Emerald Ridge boys basketball rode a 20-point halftime lead to stave off Sumner’s second-half run and win, 60-50, to stay undefeated in 4A SPSL league game Tuesday night.
Junior Tevin McClain hit the opening salvo on Emerald Ridge’s (4-0) first possession, as the Jaguars point guard found a hole in the Spartan’s zone defense to help ER to a 16-7 lead at the end of the first.
“I was able to get prepared and I was able to knock down a few shots,” McClain said.
McClain (6 for 11) finished with a team-high 15 points and six assists.
At the 1:10 mark in the second quarter, McClain hit a layup over three Sumner (0-3, 0-2) defenders to give Emerald Ridge their largest lead of the game, 34-14.
After Sumner cut into the lead with seconds left to play, Thane Birrer (10 points) knocked the ball out of bounds to leave Emerald Ridge only 0.8 seconds left on the clock. Off the inbound, Jasen Cassens (10 points) knocked down the baseline shot at the buzzer for a 36-14 scoreline at the half.
“I thought that was the best first half we played all year,” Emerald Ridge coach Pat Mullen said. “We had to hang on in the second half, as we had 12 turnovers to let them back in it.”
Sumner center Seth Carnahan came alive in the second half after being shut down by Jaguar forward Andrew Boston’s athleticism for the first 16 minutes of the game.
Carnahan led Sumner’s 14-5 run where the Spartan center used his 6-foot-7 frame to outmuscle the smaller Jaguar forwards with put-back shots and powering down to the hoop as Sumner cut their opponent’s lead to 41-30 with 3:20 left in the third.
“At halftime, I said just get us involved and start looking for us (down low),” said Carnahan, who scored 18 points in the second half. “They started looking for us, I was getting boards and putting them back up.”
Carnahan had a double-double with a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Spartans’ center also added three blocks and four assists.
Twice in the second half Sumner cut Emerald Ridge’s lead to single digits, and each time the Jaguars’ athleticism outplayed the Spartans.
With 4:33 left in the game, freshman Mitchell Wolfe (6 points) nailed a three, and after ER turned it over at midcourt, Carnahan hit a layup that cut Emerald Ridge’s lead to 54-45.
Sumner kept the pressure on as Birrer picked off another Jaguar pass at midcourt, and after setting up on the wing, the junior guard tried to float a pass to Carnahan in the post, only to have the 6-foot-1 Boston leap and intercept the pass.
The play killed the Spartans’ momentum as Daniel Gregory (10 points) hit a 3 and pushed the Jaguars lead back over 10 points, 57-45.
“That was a wide receiver making a play against a tackle,” Carnahan said. “That was pure athleticism, and I honestly didn’t think he could jump that high.”
Boston finished with double-double himself, as he had 10 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
Sumner will travel to play Curtis (4-0) this Friday before closing out the week at South Kitsap (0-4, 0-3). Emerald Ridge gets a bye on Friday before hosting 4A NPSL Kentwood in a nonleague game this Saturday night.