Trojans pull out overtime upset

It was a game where it didn’t matter that the Olympic boys basketball team was lumbering along at the bottom of the Bridge Division standings. It was a game where it didn’t matter that the Central Kitsap boys were undefeated in Bridge play.

On Wednesday night you could throw the records out because this was the first round of the annual basketball version of the Battle of Bucklin Hill, and a little thing like pride can go a long way.

“We had a meeting and talked about playing with pride,” said Olympic forward Jeff Shaw after the team lost its previous games to Shelton and Bremerton. “We felt like we could play with CK.”

And in traditional Battle of Bucklin Hill style, it was anybody’s game down to the final second with Oly getting the 58-55 win in overtime.

The Cougars (4-1 league, 7-3 overall) came out with the hot shooting, going 7-for-17 to take the lead 15-8 at the end of the first quarter as Oly (2-3, 5-6) was a mere 2-for-8.

Then it was the Trojans’ turn as Chester Thomas scored six points as Oly outscored CK 16-7 in the second quarter.

“We’re still a little sluggish on our offense and we have been since the break,” CK coach Tim Fryer said. “We tried to go with Brice Brooks quite a bit and Neil Fryer didn’t have one of his better games. Plus Sam Weller didn’t get as many shots as he usually does.”

Though they might’ve had an off-night, they all had double-digit scoring as Brooks had 15, Fryer (playing with early foul trouble) had 14 and Weller added 11.

The Cougars reclaimed the lead in a defensive third quarter as they went 5-for-8 to get up by as many as five points. Looking to reverse a trend of second-half slides, Oly’s Travis Moore stole the ball from Brooks and hit guard Chester Thomas with a dead-on pass for a buzzer-beating shot to pull within 35-33.

“We’ve played poorly with leads in the second half,” Oly coach Robert Polk said. “And CK’s an athletic team that’s tough to guard.”

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth as Oly took the lead only to see CK keep coming back. Down 51-47, the Cougars went on a 6-0 run to take the lead 53-51 only to see Jeff Shaw make a bucket with 19 seconds remaining to tie. Weller’s final shot with 10.4 seconds ricocheted off the rim and Brooks couldn’t hold on to the rebound which eventually ended up in Shaw’s hands.

“The ball was greased tonight,” said Tim Fryer as he searched for areason to explain both teams’ plethora of turnovers.

In overtime, Brendan Campbell gave the Trojans a 55-53 lead before he sat out the final three minutes after getting his fifth foul. At that time the score was tied 55-all on a Weller bucket.

“The one thing that was nice when Brendan fouled out was that there were three minutes left on the clock,” Shaw said. “We have some good players on the court and the opportunities were there.”

Campbell led the Trojans with 15 points. Thomas had 14 and Shaw added 12.

The opportunities were there for CK as well, but they failed to score on their final eight shots. Moore broke the tie with a free throw off a Weller foul and Shaw gave Oly a 3-point lead when he sank two free-throws off a foul by Brooks. Neil Fryer’s last-ditch 3-point shot ended up in Oly guard Reagan Logova’s hands as time expired.

“They were more ready than we were,” Tim Fryer said. “We had a target on our back and they nailed it. Simple as that. They came out and got us. My hat’s off to Oly, they played hard and came out on top.”

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