The Ingraham High School boys basketball team is proof of the depth and power of the Metro League. The Rams were toughened up by an early dose of Metro. Even though they were winless...

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BELLEVUE — The Ingraham High School boys basketball team is proof of the depth and power of the Metro League.



The Rams were toughened up by an early dose of Metro. Even though they were winless in the first seven games, six against Metro foes, they never lost hope and it showed yesterday.



Joseph Jessie scored 17 points and converted a late go-ahead, three-point play as Ingraham rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit for a 55-50 victory over White River yesterday on the first day of the 34th annual Bellevue Community College Holiday high-school tournament.



Ingraham (1-7) turned up its full-court pressure in the second half and changed the pace of a plodding game to give first-year coach Ben Hazelwood his first victory.



“It was a great victory for us,” Hazelwood said. “It says something about the Metro League and that it’s an awfully tough place to get a victory.”



Jessie, a 6-foot-1 guard and the Rams’ lone senior, broke a 48-48 tie with a three-point play around the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter to give Ingraham the lead for good.



Jessie scored on a layin off a feed from Isaac Jimcoily, who added 13 points and four rebounds. Jessie made 6 of 9 field goals, including 2 of 3 three-point attempts.



Tyler Nixon, a 6-5 senior guard, led the Hornets (5-3) with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor.



Ingraham trailed 24-14 at halftime, but outscored White River 41-26 with a change in tempo and pressure defense.



“It’s a credit to our kids keeping their heads up and playing with a lot of pride even though we didn’t have a win yet,” Hazelwood said. “We had our best four practices of the season over (Christmas) break. The first half was White River’s tempo, the second was our tempo.”





Other games





Kelso 53, Ballard 46



The Hilanders of Southwest Washington outshot and outrebounded the Beavers (3-3) in the BCC tournament opener. Tyler Minium and Cort Carpenter led Kelso with 12 points apiece.



Benito Sanchez led Ballard with a game-high 16 points.





Hale 61, Liberty 38



The Raiders (6-2) of the Metro League took control with a 19-5 advantage in the third quarter and hiked its lead to as many as 28 points.



Casey Pursell, a senior guard, had 18 points for Hale on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor. Senior Bryce Hockett led Liberty (1-7) with 12 points.





Inglemoor 79,



Otah Ranch (Calif.) 54



Nate Shekeryk, a 6-foot-6 center, came off the bench to score a career-high 18 as the Vikings (5-0) cruised.



Steve Campbell, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, also scored 18 points for Inglemoor. Ike Nwaelele, a 5-11 junior guard, had eight points, 15 rebounds, 10 steals and six assists.



Inglemoor, which built a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter, meets Nathan Hale in today’s 5 p.m. semifinal.



Robert Perez topped Otay Ranch (3-5) with 15 points.