Sports

Not denied

Titans twice rally to reach State 3A final 16

Brett Bailey’s 15-foot, pull-up jumper with 25.5 seconds left in overtime was the edge University High needed, as the Titans rallied from trailing by 11 twice and edged Shadle Park, 60-57, Friday night at University.

The win not only gave U-Hi the 3A subregional championship, it put them into the final 16, the first-round of the state tournament, next weekend.

Shadle, which led most of the game, has to pick itself up and face Hanford today at 7 p.m. in a loser-out game at Shadle.

After Bailey’s jumper gave U-Hi (15-7) the 60-57 lead, the Highlanders had one chance to tie.

They worked the ball around the perimeter, trying to free Skyler Kelley, who already had 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

He got the ball as time ran down, but his shot at the buzzer was taken under duress from 24 feet. It wasn’t close and the Titans had avenged a double-overtime loss to Shadle (12-10) suffered just eight days earlier.

Though this one was just as close, the plot was a bit different.

“Coach said the last game was more of a one-on-one show out there,” Bailey said. “Our game plan was to move the ball around and get everyone involved.”

They did, with four Titans scoring eight or more points to backup Bailey’s game-high 22.

And Shadle, which attacked the offensive glass with abandon, accounting for 11 second-chance points, also shared the load, with Alvin Welch (12) and Kyle Knutsen (10) joining Kelley in double figures.

“I really feel like we took Shadle’s best shot,” said U-Hi coach Garrick Phillips.

“They played outstanding. They defended us, they made shots, they rebounded. They were really on top of their game.”

The Highlanders, who came in having won five consecutive games, led 18-7 early, only to see U-Hi pull within three at half. Then Shadle stretched it out again, leading 39-28 halfway through the third quarter.

But when Bailey ended that period with 10-foot fallaway, University had put together a 12-0 run and led 40-39.

“There was no fear in my guys,” Phillips said of the deficits. “They really didn’t blink about it.”

From there, no one led by more than four and that was Shadle at 54-50 with 2:19 left in regulation. But the Highlanders missed the front-end of two one-and-one free throws in the final 35 seconds and Bailey made two free throws and a spinning 8-foot jumper to tie it at 57 with 8.3 seconds left, sending it to overtime.

He added two free throws to open the extra 4 minutes, then the Highlanders’ free-throw woes continued.

Shadle Park converted just one of two on its next possession.

Ben Kuiper, who chipped in nine points, put U-Hi up 58-55 with two free throws on the other end, but Kelley pulled Shadle back within one with two free throws of his own with 1:51 remaining.

Each team missed shots from there, setting up Bailey’s final heroics, a one-on-one move in the lane.

“As I was going, I saw a guy collapse from the help side,” he said.

“I took a step back I’ve worked on, had a wide-open shot and was fortunate enough to knock it down.”

Hanford 83, Rogers 61: Brennan Sutey led four players in double figures with 22 points and the Bulldogs topped the visiting Pirates in an elimination game.

Amaujae Daniels scored 24 points and Carson Murray added 14 for Rogers (5-17).



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