The young Crusaders got big baskets late in the game from their two seniors, Austin Soukup and Hunter Hudgins, to rally for a win over the Lions.
SAMMAMISH — Eastside Catholic is starting to make a habit of it.
For the second time this season, the Crusaders defeated the state’s sixth-ranked Class 3A team on their home court, rallying in the second half to beat Lakeside 64-56 Friday night in a Metro League Mountain Division boys basketball game.
Last month, the Crusaders tripped O’Dea, then ranked sixth, 66-51.
“The second half, these guys showed some character in bouncing back and hitting some shots,” second-year Eastside Catholic coach Bill Liley said.
The biggest of those shots came in the final two minutes from the Crusaders’ two seniors.
Austin Soukup knocked down a three-pointer — his fifth of the game — to pull the Crusaders within one, 52-51, with 2:08 to play.
“That’s his job,” Liley said.
After getting a defensive stop, 6-foot-5 Hunter Hudgins flashed to the middle off the key and nailed a clutch jumper with 1:50 left to give Eastside Catholic its first lead, 53-52.
Lakeside junior standout Tramaine Isabell made one of two free throws to tie the score, but Mandrell Worthy gave the Crusaders the lead for good. With a hand in his face, Worthy hit a baseline jumper over Lakeside 7-footer Peter French, putting Eastside Catholic ahead 55-53 with 1:27 remaining.
“He lives for those moments where he can hit a big shot like that,” Liley said of Worthy.
Soukup finished with 19 points and Hudgins scored 12 for the Crusaders (8-6, 5-5 Metro). Worthy, who has been starting since his freshman season last year, had eight points.
Lakeside (9-2, 6-2) led 31-21 at halftime on the strength of Isabel’s nine first-half points. The 6-1 guard equaled his season high with 22.
But Eastside Catholic outscored the Lions after halftime, 43-25.
And it doesn’t get any easier for Lakeside. The Lions face Franklin, Rainier Beach, Seattle Prep and O’Dea next.
“They deserved to be the No. 6 team in the state,” Liley said of Lakeside. “They’re as talented as anybody in the league with the exception of Rainier Beach, but you can see all the talent they have.”