The Quilcene High School football team’s success showed in spurts on the basketball court Jan. 30, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a big fourth quarter for Christian Faith, which outlasted Quilcene 57-48.
The Rangers’ season ended the following night against the same Eagles team, which eliminated Quilcene from the 1B SeaTac League tournament, 62-50.
Quilcene (1-17) broke Christian Faith’s full-court press several times with deep overhand throws to a player who released down the sideline. When they worked, the passes resulted in easy baskets on the other end that looked like a quarterback connecting with a receiver. The Rangers’ football team reached the Class 1B state semifinals in November.
But many factors, including injuries, led to Quilcene’s rough season on the hardwood. Frustration boiled over late in the fourth quarter Jan. 30 when a reaching foul was called on junior Holdem Elkins, who reacted, received a technical foul, then reacted again, leading to a second technical and ejection.
It was a seven-point game with less than a minute to play, and Christian Faith of Federal Way (5-15) went 5-for-6 from the line in the aftermath to put the game away. Sophomore Jaylen Kimani finished with 18 points, and freshman Clive Pond scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth, including all four technical free throws. Freshman Mitchell Walker tallied a game-high 21 points for the Eagles.
Outside of the final minute, it was a back-and-forth game that Quilcene had a shot to win. Senior Robert Comstock III had a team-high 15 points, and senior Olin Reynolds added 12 for the Rangers.
“We just couldn’t break through,” Quilcene coach Richard French said. “Every time we’d get close, there would be a key shot or a key turnover.”
The teams played even in the first quarter. Comstock scored six and Elkins sank a 3-pointer to keep pace with Walker and Kimani, who combined for the Eagles’ first 14 points.
Reynolds converted Comstock’s assist on a fast break with 4:18 left in the first half to give Quilcene a 20-19 lead. A couple minutes later, Reynolds and Walker each hit back-to-back 3s, a quick flurry that lit up the crowd.
Reynolds’ second shot from distance with 57 seconds before halftime pulled the Rangers within 33-28. Comstock added a basket in the paint for a 33-30 deficit at the break.
Quilcene freshman Nathan Kieffer opened the third quarter with a game-tying 3 from the left wing, and freshman Bishop Budnek gave the Rangers a two-point lead with a putback on the next possession.
Christian Faith answered in transition, and the Eagles then got consecutive steals with their press that led to fast-break points and a 39-35 lead.
Quilcene sophomore Chase Newman got one to roll in, and Comstock blocked two shots in a single possession. Then Newman took a long pass down the sideline for a layup with 1:30 left in the third to pull the Rangers within 40-39.
That’s as close as it got, as Christian Faith closed out Quilcene with a 17-9 fourth-quarter run.
“Man (defense) worked well, but zone didn’t work so good,” Comstock said. “And we didn’t really run our offense.
“It was kind of how we were fouled and when we fouled (that made the difference),” he said.
French said the Rangers didn’t play their best game, and foul trouble combined with injuries were too much to overcome.
The sequence in the final minute that led to Elkins’ ejection was indicative of how the game had been called, French said.
“Our guys were frustrated because they felt like they were being dragged on,” French said.
Port Townsend 63, North Mason 54
Senior post Nico Winegar scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Redhawks (9-8) past Class 2A North Mason in a nonleague game Jan. 29 in Belfair.
Winegar went 7-for-7 from the line and also recorded two steals. Junior Noa Montoya also had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and he added three assists.
Senior forward Cole Crawford hit three shots from distance in the first half to keep Port Townsend close, although the Redhawks trailed 32-29 at halftime.
Port Townsend outscored the Bulldogs 15-8 in the third quarter to take the lead.
Redhawks senior guard Jaden Watkins also provided a standout performance with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Klahowya 62, Port Townsend 31
Montoya scored all 12 of his points in the third quarter and Winegar collected 15 rebounds, but Klahowya (15-5, 6-0 1A Olympic League) wrapped up an undefeated league season Jan. 31 in Silverdale.
Port Townsend will play a loser-out West Central District playoff game at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Nisqually League’s third-place team. The final seeding had not been determined at press time.
Four Port Townsend wrestlers won championships Feb. 2 and the Redhawks placed third as a team during the subregional tournament at Klahowya High School in Silverdale.
Gabe Petrick (160 pounds), Dylan Tracer (182) and Wes Blue (220) won boys titles, and Brenna Franklin won the 170-pound division at a separate tournament in Port Angeles. Kyle Caldwell finished second at 195.
Others who will compete at the regional meet this weekend at Meridian High School in Bellingham include Oscar Levine (106), Carter Swartout (120), Logan Massie (126), Ian Linn-Glasgow (145) and Odin Smith (152). Henry Stier will be an alternate at 152 pounds.