High School Basketball

‘Gym rat’ propels Squalicum to victory

Squalicum's Damek Mitchell (24), center, gets stopped by Sehome's Logan Deboo (5), left, and Mike Mindnich (12) during the second quarter on Monday evening Dec. 19, 2016, at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Sehome 65-55.
Squalicum's Damek Mitchell (24), center, gets stopped by Sehome's Logan Deboo (5), left, and Mike Mindnich (12) during the second quarter on Monday evening Dec. 19, 2016, at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash. Squalicum defeated Sehome 65-55. For The Bellingham Herald

Squalicum High School has a muscular 6-foot-3, 225-pound “gym rat” who can shoot clutch 3-pointers with style.

Junior forward Kendall Engelhart doesn’t play football, but can he ever play basketball.

He displayed the full range of his skills with 13 of his 15 points in the second half, including three 3-pointers, in the Storm’s 65-55 Northwest Conference win over visiting Sehome on Monday, Dec. 19.

“Yeah, I’m a gym rat,” Engelhart said with a hearty big grin. “I do a lot of off-season work.”

“That’s accurate,” Storm coach Dave Dickson said with a smile just as wide. “He really can shoot. He likes to be in the gym.”

PRAISE FROM MITCHELL

Fourth-year starting point guard Damek Mitchell – whose 19 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds provided his third triple-double in five games for the Storm (4-1 overall, 2-0 NWC) – couldn’t help but praise Engelhart. The big guy combined with veteran senior sharpshooter Noah Westerhoff for 33 points.

“Kendall really stretches the floor,” said Mitchell, who made five of his first seven field-goal attempts, then focused on his passing when guarded tenaciously by quick fourth-year Sehome guard Marcus Montag.“And he got (seven) key rebounds.”

Engelhart shot 5 for 10 to complement Westerhoff, who shot 7 for 12 for 18 points, 12 in the second half.

THE TELLING STRETCH

Montag scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half for Sehome (3-2, 1-1) a 29-25 lead at intermission. He shot 6 for 8 with two 3-pointers and a 3-point play in that span.

Mitchell did not score in the third quarter, but his five assists made possible an 18-4 run as Squalicum took the lead for good at 43-33. Senior forward Jacob Johnson scored off two of Mitchell’s passes in that run.

Sehome’s Logan Deboo responded with a 3-point play and agile sophomore prospect Eddy Hochsprung made a 3-pointer on his way to 15 points via 6 for 11 shooting. The kept Sehome in it at 43-39, but Squalicum freshman Devant’e Powell immediately answered with a drive and Engelhart hit a 3 at the third-quarter buzzer on a pass from Powell.

ANOTHER STORM RUN

Deboo’s layup and Montag’s drive pulled Sehome within 48-45 with 6:30 remaining, but the Storm went on a game-clinching 9-0 blitz, featuring Engelhart’s 3-pointer, Mitchell’s drive and Westerhoff’s 3-pointer for 58-45 with 3:40 left. It was over when Mitchell scored on a rebound at the 2:25 mark.

“I was really pleased with our effort at the defensive end,” said Dickson, whose Class 3A district title hopeful team got valuable minutes in that regard from seniors Jack Wendling and Ben Peterson. “Sehome’s tough (as second-year coach Steve Call‘s team seems distinctly improved after last year‘s 6-14 record). They’re going to make some noise (possibly at Class 2A district).”

DEBOO HITS THE BOARDS

The 6-6 Deboo, a veteran senior who is Sehome’s tallest player, had a team-high 10 rebounds, with six in the second half as he competed hard against the physical Storm.

Call used all 10 of his players in the first half. If he continues to develop his depth, Sehome could wear down a number of opponents.

Sehome 13 16 10 16 -- 55

Squalicum 13 12 22 18 -- 65

Sehome: Marcus Montag 21, Eddy Hochsprung 15, Logan Deboo 9, Logan Lyall 2, Austin Roberts 0, JaKobe Woodfork 2, Josh Dentel 2, Mike Mindnich 0, Jaren Tilley 2, Evan Kingma 2. Totals 20-56 12-14 55.

Squalicum: Damek Mitchell 19, Kendall Engelhart 15, Noah Westerhoff 18, Devont’e Powell 9, Jacob Johnson 4, Jack Wendling 0, Ben Peterson 0. Totals 26-53 8-10 65.

3-point goals: Sehome 3 (Montag 2); Squalicum 5 (Engelhart 3). Rebounds: Sehome 30 (Deboo 10); Squalicum 32 (Mitchell 10). Assists: Sehome 5 (Hochsprung 3); Squalicum 16 (Mitchell 12).

Related stories from Bellingham Herald

  Comments