LACEY – Donaven Dorsey was looking to create some offense, but once he got a glimpse of the clock, which was rapidly approaching zero, he knew he’d better put up a shot.
It felt rushed and awkward but still managed to go in – the first of two dramatic shots in the closing seconds that lifted Timberline to victory Friday.
Dorsey hit a clutch 3-pointer to tie the contest before teammate Brandell Evans sealed the win with a free throw with no time remaining to help the Blazers defeat Tumwater, 59-58, in a thrilling non-league boys basketball game at the North Thurston Holiday Tournament.
Trailing 58-55, Dorsey made a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds to tie the game and cap a stellar performance. The talented junior finished with 30 points – including 16 points in the first quarter on 8-for-8 shooting from the field.
Having a hot hand like that, Dorsey must have felt confident with his final shot.
“Not really,” Dorsey said. “I actually thought it was going to be short.”
Tumwater still had a last chance, but Blazers freshman Brandon Brown stole the inbounds pass and quickly went on the attack. He drove toward the hoop before passing to Evans, who was fouled on his shot attempt as time expired, putting the sophomore on the line for two free throws.
The first rolled off the rim short.
There was no doubt about the second one, sending Timberline to the victory.
“I was nervous on the first one,” Evans said. “The second one I knew what I needed to do, but I was still pretty nervous. I’m just happy it went in.”
Dorsey’s hot start helped the Blazers (5-3) to a 20-6 lead 61/2 minutes into the game.
“I think that first quarter was probably the best I’ve played here,” said Dorsey, who equaled his career high in points. “I wasn’t very pleased with how I played last night, and I just wanted to come out and be active from the start tonight.”
Timberline’s lead dwindled to 32-25 at halftime and would completely disappear early in the fourth quarter as Tumwater began to hit from long range – the Thunderbirds made 10 3-pointers in the game.
David Cooper, who had a team-high 12 points, and Josiah Warner each came up with big shots down the stretch for Tumwater.
Warner’s basket with 18 seconds left pushed the T-Birds’ lead to 58-55, but Dorsey and Evans made sure it would not hold.
“I think this team is really coming together,” Evans said. “We are finally playing as one.”
Elijah Sanders added 16 points for the Blazers, and Thomas Coates added nine points for the T-Birds.
Yelm 47, North Thurston 38: Trey Friend scored 18 points, Kollin Crown chipped in 15, and the Tornados knocked off the host Rams.
Steven Stone scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the first half to pace North Thurston.
Tied at 33 with 6 minutes to play, Yelm closed with a 14-5 run, getting nine points from Crown in the final quarter.
North Thurston went cold in the second quarter, scoring four points to trail at halftime, 25-18.