Ballard Grinds Out One Point Victory over Bothell
By Steven Dion
Tuesday night’s slate of league matchups included a clash of familiar foes in KingCo 4A opponents Bothell and host Ballard. The Cougars (7-5, 3-4 league) have stumbled through the first few weeks of league play after winning the Bothell Christmas Classic. The Beavers (7-5, 4-4 league) are looking to keep pace with Garfield and Issaquah in the competitive Crown division. A much-needed win was up for grabs Tuesday night.
The home team got off to a hot start as Ballard registered 19 points in the first frame. The Beavs were aggressive on the boards and came up with the majority of 50/50 balls. The Cougars often ease into a scoring rhythm so the nine point deficit after quarter one did not discourage Bothell. The Cougars moved the ball much better in the second frame resulting in higher percentage shots. Bothell was a perfect eight for eight from the charity stripe in the second quarter and quietly grabbed the lead. At the halftime buzzer, Ballard senior Morris Fortmann buried a half-court heave. The home team trailed by a single point at the break,30-29.
The second half fed off the energy created in the first sixteen minutes as the lead seemingly changed after each bucket. Bothell senior and University of Minnesota commit Josh Martin scored a game-high 20 points in the contest, but ran into foul trouble in the third and eventually registered the fifth and final penalty midway through the fourth. The final sequence of plays had everyone in the Ballard gymnasium on the edge of their seats. Trailing by four with less than ten seconds remaining, Cougar guard Hunter Dean dished it to Peyton Cordova-Smith in the corner who drained a three-ball after a fortuitous shooter’s roll. On the ensuing inbound, Ballard received a five count and turned the ball back over. Dean caught the inbound and fired a jumper from the wing; a foul was called. However, the official ruled a non-shooting foul. When the ball was inbounded again, Dean slipped on a puddle of sweat and received a travelling call. The Beavers were able to inbound the ball and run out the clock even though it appeared Bothell intentionally fouled the ball-carrier before the buzzer sounded. After the dust settled, the home team escaped with a 61-60 victory.
Josh Martin – 20 points