"Klahowya can't keep up with Kelstrup, Trojans"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 4:34 PM
"Ben Salo's layup pulled his Klahowya Secondary School boys basketball team within eight points of Olympic midway through the third quarter. The Eagles seemed to step back for a moment and marvel that they were in this game against a Class 4A opponent.A moment was about how long the Trojans needed to know the Klahowyans right back out of things in Tuesday night's Olympic League matchup on Newberry Hill.After Salo's bucket made it 45-37, Oly ran off 10 consecutive points over the next three minutes. They never led by less than double digits again en route to a 77-54 league victory over the Class 2A Eagles.We're starting to see we can play with these (larger-school) opponents, Klahowya coach Scott McMinds said. Our thing is, we've got to keep it close. Our goal is to be in every game this year.The visiting Trojans, who could figure in the league's 4A playoff race again this season, weren't about to serve as a hump for the Eagles to get over. Geoff Kelstrup began and ended their 10-point run with layups as they lifted themselves into a comfortable 17-point lead.Or maybe comfortable is the wrong word.I hate to play them. They're a scrappy bunch, said Olympic coach Robert Polk. We played hard, and I never thought I'd say this this season, but they played harder than we did.Unlike past years in the Eagles' four-year basketball history, though, they have other things going for them this year besides work ethic. McMinds said it's just a matter of all the pieces coming together.The only difference down the stretch was (Olympic) seemed to shoot about 70 or 80 percent, McMinds said. If we could've made some layins and some of the easy looks, we would've been right in the game. We were getting the looks, we just weren't making them.Olympic, which got all six of its 3-point baskets in the fast-paced first half, switched to higher-percentage shots following the intermission. After Salo narrowed the deficit to eight, four of Troy's five buckets in response were layups, the fifth a short jumper from the edge of the key by reserve forward Joel Ackley.From that point on, they scored 10 more field goals, of which eight were layins and another was a tip-in.We went a little cold in the second half and had to work the ball inside more, Polk said. We had a lead, so that was the way to go, anyway. The kids did a nice job, getting shots in closer and scoring on putbacks.Even with that short-range advantage working for them, the Trojans never really got Klahowya out of their rear-view mirror until a spurt of four straight layups, the first two from junior Chris Lambert inside the final two minutes.Klahowya appeared capable of playing a slower game, with Salo scoring effectively inside and the trio of 6-foot-5 Robert Tyree, 6-4 Dusty Rasmussen and 6-1 Andrew Matty working the paint.But McMinds said his club got caught up in the faster tempo the undersized Trojans favor.We traditionally don't like to get into a running match with anybody, McMinds said. But we completely gave into their game.Oly plays that way all the time, and they established their style from the opening whistle, Casey Manchester drilling a pull-up jumper 15 seconds in to start a 10-2 game-opening run. The Trojans enlarged that lead to 18-6, with Kelstrup popping two 3-pointers and Ernie Parsons a third. Kelstrup had 13 points by the end of the first quarter and 19 by halftime en route to his game-high total of 27.While their long and short games sizzled, the Trojans had trouble with the midrange shot - namely, their free throws. They were just 5 for 13 for the game. Klahowya got only three from the stripe, but made them all. "