 p.m. – 4A No. 3 Kentridge 61, No. 8 Kentwood 54(boys)
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Boys: 4A No. 3 Kentridge 61, No. 8 Kentwood 54: Gary Bell was content to let Brendon Westendorf keep shooting.
“He was hitting everything,” Kentridge’s star guard said of Westendorf. “Me and him, we were a one-two punch.”
Westendorf carried the third-ranked Chargers in the first half and Gonzaga University-bound Bell came to life after halftime of Kentridge’s 61-54 win over No. 8 Kentwood Friday night at in an SPSL North showdown at ShoWare Center in Kent.
Westendorf scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the first half when he buried 4-of-5 3-pointers and helped the Chargers to a 28-20 halftime lead.
“It was going in,” Westendorf said, “so I kept shooting it.”
Kentridge (11-2 league, 13-4 overall) never trailed after Westendorf evened the score at 3-3 in the first minute of the game. But Kentwood (8-4, 11-5) was never far behind.
The Chargers opened up a double-digit lead early in the third quarter, 32-22, but the Conks rallied and closed the gap to 33-31 four minutes later. Kentridge widened its lead in the fourth to 56-47 with less than two minutes to play, but Kentwood rallied again, pulling to 56-51 with 67 seconds remaining.
That’s as close the Conks could get. Kentridge’s defense stiffened and the Chargers made enough free throws in the final minute to win.
Bell scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half and tallied four assists, and Denzel Daniels added 10 points for Kentridge. Taylor Jones led the Conks with 12 and Jason Boyce had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Kentridge took over sole possession of first place in the SPSL North with the win and has a one-game lead over Auburn. The Chargers will visit the Trojans on Feb. 1. Kentridge has not won a league title since the 2007-08 season when Bell was a freshman. He’s confident the Chargers can add a banner if they keep playing well.
“It’s later in the year, almost state, almost playoff time,” he said. “If everybody’s doing good we can go far.”
Boys: 1A No. 1 Cascade Christian 74, Emerald Ridge 50: Cody Shackett scored 24 points, T.J. Tuttle added 17 and Ty King scored 11 points for the defending state champion Cougars in the early game at the ShoWare Center.
Cascade Christian (14-2) has reeled off 12 straight victories, including three over teams from larger classifications.
“One of the reasons we’re playing so well is we’re playing great defense,” Shackett said. “We’re shutting people down in half-court sets.”
The Cougars held the Jaguars to a 36.2 shooting percentage from the floor and forced 24 turnovers.
Paul Allen and Drew Livingston led Emerald Ridge (2-14) with 10 points a piece.
Girls: Kentlake 47, Kent-Meridian 45: Nicole Luce buried the game-winning shot, an 8-footer from the baseline, with 22 seconds left and the Falcons fended off a Royals’ comeback bid.
Kent-Meridian’s Aubreyana Anderson scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Jessica Barnes led the Falcons with 13 and Alyssa Simonson added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Boys: Kentlake 56, Kent-Meridian 53: Falcons forward Sean Hartnett scored a game-high 24 points, pulling Kentlake (8-8, 5-7) back into the SPSL North race for a postseason berth. Daniel Landram had 11 points for the Falcons.
The Royals (11-6, 8-5) had a chance to send the game into overtime, but a 3-point attempt as time expired fell short. Guard Djuan Miller led K-M with 20 points and made 4-of-8 3-pointers.
Girls: 4A No. 8 Kentwood 66, Kentridge 22: Three Conquerors scored in double-figures as Kentwood cruised to its eight straight victory. Forward Liz Mills totaled 16 points and 13 rebounds, guard Kylie Huerta scored 15 points and forward Courtney Johnson finished with 13 points.
SPSL North-leading Kentwood (12-0, 13-3) out-rebounded the Chargers (2-11, 2-14) 54-29.