It was a close one, but a win nonetheless for the East Jefferson Rivals varsity boys basketball team as they survived a late-game thriller with Bellevue Christian High School late last week at …
It was a close one, but a win nonetheless for the East Jefferson Rivals varsity boys basketball team as they survived a late-game thriller with Bellevue Christian High School late last week at home.
The Vikings pulled out a late resurgence in the fourth period of the Jan. 5 matchup, but the Rivals kept pace and secured the 50-47 win. The victory marks EJ’s first win over a Nisqually League opponent this season.
The Rivals had a hot start to begin as junior big man Keidan Guzman nailed two three-pointers and swished two free throws. A basket apiece from junior forward Stuart Dow and senior Austen Hammer kept EJ in the driver’s seat as the Rivals were ahead 14-10 at the end of the opening period.
The second was more of the same for the home squad as they treaded water with the Vikings and widened their lead. A three-pointer from Dow, four points from senior Michael Petta, and layup from Guzman helped to extend the Rivals’ advantage to 24-18 going into halftime.
The third quarter produced more offensive success for both sides, though Bellevue Christian was starting to find its footing. Guzman continued to lead his squad in scoring with a couple two-point baskets and a three from the arc, and Hammer fleeced the opposing defense with a couple quick-witted baskets. The Rivals looked confident on offense, but a few lapses on defense allowed the Vikings to get back into it. The buzzer sounded and the third period wrapped up with Bellevue Christian cutting the lead down to three points, 35-32.
With the game on the line and eight minutes to the final score, both teams battled as a couple quick baskets from junior point guard Brody Moore and Petta helped EJ keep pace with Bellevue Christian.
But the Vikings weren’t done. The squads continued trading baskets like it was a game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. With two minutes remaining, the Rivals were holding on with a 45-42 lead.
Then came a three-pointer from Moore and the home crowd erupted as the scoreline shifted to 48-42, Rivals.
Bellevue Christian answered at the free-throw line, followed by a big-time basket to trim the gap to 48-46.
The Rivals kept their composure, though, and Dow delivered the dagger with a basket of his own to ice the score at 50-47.
The Rivals’ high-percentage shooting and exploitation of the three-point arc earned them the win, not to mention solid all-around defense from the home squad.
Guzman led EJ in scoring with 22 points, followed by Petta with eight points, and Dow with seven. Moore and Hammer earned six points each.
Currently, the Rivals’ record sits at 4-6 (1-5 conference) after EJ was defeated by Vashon Island High on Saturday.
The boys were scheduled to face off against Annie Wright Schools Tuesday evening.