Just when the Tumwater High School boys basketball team reeled Woodinville back in, things unraveled again.
And a comeback fell short.
After cutting a double-digit Falcons lead to three points late, the Thunderbirds (9-4) committed a turnover and three fouls in the final 24.9 seconds Monday.
Woodinville converted five of six free throws to close out a, 57-49, win at the ShoWare Center’s King Showcase.
“You just want to be in position to put yourself in a position to win, and we were and didn’t make the plays,” Tumwater coach Thomas Roswell said.
Ty Gentry scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, and seven in a row in the final two minutes as part of a 9-2 Tumwater run. His tip-in with 1 minute, 3 seconds to play trimmed the lead to 52-49.
“I think it was just energy,” Gentry said. “We weren’t necessarily hitting all of the shots we were taking, but that energy that was there at the end was what we really needed to win.”
A win didn’t materialize, however.
Micah Johnson was called for traveling on the Falcons’ next possession, but the T-Birds immediately lost the ball out of bounds, and Gentry picked up two quick fouls to send Ethan Tarbet to the line.
He sank four in a row, and Tony Miller added another on Woodinville’s following possession to ice it.
“It’s a different environment,” Gentry said. “We had to adjust, and we struggled to adjust at the beginning. Towards the end we started to figure it out and started shooting shots and knocking them down.”
The trip to the ShoWare Center was Tumwater’s first. Roswell said the decision to compete in the event against Woodinville — which competes in the Class 4A KingCo — was in part to prepare the T-Birds for a higher level of play.
“We need to adjust to this if we want to keep playing at a high level,” he said. “We need to play in a place like this.”
The adjustment period Monday took about three quarters too long.
The T-Birds shot cold from the floor from tip-off — sinking only two baskets on 11 attempts in the first quarter — and never held a lead.
Miller recorded a double-double with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds for Woodinville, while Michael Roth added 12 points.
“Their guards get into people and they play good defense,” Gentry said. “It was a rough game, it was tough. It was very physical and we didn’t match that to start out with.”
The T-Birds trailed by 12 heading into the fourth quarter before Gentry and Weston VandenHazel — who scored 13 points — led the late rally.
“We weren’t making our shots we normally make and we were missing layups,” Roswell said. “We were blowing defensive assignments and getting caught up in the atmosphere. We finally found a rhythm fighting back.”
But not quite enough to erase Woodinville’s 47.9 percent shooting effort from the floor.
“We wanted to battle them and test ourselves (to see) where we’re at, and, unfortunately, it didn’t go our way,” Roswell said.
Mountlake Terrace 64, Black Hills 33: The Wolves shot 2 of 20 from the floor in the second half — and scored only two points in the fourth quarter — as the Hawks flew by for the win at the MLK Basketball Tribute at Lower Columbia College in Longview.
Shimron Masih had a double-double for Mountlake Terrace (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Gabe Altenberger added 16 points.
TJ Mickelson — the only player in double figures — had a team-high 14 points for Black Hills.
Timberline 64, Kentlake 55: Erik Stevenson scored 18 points and Austin Curry added 13 to lead the Blazers over the Falcons.
Kentlake (9-7) cut the lead to four in the final minute, but Timberline (9-5) put it away with free throws and Stevenson’s catch and assist to Curry.
Kevin Baker scored a game-high 19 points with 12 rebounds for the Blazers.
Woodinville 14 13 13 17_57
Tumwater 4 16 8 21_49
W: Ethan Tarbet 6, Micah Johnson 4, AJ Schramm 5, Jesse Davis 10, Michael Roth 12, Tony Miller 20
T: Brian Marty 3, Ty Gentry 16, Cade Otton 1, Spencer Dowers 11, Jacob Gibbons 5, Weston VandenHazel 13