Lake Washington used a late-game 13-point run to edge Inglemoor 55-53 and force a three-way tie for the KingCo Crown Division lead.
KENMORE — The Inglemoor gym grew more tense with each passing possession, as an apparent runaway lead whittled into a one-point game with just 1:29 left.
Lake Washington coach Barry Johnson turned to the scorer’s table, smiled, and exhaled with a loud “Woooo!”
This was the game he had hoped for, the game that would show his Kangaroos — amid one of their best seasons in recent history — they could win a close one.
In a fourth quarter that could not have swung more wildly, Lake Washington used a late 13-point run to beat Inglemoor 55-53 to force a three-way tie with the Vikings and Woodinville atop the KingCo 4A Crown Division.
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“Our team hasn’t been in a lot of those type of situations in recent years,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to tell them big games are fun.”
For the first 3:29 of the fourth quarter, the Kangaroos (9-3, 5-3 KingCo Crown) went scoreless and watched Inglemoor use an eight-point run to go ahead 48-39.
“We played one of our better games of the year,” Inglemoor coach Greg Lowell said. “They just had the last run at the end.”
The Vikings (8-4, 5-3) went ahead 50-42 with 4:13 remaining on a Paul Jorg layup off a Andy Nwaelele no-look pass. The Vikings appeared ready to run away with it and keep their hold on the division lead.
Johnson called a full timeout.
“We were too excited,” he said. “We were rushing everything and taking too many jumpers.”
The Kangaroos settled down. Then they clamped down. Inglemoor didn’t score again until the final seconds, giving Lake Washington the opportunity to come back.
Kangs senior forward Ryan Guisness scored eight of his 19 points in the final three minutes. Senior guard Dallas Searles hit two free throws with 49.2 seconds left to give the Kangaroos — whose three losses were by a total of six points — a 51-50 lead. Guisness made four free throws in the final 25 seconds to close it out.
“We’ve played three close games, and we’ve lost close games,” Guisness said. “It’s nice to pull one out.”