YAKIMA - King's confidence to battle toe-to-toe with mighty Lynden Christian dates back to last season's district title game.
Lynden Christian put a hurting on the Knights. It was 44-18 at halftime.
"They blitzed us," King's coach and former Burlington-Edison coach Rick Skeen said. "They blitzed us and blitzed us hard."
Skeen believes the remembrance of that loss stuck with King's during this year's district title game, which LC won 61-52.
"I think they were a little shell shocked going into the district championship," Skeen said. "They jumped out to 17-6, and we hung with them. We won the next three quarters. I think the kids realized, 'Hey, we can play with these guys.'"
King's played right with LC until senior Caleb Taylor scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter to hand the Lyncs a shocking 45-38 defeat in the Class 1A State Tournament semifinals Friday, March 1, at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Skeen said during King's loss to LC three weeks ago that his team executed well, the Knights just weren't knocking down shots. They outshot the Lyncs only 34 to 28 percent Friday but made the buckets they needed to down the stretch.
It didn't hurt that Lynden Christian turned the ball over 18 times, while King's committed only five turnovers. The Knights trapped LC and applied tremendous pressure during this year's district loss, but for some reason the Lyncs struggled under pressure Friday.
"We told them today in the locker room, I wish I could tell you something different," Skeen said. "I wish we could beat these guys by 20, but we can't. I do believe it will be a tight game in the fourth quarter, and I do believe our toughness will come through."
Just enough to knock off the defending 1A state champs despite double-figure outputs by Isaac Reimer and Dustin Brandsma. Reimer scored 16 and Brandsma added 11, but it was not enough, not against a King's team that built enough confidence playing Lynden Christian twice in the last year.
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