Trevaunté Williams had a career-high 35 points, including nine in overtime, as top-ranked Garfield beat South Kitsap, 74-65.
MILL CREEK — Pushed to the brink, the Garfield Bulldogs finally had the answer.
Unranked South Kitsap forced the No. 1 Bulldogs into overtime in a Class 4A regional boys basketball game at Jackson High on Saturday. But Garfield dominated the extra period to earn a 74-65 victory and a place in the state quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday.
“That was exactly what we needed,” Garfield coach Ed Haskins said. “I’ll take an ugly win going into state any time over a pretty win. We need to understand we’re beatable.”
The Bulldogs advanced on the strength of Trevaunté Williams’ career night. The 6-foot-5 senior scored a career-high 35 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
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But it took two free throws from Torrence Baker with 5.6 seconds left in regulation just to get the Bulldogs (23-1) to overtime.
“It looked like we had ‘em right where we wanted ‘em,” South Kitsap coach John Callahan said. “We were one defensive rebound away.”
Indeed, the Wolves (16-9) stormed back from a 10-point halftime deficit to take a 63-61 lead on Riley Callahan’s long three-pointer with 16 seconds to go in regulation. South Kitsap forced a tough shot on the defensive end, but didn’t get Baker blocked out on the back side.
Baker grabbed the rebound and went right back up. He was fouled, stepped to the line and made the first free throw.
South Kitsap called a timeout. But after the break, Baker calmly stepped up and made the second to tie the game at 63 and send it to overtime.
Williams took over from there.
“We had to will it out,” said Williams, who scored nine of his team’s 11 points in overtime. “We just showed how much heart we have. We all want our ring. I had to do my part.”
After a slow first half, in which Williams scored just seven points and sat for long periods with three personal fouls, the senior came alive on a night when Garfield’s leading scorer, Tucker Haymond, was taken away by South Kitsap.
Haymond was held to just 4-of-13 shooting and scored 12 points. South Kitsap employed a box-and-one defense against Haymond, which opened the inside up for Williams.
“You’ve always gotta give up something,” John Callahan said. “We knew we would have times where our point guard would be blocking out their post.”
That matchup under the boards led to 18 offensive rebounds for Garfield, four by Williams.
“When one person can’t get it down, another picks it up,” Haskins said. “They’re seniors. They wanted to finish in the Tacoma Dome. I didn’t know he (Williams) had his jersey number (35). Wow.”
Jackson 58, Auburn 53
The No. 2 Timberwolves (24-0) scored the first 15 points of the game, but had to hang on down the stretch.
The Trojans (16-10) trailed 46-44 after Spencer Fisher’s basket inside with 3:29 left to play. Jason Todd, who scored 21 for Jackson (hitting 10 of 10 free throws), responded on the other end with two free throws and Auburn never again was closer than three.
LaQuell Simmons made two three-pointers in the final 1:23 for Auburn to make it close.