Already playing without their second-leading scorer, CPC-Terrace lost leading scorer Terry Eun in the first half of Thursday's tri-district semifinal against Tulalip Heritage. Eun suffered with what his coach Patrick Russell thought was a stinger. Second-leading scorer Eric Matson broke his left ankle in an earlier district game against Lopez Island.
Picking up the slack in the absence of its top two scorers didn't seem to be a problem for Cedar Park Christian. The Lions had four players score 13 points or more as they held on to beat Tulalip Heritage 77-72 and advance to the 1B Tri-District championship game on Monday night.
"To have guys step and play was just huge," Russell said.
The Lions built a 10-point lead in the first quarter and seemed to be in control throughout the first half, but the Hawks were resilient enough to stay close.
Tulalip Heritage's resilience paid off in the second half. The Hawks closed out the third quarter on an 11-4 run that got them to within four points at 57-53 heading into the final quarter.
The Lions responded as they had to every other Hawks' run during the game. Austin Schley hit one of his four 3s and Micah Patterson was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free-throws, sparking the Lions on an 8-2 run to start the fourth quarter and re-extend the lead to 10.
"We talk about not allowing extended runs," Russell said. "I'm also one that I don't call a lot of timeouts if they do go on a four- or five- or even a nine-point swing. If they get into the double digits than I will use a timeout, but we have to learn in playoff basketball that we have to value timeouts and endure other teams trying to make a run at us."
Each of Schley's four 3-pointers served as Tulalip Heritage momentum killers and were much needed with two of the team's top scorers out with injury.
"He's a solid shooter," Russell said. "He doesn't look to go inside a whole lot. He's really stepped up for Eric. He's basically replaced Eric in that starting spot."
Matson is likely out for the remainder of the postseason. Eun's status is uncertain. He will have to be evaluated further before he can make a return.
Even if the team's top two scorers can't return, it seems CPC-Terrace will be fine with scorers three through six. Schley had 13 points, Daniel Schettler and Patterson each had 15 and Wilson Reidt led all scorers with 18.
"Our goal is to score 70 points a game and we scored 77 tonight," Russell said. "We want to get the ball out early and go out and get rebounds, play at a frantic pace and just have energy."
Keanu Hamilton and Payton Comenote each scored 16 points to lead the Hawks.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Mount Vernon Christian H.S.
Tulalip Heritage 14 17 22 19 -- 72
Cedar Park Chr-MLT 21 18 18 20 -- 77
Tulalip Heritage -- Brandon Jones 6, Dontae Jones 3, Payton Comenote 16, Robert Miles 12, Shawn Sanchey 8, Keanu Hamilton 16, D.J. Kidd 11. Cedar Park Christian -- Micah Patterson 15, Wilson Reidt 18, Terry Eun 0, Daniel Schettler 15, Ben Reidy 5, Austin Schley 13, Christian Guddal 2, Zach Wallace 9, Daniel Walker, Aaron Gillis, Andrew Paulson. 3-point goals -- Comenote 4, Sanchey 2, Dontae Jones 1, Brandon Jones 1, Patterson 2, Reidt 1, Schley 4, Wallace 1. Records -- Tulalip Heritage 19-5 overall, Cedar Park Christian 22-3.
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