It takes a lot to satisfy Tim Kelly.
But after what his sixth-ranked Curtis High boys’ basketball team has accomplished in the past eight days – South Puget Sound League South Divisonal wins against Emerald Ridge, Puyallup, No. 5 Federal Way and Todd Beamer – he was both relieved and proud.
The division is there for the taking for the Vikings, who rallied from an early deficit to take down Beamer, 61-51, in University Place.
Isom Brown led the Vikings with 15 points. Dominic Brown added 10, and Andre Lewis and Jayson Williams had eight apiece in the team’s balanced attack.
Bogdon Bliznyuk led Beamer with 15 points – 10 coming in the first 5:10 of the game.
With three games remaining, Curtis holds a two-game lead in the SPSL South.
“It was a tough four games. We were a little tired, but we did all the things we needed to do,” Kelly said. “We did things much better over that stretch … against good teams, and found ways to win all of them in different ways.”
Beamer led by as many as nine points in the first quarter. Slowly, the Vikings’ defensive pressure, which forced 17 turnovers, allowed them to get back into the game.
And midway through the third quarter, Curtis scored on six consecutive possessions – part of an 11-3 run – to grab a 38-34 lead with 2:28 remaining.
At the same time, Beamer started settling for quick 3-pointers, allowing the Vikings to get out in transition.
Yet, the Titans used scoring spurts in the fourth quarter to hang around – the last cutting it to 53-48 on two Quadir Williams’ free throws with 2:17 to go.
And Beamer had the Vikings locked up on the other end – until Lewis made the biggest play of the night.
With the shot clock down to four seconds, Lewis dribbled down the left side of the lane, but immediately faced a double team. The senior then immediately spotted Williams cutting along the baseline, and threw him a dart of a pass.
Williams beat an oncoming defender, made the lay-in and was fouled. He converted the three-point play for a 56-48 Vikings’ advantage at the 1:42 mark.