Mark this one down as an instant classic. The boys basketball showdown between second-ranked Kentwood and ninth-ranked Kentridge had a little...
KENT — Mark this one down as an instant classic.
The boys basketball showdown between second-ranked Kentwood and ninth-ranked Kentridge had a little bit of everything.
Kentwood sophomore guard Alec Wilson, who had been benched late in the fourth for an ill-advised three-pointer and not getting to a rebound, earned the bounce-back award. Teammate Joshua Smith, an inside hulk at 6 feet 9, had another herculean effort.
Wilson buried the winning three-pointer from the left side with 5.3 seconds left, and Smith piled up a career-high 43 points to go with 21 rebounds and five blocks as Kentwood rallied for a 62-60 victory over the Chargers on Friday night at the Les Schwab Kent Shootout at ShoWare Center.
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Wilson nailed the game-winner when everybody figured it would be another post feed to Smith. With his team ahead 53-49, Wilson missed a chance to help salt away the win by not grabbing a rebound with just over 3 ½ minutes left and Kentwood coach Michael Angelidis pulled him out and sat him until 16.5 seconds remained.
“Coach put me in to shoot, so I’m definitely going to shoot,” Wilson said. “If I get that rebound before, it probably seals it.”
Smith, a junior, supplied 30 points in the second half and dominated inside with six dunks, including many that nearly tipped over the goal standards, as the Conquerors (13-4, 11-2 division) kept pace atop the South Puget Sound League 4A North with Federal Way.
Down 27-11 to the same team it had lost to six days earlier, Kentwood looked done. But the Conquerors, riding Smith’s inside presence, closed to 32-25 at halftime.
“We can’t lose twice to one school, and I don’t think we’ve done that since I was a freshman,” said Smith, who went 20 of 29 from the floor. “Me and Tre [Tyler] are the captains and are our 1-2 options, so when he went out [with foul trouble], I knew I had to step up my game.”
In the third quarter, the Conquerors, who were bothered by the Chargers’ full-court pressure in the first half, used a 12-0 run to take a 42-36 lead.
After Wilson’s big shot, Kentwood still couldn’t breathe easily until Brendon Westendorf’s runner bounced off the back of the rim and to the floor at the final buzzer.