Royal boys take Connell to final shot before losing at 1A Hardwood Classic

Print Article

  • Rodney Harwood/Sun Tribune Royal senior Sawyer Jenks (11) did everything in his power to help the Knights in the first round of the 1A Hardwood Classic Wednesday night at the Yakima SunDome. He finished the final game of his high school career with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

  • 1

    Rodney Harwood/Sun TribuneRoyal senior Sawyer Jenks (11) puts his arm arould Caleb Christensen (20) and takes a moment to enjoy the Yakima SunDome with teammates following the Knights first-round loss to Connell at the 1A Hardwood Classic.

  • Rodney Harwood/Sun Tribune Royal senior Sawyer Jenks (11) did everything in his power to help the Knights in the first round of the 1A Hardwood Classic Wednesday night at the Yakima SunDome. He finished the final game of his high school career with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

  • 1

    Rodney Harwood/Sun TribuneRoyal senior Sawyer Jenks (11) puts his arm arould Caleb Christensen (20) and takes a moment to enjoy the Yakima SunDome with teammates following the Knights first-round loss to Connell at the 1A Hardwood Classic.

YAKIMA — If you rolled the rock out to Royal sophomore Caleb Christensen and asked him to shoot 3-pointers from the wing, he’d probably make 9 of 10. But his shot to send the game to overtime with time ticking down at the 1A Hardwood Classic caught the rim, bounced high into the air and then eventually fell to the floor and time ran out on the Knights season with a 43-40 loss to No. 8 Connell.

No. 9 Royal (19-6) traveled a long way for one more row with their South Central Athletic Conference East rival, but going against the No. 8 seed was a perfect setup to move into the 1A Hardwood Classic bracket.

It proved to be the lowest scoring of the three meetings between the two SCAC powerhouses. The Eagles (20-5), who went into the game on a two-game losing streak, won by 10 at their place. The Knights had won 15 of their last 16 games going in won the second meeting in Royal, winning by three.

The rubber match in the Yakima SunDome would settle things and even though both teams scored single digits in two of the four quarters, it had a championship feel to it with six lead changes and three tied scores.

Royal erased a 10-point Connell lead and it came down to one final shot with 5.7 seconds remaining in regulation.

“We’re both pretty good defensive teams, and both physical teams,” said second-year Royal coach Ray Valle. “It was what we expected.”

Valle called time out after Payton Riner made two free throws to make it a three-point Connell lead with seconds remaining. On the final play, speedster Angel Farias turned and broke for the other end like the go routes he ran on the football field and 6-foot-4 Sawyer Jenks gave him a chance with a high arcing entry pass from the end line.

It was Angel or bust against the triple team and the 6-2 senior went up in traffic and came down with the ball, kicking it out to Caleb Christensen on the wing for the final shot.

“It was supposed to go to Owen (Ellis) in the corner, but he was covered,” Valle said. “We got the look we wanted. We just didn’t get the shot to go.”

The Knights trailed 26-18 at the half and by as many as 10 in the third quarter, but chipped their way back with eight second-chance points, 12 off the turnover and another six off the fastbreak. Caleb Christensen closed the gap to 41-38 when he buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:48 remaining. Tyler Allred made it a one-point game, 41-40, with 28.9 seconds left in regulation.

“They know us, we know them, there were no surprises,” Valle said. “We just tried to get the mismatches that we wanted. Unfortunately we had some foul trouble and that changed things a little bit.”

Nolan Chase left the door open when he missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Knights had possession and a chance to take the lead with 16 seconds showing. They rotated it right up top, but Riner, a 5-10 Connell senior, jumped the passing lane on the entry pass for the steal and the Knights were forced to foul.

A couple of free throws set up the final shot and the Knights got the look, it just didn’t go and their season ended on the Yakima SunDome floor at the 1A Hardwood Classic.

“I told the kids this was going to hurt for awhile, but when they look back they would see it was a great season,” Valle said. “This senior group really helped develop the program here. They really bought into what I’ve been teaching and the younger guys are seeing that.

“We’re creating a winning tradition and a winning culture that we can be proud of. You get a sense of family with these kids. Royal kids are good people and hopefully we can keep building on what we’re doing.”

Print Article

Read More Sports

Former Othello baseball star Alix Garcia looks forward to his final season

August 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Former Othello baseball star Alix Garcia looks to build on his first season playing at Oklahoma State University. Garcia transferred to Oklahoma State for his junior year this past spr...

Comments

Read More

A chance to explore Ginkgo Petrified Forest

August 08, 2019 at 8:27 am | Columbia Basin Herald VANTAGE — Just past the Columbia River off I-90 rests the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. The park presents a key stop for those interested in the Ice Age Floods that helped carve out the region....

Comments

Read More

Barracudas finish season 2nd in Mid-Valley Swim League Silver Division

August 08, 2019 at 8:24 am | Columbia Basin Herald OTHELLO — The Othello Barracudas season has come to a close, finishing second in the Mid-Valley Swim League Silver Division recently in Naches Valley. Barracudas head coach Natilee Ruiz said the en...

Comments

Read More

Russell Wilson Quarterback Academy visits Royal

July 30, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald ROYAL CITY — The Russell Wilson Quarterback Academy visited Royal High School for the third straight year, working with the Knights. The two-day camp offered skill exercises and training for youth, t...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-765-4561
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2019 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X