KENT — The Timberline Blazers learned how to play a full 32 minutes without senior wing and University of Washington signee Donaven Dorsey on Monday night at the King Holiday Showcase. And while the Blazers suffered a 45-43 loss to Auburn Mountainview at the ShoWare Center, coach Allen Thomas said he thinks the cohesiveness of an adjusted starting lineup and player rotation will come with time.
“I’m still optimistic about this group,” Thomas said. “Our best basketball season is still ahead of us.”
With Dorsey, the Blazers’ leading scorer, sidelined and waiting to know the extent of his broken left ankle suffered during Friday’s 65-38 loss to Lincoln, he did what he could to support the team from the bench while on crutches in Timberline’s first game since his injury.
“Still haven’t gone to the doctor yet,” Dorsey said before the game. “We’re waiting for them to call us back.”
On Saturday, Thomas said that if Dorsey doesn’t need surgery, he could return in as little as four weeks, just in time for the start of the postseason should the Blazers be one of four 3A Narrows teams to qualify for the West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament, which begins Feb. 17.
In Dorsey’s absence, multiple players stepped up their scoring.
Brandell Evans led Timberline with a game-high 18 points. Jarryn Bush and Taylor Adams, who started in place of Dorsey, scored eight points each. Bush also had a team-best eight rebounds.
The Blazers (7-7 overall), after leading for the first 29 minutes — including an 11-point lead at one stretch of the first quarter — trailed four times over the final three minutes, including the final 45-43 deficit with 13.1 seconds left after Mountainview’s 6-foot-9 center, Tristan Miguel, hit a putback to give the Lions (6-8) the lead for good.
With 4.3 seconds left, Timberline had a good look at a possible game-winner, but Evans’ 3-pointer at the top of the key went off the back rim.
“I thought he was going to bank it in,” Thomas said.
Lions coach Terry Johnson said sophomore Miguel, who scored a team-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, may be becoming a consistent offensive threat to complement his already strong play on defense. He also collected eight rebounds.
“For him to do that against a good team tonight, was a great sign for him and for us,” Johnson said.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick