Sports

Shelton undercuts Knights

Ask any basketball player and the answer is the same.

The closest losses sting the worst as the Knights realized Wednesday night with a 53-52 loss against the Shelton Highclimbers at Bremerton High.

Williams, who had 25 points and 20 rebounds, sent the Bremerton crowd into an on-their-feet, hand-clapping frenzy after putting the ball up twice and grabbing his own rebound before scoring. The basket gave the Knights a 52-51 lead with 13 seconds remaining.

All the Knights (7-6, 4-3 league) had to do was hold their opponents in the final seconds to win and secure third place in the Narrows league.

But a pass on the ensuing Shelton (7-6, 5-2) possession ricocheted off a Bremerton player and right into the hands of 6-foot-7 Highclimbers’ star Bill Richardson, who scored on a layup to give Shelton the lead with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Knights had one more opportunity, but Williams’ half-court shot missed the backboard as time expired.

“I’ve never gotten beaten on a last second shot,” said Bremerton’s Jeff Frankeberger, a three-year varsity member who finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Bremerton coach Casey Lindberg wasn’t disappointed with his team’s effort — just the outcome.

“Our kids played hard,” he said. “We put ourselves in a position to win, but they had the ball last.”

Despite converting 10-of-34 field goals in the first half — 29 percent — the Knights entered halftime with a 34-25 advantage. Phil Houston and Williams combined to go 0-for-12 from the field in the first half.

“There’s a lot of things that happened in that game tonight,” Lindberg said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well.”

Leads were traded often throughout the game.

“It was a really good game,” said Shelton guard Bo Tinaza. “We were both evenly matched. We were both tied for third place so it really meant a lot.”

Shelton coach Mark Jensen credits 6-foot guard Isaiah Taito with helping secure the win for his team with his last-minute points.

Taito made two 3-pointers and a lay-in to put Shelton ahead, 51-50, with 1:13 left.

Richardson’s contributions also proved to be crucial as he scored six points and grabbed three rebounds in the final quarter.

The loss had the Knights focused on Friday’s showdown at Central Kitsap. Results were not available as of press time.

“We know we are going to bring it,” Frankeberger said. “We know we can play, and we know what position we are in.”

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