The Squalicum boys’ basketball team squandered a 16-point halftime lead and ended up falling 62-56 in overtime to Shorecrest in the championship game of the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament.
The Scots outscored the Storm 16-6 in the third quarter to trim the advantage to six then used an 8-0 run by Malcolm Rosier-Butler to take their first lead of the game 44-43 with 1:41 left in regulation.
Squalicum answered with a 3-pointer from Simran Parmar to retake the lead on its next possession, but Shorecrest tied it when 6-foot-7 sophomore Philip Peppel put back his own miss with about 45 seconds to play.
Neither team was able to capitalize on free throw opportunities in the closing seconds, sending the game to overtime.
Chris Lee opened the extra frame with a 3-pointer for the Scots and then drained a second two possessions later to put Shorecrest up 55-48, and Squalicum could never get the deficit to less than five the rest of the way.
Squalicum appeared to struggle with the Scots’ noticeable height advantage, especially in the second half, as the Storm found it difficult to get off shots in the lane, and often resorted to putting up shots that were off the mark from outside with little hope of grabbing an offensive rebound.
Shorecrest won the the battle on the boards 44-36, though Damek Mitchell did manage to pull down 11, matching Shorecrest’s Aubry Victor for the game high.
Mitchell also led the Storm with 16 points, while Parmar had 14 and Josiah Westbrook scored 11.
Rosier-Butler scored a game-high 17 points, while Victory had 10.
Part of the reason Squalicum may have struggled offensively in the second half was the loss of Westbrook, who went down with what appeared to be a left knee injury late in the second quarter while he was attempting to track down a loose ball.
Westbrook did not return to the game in the second half or overtime, sitting on the bench with the knee wrapped in a bandage.
Unsung hero of the game
Parmar did a good job coming off the bench and starting the second half with Westbrook out, scoring nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
His baseline lay-up with 5:32 to play gave the Storm life when it needed it most, and he followed that up with a nice drive through the lane to draw a foul.
Gionvanni Melley kept the run going by putting back Parmar misses on the next two possessions, but that was about the time Rosier-Butler took over.
Squalicum (19-4) will enter the regional round of the 2A State Tournament as the No. 2 seed out of the district. They’ll have to wait until Sunday, Feb. 20, when the WIAA releases its draw, but chances are they will face a No. 2 or No. 3 seed. It’s not know if or how far they will have to travel south at this time.
Shorecrest 62, Squalicum 56
Shorecrest: Malcolm Rosier-Butler 17, Chris Lee 7, Dagmawe Menelik 2, Tobyn Lawson 6, Aubry Victor 10, Simon Acker 6, Ben Smolen 4, Philip Pepple 4.
Squalicum: Josiah Westbrook 11, Noah Westerhoff 0, Simran Parmar 14, Josh Vail 0, Ben Wolters 2, Darious Powell 2, Damek Mitchell 16, Creighton Kaui 2, Giovanni Melley 6.