Tyee Totems fall in OT to Orting
BY GERARDO BOLONG
Missed free throws and loss of rebounds cost the Tyee Totems boys basketball team dearly in a 76-69 SPSL 2A overtime loss at home to the Orting Cardinals on Tues., Jan. 9, in SeaTac.
Sejdulah Kaharevic's 3-pointer brought Tyee within 71-69 with 33.6 seconds remaining in the overtime, but the Cardinals converted free throws and controlled the offensive and defensive boards to close on a 5-0 surge to cement victory.
"We have a free flow offense that creates spaces because we don't have the size inside," said first-year Totem coach Rodney McCurry. "We made it up on defense and had our best first quarter."
The ending overshadowed an excellent opening quarter and first half that showed the Totems quickly taking charge with hands on defense and quick, snappy passes that created short-range shots.
Like hydroplane racing boats, Orting was left in the rooster tail of Tyee's first quarter salvo.
Kaharevic torched a 3-point goal before Brooks ran for a lay up. Kylique Rainwater rebounded and scored. Orting turned the ball over to give Rainwater a chance to convert a short, step back jump shot and the Totems were in command at 16-3 in a 9-0 spurt. Muhammad Seasay's breakaway lay up had Tyee in front at 19-5.
The Totems continued their control to amass a 24-9 lead early in the second quarter only to have Orting stay in touch to close within nine points and trail 33-22 at the half.
In the second half, the Cardinals' size advantage in the key started to show dividends as the Totem ball movement and cuts to the basket were harnessed.
Gradually narrowing the gap, Orting trailed 38-32 after Jaison Roby horsed home a rebound basket for Tyee with 4:02 left in he third quarter.
The Cardinals took their first lead of the game at 40-38 after scoring eight straight points. Roby worked hard off the offensive glass and tied the game at 40-40 on a rebound basket, but Orting led 42-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
Three quick Cardinal points were offset by a suddenly resurgent Totem offense and defense that forged a 49-45 margin at the 5:06 mark.
Tyee looked strong after Juwan Harris scooped up a loose ball and directed it into the basket, preceding a baseline drive basket and free throw that showed the Totems in charge at 54-47 with just less than four minutes left. Six-foot, five-inch Isaac Jones took charge inside to lead Orting close at 54-53.
Still leading at 59-58, the SeaTac squad increased its advantage to 60-58 when Brooks drained the first of two free throws at the 17.8 seconds juncture.
Orting called time out with 9.9 seconds left and managed to tie the game and set up overtime on Levi Frounfelter's short jump shot.
In overtime, the Orting squad seized initial momentum to lead 65-60.
Fighting hard, Tyee narrowed its deficit to 65-64 following a Brooks basket beyond the 3-pont arc and a free throw on the second of two chances by Harris.
Despite missing free throws that could ice the game, the flying Cardinals stormed the offensive boards to lead 70-64 and 71-66 going into the game defining moments.
"I'm blessed with experienced seniors who are adjusting to their third coach in four years," concluded McCurry. "They're gradually figuring it out at the end. Our freshmen, sophomores and juniors are buying in and the foundation is being set for good engagement. We need to focus on fundamentals like moving our feet more. The building blocks to move forward are there."
Kaharevic led three double figures scoring Totems with 18 points. Sesay added 14 while Rainwater notched 11.
Jones paced a deadly triumvirate of Cardinal scorers by scoring 23 points in a powerful second half. Hayden Linkem hustled to 20 points and Frounfelter gunned home 19.