A wild finish extends Bremerton's season with a 54-52 win over Steilacoom Wednesday in the 2A district tournament
By George Edgar, For West Sound SportsPlus
TACOMA – The Bremerton Knights were down to the Steilacoom Sentinels at halftime, but not out.
Trailing 34-24 at halftime, the Knights staged a comeback that knocked the Sentinels out of sorts and allowed them to take the lead in the final minutes.
But the victory wasn’t secured until the Knights stopped Steilacoom’s final possession of the game to complete a 54-52 comeback win in the Class 2A West Central District playoffs to keep their post-season alive.
A desperation shot by Steilacoom’s Isaiah Devane inside the three-point line at the buzzer fell short and was rebounded by Bremerton’s D’Angelo Moore, touching off a celebration among the Knights players on the court and their fans in the stands at Bellarmine Prep High School, some of whom joined the team on the floor.
Bremerton (14-8) will play Franklin Pierce (17-8), a 63-51 winner over Fife, Friday night at Curtis High School at 7:45 p.m. A win would put Bremerton into the regional round.
Moore finished with a team high 17 points for the Knights, but it was their defense that enabled Bremerton to make their comeback.
“Defense, that’s been our thing all year,” Moore said amidst players and coaches celebrating their win. “We just had to show how we do it in a hostile environment.”
The Bellarmine Prep gym was hostile as Steilacoom fans boosted their team throughout the first half. But the Knights comeback turned the hostility away and got their own fans behind them.
“At halftime, the coaching staff told us to come out with energy and play ball,” Moore said. “That’s what we’ve been doing all year, play as a team.”
“I told them every sport has a second half,” Bremerton coach Miah Davis said. “It’s all about the adjustments we made. We stressed that all week, about making in game adjustments. They came in, I told them they had to persevere. Everything that we worked on all year, all the little nick-nacks injury wise, you got to forget about it just go out and play.”
Down 49-43 early in the fourth quarter, Bremerton went on an 11-0 run to take a 54-49 lead with 3:30 to go. It started with a floater in the lane by Joseph Wilson, followed by a three pointer from Caleb Washington, a Wilson layup, two free throws by Washington, and a putback by Kimo Retome.
Still, the Sentinels wouldn’t go away quietly, as they cut to the lead to two on free throws. However, they couldn’t get any field goals to drop in the final minutes, thanks to defensive pressure by the Knights.
“We played small in some areas, in others we played big,” Davis said. “We mixed it up, and our small guys competed and got some turnovers, and when we got big, we got the rebounds we needed.”
“At the end of the game, I told them, ‘We’re back.’ This is Bremerton basketball. You scratch and claw, whatever it takes to win, you do what you got to do to get the win.”
The Knights now have one more game to keep their season going.
“We’re going to ride this adrenaline rush until Friday and see what happens,” Davis said.
“This was a fun game,” Moore said. “But we have a lot more to prove, more going on.”