Sequim senior guard Kenny Meier scored just two points Thursday night — but they came on the biggest basket of the night, one that saved his Wolves from playoff elimination.
Meier scored on a put-back with 5.2 seconds remaining and Evergreen’s Christian Sainz missed a lay-up at the buzzer, giving Sequim (15-7) a 61-60 victory and sending them to the West Central District tournament next week.
The Wolves overcame a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to end Evergreen’s season.
“Win or lose, I’m proud of the fact we battled back,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. “They don’t quit. They don’t ever give up.”
Sequim will play one more sub-district tourney game, slated for 2 p. m., Saturday, Feb. 12, against Whiter River, who edged Tyee 46-44 in Sequim on Thursday.
Evergreen (7-13) had built a lead as big as 15 points by the early third quarter, but unraveled quickly in front of the raucous Sequim home crowd Thursday night.
The Wolverines saw their lead dissipate to six at the start of the fourth quarter and to just four with 1:30 on the clock.
That’s when Sequim’s Corbin Webb brought the Wolves within two with a jumper that rattled around the bucket and in. Meier nabbed a steal on Evergreen’s next possession, and Jayson Brocklesby hit one of two free throws to cut Evergreen’s lead to 60-59.
With a chance to rebuild the visitors’ lead, Evergreen’s Tuan Le missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw chance. Sequim called a timeout with 11 seconds on the clock to set up a final play.
The Wolves got the ball into the hands of Webb, who took a jumper in the left corner over two Wolverine defenders. The shot came up short, but Meier was waiting near the basket for the rebound and lay-up.
“It was (in) slow motion,” Meier said. “I was thinking, ‘That’s short. That’s short. That’s short.’ It came right to me.”
Evergreen got the ball down court on a three-quarter-court-length throw that Sequim’s Tim Guan tipped away. Evergreen’s Le recovered the ball and lofted a three-point shot that missed badly, but it fell into Sainz’s hands. His lay-up attempt at the buzzer rimmed off.
“I thought that lay-up was going in,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said.
Sequim fans stormed the court to celebrate with their Wolves.
“In the first half we just over-extended ourselves,” Sequim guard Evan Hill said.
“We committed some silly fouls,” Glasser said. “Hopefully our kids learned something from that.”
Down 13 points at halftime, the Wolves regrouped and refocused in the locker room.
“I told the guys at halftime, ‘This is not the way we want to end our season,’” Glasser said.
With the switch of halves came a reversal of the foul disparity; after shuffling the lineup to make up for several starters with three fouls, the Wolves found themselves the beneficiary of the referees’ calls.
“The refs started noticing the hacking,” Hill said, leading to a plethora of Sequim free throws.
“They (Evergreen) didn’t know what to do with it,” Hill said.
While Wolverines coach Tony White gesticulated futilely on the sidelines, Sequim’s trio of Brocklesby, Webb and Gabe Carter consistently drew fouls or worked inside for easy lay-ups.
Reserve Tim Guan, playing much of the game for foul-encumbered Nick Camporini, hit a key 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter, drawing Sequim within six.
Sequim closed to within five when Evergreen 6-foot 5-inch post Alex Campbell was called for a foul and drew a technical foul, further fueling the Sequim comeback.
On the strength of two free throws from Sainz, Evergreen built a lead back to five before Webb scored on three of Sequim’s next four possessions, including the basket that rattled in and out and in again to draw within two points at 60-58, setting up the final 30 seconds of drama.
“I’ve played on a lot of teams — I’ve never had fun like this,” Meier said.
Brocklesby led Sequim with 17 points and added five offensive rebounds. Webb scored 16 points while Gabe Carter added 15 points, four assists and nine rebounds.
Sainz led Evergreen with 17 points.