Timberline High School is undefeated in the Class 3A South Sound Conference after six games. The Blazers have a two-game lead over their closest pursuers, Capital and Shelton.
It would be a stretch, though, to say Timberline (9-3) has dominated the league thus far.
On the second night of the league season, the Blazers needed a buzzer-beating layup by senior guard Hunter Campau to edge Capital.
Friday night, despite a game-high 27 points from Campau, and 18 points from 6-foot-4 senior forward Trevor Joubert, the Blazers needed overtime to down visiting Peninsula, 60-58.
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Senior guard Cole Hicks’ jumper from the left elbow with 37 seconds to go in the extra period broke the last of four late ties. Peninsula didn’t get off another shot before time expired.
“That’s what happens when you don’t play for two weeks,” Blazers coach Allen Thomas said.
Timberline hadn’t played since losing a nonleague game to Skyview on Dec. 20.
“Guys were out of shape,” Thomas added.
Both teams were impressively efficient from the field during the first half. Neither missed a shot in the first three minutes, as the Seahawks grabbed an early lead. Timberline shot 75 percent from the field and Peninsula 67 percent before halftime.
The lead changed hands five times during the second quarter, but the Blazers finished the half on a 13-4 run and went into the break up by 10. Campau, Joubert and Kayden Lacy each had a pair of buckets during the scoring outburst.
“Our guards do such a great job of beating their defenders, pump-faking and finding the open man,” Joubert said. “We play so well together.”
When Hicks and Lacy each scored within a minute of the second half’s start, Timberline took a 41-29 lead and looked ready to coast home.
But, Peninsula wasn’t having it.
“Their coach, Matt Robles, does a great job of staying poised through runs. That’s something I’ve always admired about him,” Thomas said.
The Seahawks (5-5) promptly fashioned a 10-2 run of their own, fueled by a dunk and a routine post-up basket by Kaleb Lichau, to cut the Blazers’ lead to seven by quarter’s end.
Peninsula showed its balance when four different players contributed to an 8-2 run that opened the fourth quarter. With the Seahawks within a point at 50-49, both Lacy and Campau fed Joubert for inside baskets that seemed to give Timberline enough breathing room.
But Roman Bockhorn, who finished with 14 points, then nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key. With 17 seconds to play, Dane Jackson drove, looking to pass out to a shooter on the perimeter, but was fouled by Hicks and made two pressure free throws to send the game into overtime.
“Defensively, we didn’t have great on-ball pressure tonight, they got a lot of dribble penetration and found open shooters,” Thomas said. “That can set up an upset, but fortunately we got a couple of stops.”
Peninsula took the first lead of overtime on Cole McVay’s only basket of the night, splitting two defenders underneath.
Campau countered with a pair of free throws before Lichau gave Peninsula its final lead, scoring inside with 1:48 left.
“In overtime, I thought our defense looked like it should,” Thomas said.
Joubert tied it on the Blazers’ next possession, setting the stage for Hicks’ eventual game winner.
“We always want to play inside-out. If we can get Trevor touches, and get his confidence up, it will make the shots our other guys take from the outside a lot easier,” Thomas said.
Tyler Spurlock led Peninsula in scoring with 15, while Jackson joined him and Bockhorn in double figures with 10.
Timberline can make it through the first leg of the 3A SSC season undefeated if it can win against rival North Thurston (5-7) on Wednesday, but Thomas is wary.
“In this league, anybody can beat anybody,” he said.
P – Shooting 22 of 44 (50 percent). Free throws: 11-15 (73.3). Turnovers: 16.
T – Shooting 26 of 50 (52 percent). Free throws: 3 of 10 (30 percent). Turnovers: 15.
P – Roman Bockhorn 14, Tyler Spurlock 15, Dane Jackson 10, Kaleb Lichau 8, Griffin Bakken 3, Myles Rupert 6, Cole McVay 2.
T – Kayden Lacy 6, Hunter Campau 27, Cole Hicks 9, Trevor Joubert 18.