The game’s final play for the Timberline High Blazers was a backdoor cut for Donaven Dorsey, a player the Lincoln Abes had trouble stopping all game.
“It was wide open, too,” first-year Timberline coach Allen Thomas said.
Point guard Brandall Evans simply lost the handle after taking the inbounds pass and his desperation shot shortly before the buzzer sounded was tipped by Lincoln’s Tre’Shaun Fletcher, preserving the Abes’ 52-51 win over Timberline in Monday’s Class 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district boys title game at the ShoWare Center.
The Abes, winning their sixth bi-district title in program history, will be the bi-district’s No. 1 seed into Saturday’s 3A regional at Mount Tahoma High School, where it will face Columbia River (17-6) out of Vancouver. The Blazers, winners of eight of their past nine games entering Monday’s title matchup, are the No. 2 seed and will face Mercer Island (15-8) at 4 p.m. Saturday in their regional, also at Mount Tahoma.
Winning district titles is nothing new for the Abes, as they have now claimed bi-district titles in 2010 (Class 4A), 2011 and 2013.
“This is my third one in four years,” said Fletcher, who led Lincoln with 21 points. “I have to go out with a bang and get that state championship. That’s all that matters.”
Neither team led by more than six points, and it was a down-to-the-wire finish in the all-3A Narrows League bi-district title matchup. Tied at 51-all with 18.7 seconds left, Fletcher nailed 1 of 2 free throws after Lincoln led by five at 42-37 heading into the fourth quarter. Timberline took the rebound off the second missed free throw by Fletcher, raced up court, and called a timeout with 9.2 seconds left for the game’s final play.
Tyler Gartner in-bounded the ball to Evans, and after a bobble out-front, the backdoor play for Dorsey, who led all scorers with 25 points, was gone. Evans tried to make a play himself, driving past the right-elbow, but was met by Fletcher on his 12-footer jump shot attempt. Evans finished with 12 points as he and Dorsey were the Blazers’ double figures leaders.
This also was Lincoln’s three win over Timberline this season, as the 3A Narrows League champions swept the season series from the Blazers, 61-45 and 70-60.