LYNDEN - The Sehome boys' basketball team generated enough defensive havoc in its matchup 2-3 Zone that the high-energy Mariners were finally able to wear down Brewster.
Sehome coach AJ LaBree admitted his club's 49-38 non-league win during day two of the Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic wasn't a textbook exhibit of strong basketball, but he was more than pleased to earn a second win in as many days against another quality opponent.
Mariners guard Evan Miksovksy was his typical scrappy, hardwood-diving self, and a night after forcing 21 turnovers, Sehome recorded 13 more Saturday, Dec. 28, at Lynden Christian High School.
"It wasn't the most beautiful basketball ballet out there," LaBree said. "Brewster is such a tough, half-court, man-to-man defensive team, you have to get some buckets from your defense."
Sehome's active defense limited Brewster to a season-low 38 points and handed the Bears just their second loss. The point total was the second lowest the Mariners (5-3, 0-1 NWC) have allowed this winter.
Miksovsky scored a game-high 17 points and freshmen Marcus Montag and Langston Engle each chipped in seven off the bench. Eight different Mariners scored, and Brewster got 16 points from guard Easton Driessen, who fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. Bears 6-foot-6 forward Josh Hammons, who scored 16 Friday night against Lynden Christian, was held scoreless.
Miksovsky also hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds and spearheaded Sehome's frantic, yet controlled, defensive effort.
"It was classic Evan, hustling all over the place," LaBree said. "He probably got a couple new floor burns, and he was just doing his thing, a lot of steals, a lot of tips."
Those steals and tips were particularly important during the fourth quarter after Brewster had cut the Mariners' once nine-point lead to 36-34 with 6:40 to go. But Sehome's up-tempo play grinded down Brewster, and after Bears guards Driessen and Timbo Taylor fouled out, the Mariners took advantage of less experienced ball-handlers.
Miksovksy pushed Sehome's lead to 40-36 on a pair of free throws and junior guard Leif Anderson came up with a big half-court steal before finishing with a layup to give the Mariners a six-point advantage. Miksovsky then assisted on a Duncan James bucket following an empty Brewster possession to put Sehome in front 44-36 with 1:40 remaining.
"Our guys were like sharks with blood in the water seeing their forwards holding the ball up top," LaBree said. "I think I started to feel comfortable when Leif hit the layup on an And-1. They finally wore down, and we were able to push our lead to where it was comfortable in the end."
Sehome never trailed after taking a 4-3 lead on a Miksovsky layup 3:30 into the first quarter. The Mariners extended their lead to 21-14 in the second quarter and 29-21 in the third, but Brewster kept finding ways to hang in thanks to Driessen scoring 12 of his 16 points during the second and third quarters.
The Mariners limited the Bears to five first-quarter points and 10 second-quarter points, which amounted to a 24 percent first-half shooting clip. Brewster shot 29 percent for the game.
Sehome's win against Brewster and Friday's 54-43 win against Cashmere comes on the heels of a heart-breaking double overtime loss to Lynden, and LaBree said both victories were a great tune up for upcoming Northwest Conference play.
"Those are really good opponents in Cashmere and Brewster," LaBree said, "and you can't ask for better opponents going into league play this next week. We'll just try to take what we learned from this and move forward. I would trade every non-league win for a few league wins."
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports for Whatcom County sports updates.
SEHOME 49, BREWSTER 38
Brewster 5 10 12 11 - 38
Sehome 9 14 11 15 - 49
Brewster: Easton Driessen 16, Edjar Najera 6, Josh Hammons 0, Mitch Boesel 2, Luke Divis 1, Cade Smith 4, Hunter Bach 4, Timbo Taylor 5, Cameron Jacobson 0. Team totals: 15-51 6-14 38.
Sehome: Steven Thibou 0, Evan Miksovsky 17, Langston Engle 7, Logan Deboo 0, Elijah Andrushenko 3, Sam Carroll 2, Leif Anderson 4, Duncan James 6, Marcus Montag 7, Leighton Kingma 0, Tanner Clark 3. Team totals: 16-44 14-25 49.
3-ptg: Brewster 2 (Najera 2), Sehome 2 (Engle/Miksovsky 1). Rebounds: Brewster 29 (Bach/Smith 7), Sehome 34 (Miksovsky 12). Assists: Brewster 8 (Driessen 3), Sehome 10 (Clark 4). Fouls: Brewster 16 (Driessen/Taylor), Sehome 17 (Engle). Turnovers: Brewster 13, Sehome 14.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.