The boys basketball team from Inglemoor High School finally has its banner. After years of playing in the shadow of such powerhouse programs...
KIRKLAND — The boys basketball team from Inglemoor High School finally has its banner.
After years of playing in the shadow of such powerhouse programs as Mercer Island, Garfield and Franklin, the Vikings broke through in a big way last night, claiming their first KingCo 4A boys basketball championship with a 62-57 victory over sixth-ranked Franklin in the Sea-King 4A District championship game at Juanita High School.
The game, played in front of a standing-room only crowd of 2,500, secured Inglemoor the district’s No. 1 seed to next week’s Class 4A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome. It will be the Vikings’ first state appearance since 1992.
Fans swarmed the court when it was over, cheering as the Vikings held the trophy in the air.
“There’s a lot of emotions,” said Inglemoor coach Greg Lowell, in his 17th season. “This is the first league title — that’s the big thing. We can finally hang a banner up in the gym.”
Until last night, Inglemoor had not beaten Franklin since Feb. 15, 1996. That year, the Vikings clipped the Quakers, 67-55, in the first round of the district tournament. The streak spanned 10 games and 10 seasons.
“It’s unreal,” said senior Steve Campbell, who scored a team-high 20 points. “I think a lot of people doubted us. I think we came in a little nervous, too, and so it feels so great to get them. We all knew we had it in us. This is for everybody.”
Franklin (17-6) can still qualify for state, but must beat fifth-ranked Roosevelt (19-5) tonight at 8 to do so. The loser-out game will be played at Juanita.
“This is the schedule, you’ve got to go play,” said Franklin coach Jason Kerr, whose team had won the past three KingCo 4A titles. “You almost don’t have time to comment on this game to your team because you’ve got to get ready for tomorrow.”
Inglemoor took the lead, 51-49, on Nate Shekeryk’s put-back with 2 ½ minutes left, then hit 7 of 10 free-throw attempts in the final 1:33 to seal the victory.
Franklin led by as many as 10 in the first half, but the Vikings rallied to tie the game at 35 early in the third quarter on a Campbell lay-in. From there, it was a see-saw affair with neither team gaining an advantage of more than five points until Inglemoor pulled away late.
Venoy Overton scored 23 points for Franklin, and Jordan Daisy added 15.
“It was a crazy atmosphere here all night,” said Campbell of a crowd that ringed the perimeter of the court, in some places three and four deep. “The crowd was great, it was so much fun. I was so proud of everybody on our team tonight.”
Roosevelt 85, Garfield 67 (loser out)
Marcus Williams and Chris Chase combined for 59 points as the fifth-ranked Roughriders (19-5) left nothing to chance in a loser-out victory. Williams, a 6-7 senior, had 32 points — topping the 30-point mark for the 12th time this season — eight assists, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Chase, a 6-4 senior, added a season-high 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
“We killed it,” Chase said. “A lot of it was our defense. We were just feeding off our defense. We were seeing eye-to-eye. If we work together, nobody’s going to stop us.”
Roosevelt needs one victory for its first state berth since 1987. Marcus Holmes of Garfield (12-11) hit 7 of 12 three-point attempts and scored 21 points, a season high. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer, Ramiyo Bacani, had 10 before fouling out with 4:37 left.