MUKILTEO — The Woodinville boy’s basketball team is fast becoming the 2020 version of the 1980 Cleveland Browns who were dubbed the ‘Kardiac Kids’ for escaping with a handful of last-second wins.
The Falcon’s pulled out a 69-67 buzzer-beater against Issaquah last Friday, held off Eastlake 62-57 Saturday, and then executed an improbable 53-50 come from behind road win in the waning seconds over Kamiak last night.
“This seems to be our M.O. — wait until the last possession — but it's just one of those things,” an elated Coach Kurt Melton said. “I look out there and those kids have absolute confidence—they just believe in each other.
“We didn’t shoot real well but we made them when we needed them — and Will going up and knocking those free throws down after having an off night like he did was just incredible.”
The gymnasium was rocking with excitement as the crowd was filled with Knights fans. But that didn’t seem to bother the Falcons as the team's battled to a 25-22 score that favored Kamiak at the half.
A back and forth third quarter saw the Falcons knot the game at 37-all.
The Knight’s Charlie Powers drained a bucket from 3-point rage to kick-start a 13-6 fourth-quarter run that put Kamiak out front 50-43 with just over three minutes to go.
Woodinville’s ‘D’ dug in, Blake Glessner sank two-of-three attempts at the free-throw line, Cage Schenck hit a short jumper and the Falcons pulled within a bucket, 50-48 with under two minutes to play.
Neither team was able to connect on their next couple of possessions until a clutch shot from long-range by Schenck put Woodinville up top 51-50 with 15 ticks left on the clock.
The Knights Tijan Saine brought the ball down court looking to give Kamiak the go-ahead score. Woodinville was looking for a stop, wanting to avoid a foul and have the clock run out. But with seven seconds to go, Eli Coffman drew a whistle from the ref and Saine went to the line ready to put the dagger into the Falcons.
Much to his chagrin, Saine missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Will Ruff snagged the rebound and was fouled immediately.
With three seconds left Ruff stepped up to the charity stripe and calmly sank two free throws that drew nothing but cord to put Woodinville up 53-50.
The Falcons pressed the inbound throw afterward and didn’t allow the Knights to get off a final attempt to tie it and Woodinville walked off the court with the victory.
“I’m proud of our guys — proud of this win,” Melton said. “Kamiak is a good athletic team that can shoot well and to come in and pull out a win on their floor in the playoffs — I’ll take it.”
Schenck came up big once again for Woodinville hitting for a game-high 25 points.
“It was an exciting win — hopefully we have a lot more of them in us,” Schenck said. “They (the Knights) are a good team — put a lot of pressure on us and shot the ball well. But every one of our guys did their thing out there. Will was clutch at the line — he hardly ever misses free throws — you can always count on him.”
Glessner finished with 14 points. Carson Noe added 7.
The win advances the Falcons to a second-round contest with Mount Si on Saturday at Bothell High School. The game is scheduled for a 1:30 start.