By CHRIS CHANCELLOR
For The Patriot
BOTHELL — They entered the gym in mismatched socks and shoes.
But any hopes for Bremerton to catch a disjointed Lake Washington squad ended there.
The Knights had no solution for their opponent’s unselfish offense en route to an 87-60 loss Saturday in the Class 2A regionals at Bothell High School.
The Kangaroos (15-8), who advance to state for the second time in three seasons, were led by senior guard Kelly Guy’s 30 points. Guy’s classmates, forward Jordan Richter and guard Jeffrey Staudacher, each added 19 points, as well.
“They’re really unselfish and they’re a close-knit group,” said Ryan Staudacher, a former standout quarterback and basketball player at LW who is the program’s fourth coach in three seasons. “They share the ball. They don’t care who scores.”
Staudacher, a 2005 LW graduate, saw his Kangaroos jump out to a big lead when his younger brother hit a 3-pointer with 1:17 left in the first quarter. LW, which never trailed, took a 26-13 lead at that point.
Bremerton, which finished with an 18-6 record, never challenged from that point. Senior guard Tarez Tyree Mason, who scored 16 points, said the Knights struggled to keep up on the defensive end.
“They were just quicker than us in transition and we were lazy getting back,” he said.
It was not just poor defense, though. Bremerton coach Darren Bowden said the Kangaroos deserve credit for their offensive prowess.
“They’re well-disciplined,” he said. “They’re basketball savvy. They move well off the ball.”
Bowden felt LW also benefited from playing in the competitive 3A/2A KingCo. That league features Bellevue (22-3), which advanced to the 3A state tournament after it defeated Lincoln on Friday.
“They play in a tough league,” Bowden said.
Despite that, Bowden said he has felt confident against any team the Knights played this season.
“It’s not about a classification,” he told his team. “You guys can hang with all of them.”
But Bremerton could not compensate for its defensive shortcomings on the offensive end to make that happen. Outside of Mason, only senior guard Deonte Dixon, who scored a team-high 18 points, was the only Knights’ player to reach double figures. Dixon accomplished that in spite of nagging issues with his right (shooting) hand.
“He gets grabbed and scratched and hit so much,” Bowden said. “They key on him a lot in any game. They [officials] let a lot go to the point where why does he have to get his hand taped almost every game?”
Dixon and Mason were among seven seniors who played their final game for Bremerton. The future for Bowden, who completed his fourth season with the Knights, also is unclear. The longtime South Kitsap teacher, who left his position there after the 2012-13 school year, now lives with his wife in Snoqualmie.
“It was a little difficult at times, but we managed to get through it,” said Bowden, referring to his wife. “We were kind of used to it before we got married, too. We’ll talk about that and see how it goes because we’ve got some decent talent coming up and a nice group of guys.”
Even though Bremerton fell short of its goal of reaching state for the first time since 2010, Bowden said his team should be proud of their accomplishments.
“Nobody thought we would get this far. The guys had a great season. I’m very proud.”
At Bothell High School
Lake Washington 87, Bremerton 60
Bremerton 15 15 15 15 - 60
Lake Washington 26 18 24 19 - 87
Bremerton-Casey Winderl 5, Tavontay Carter 2, Tarez Tyree Mason 16, Wayne Ayers 4, Calvin Cardwell, Deonte Dixon 18, Skyler Lewis 7, Hudson Kolb, Terrick Sims 8, Beau Wells.
Lake Washington-Wonjun Im 7, Jeffrey Staudacher 19, Dylan Bacher, Quentin Moore, Neema Hodaie 3, Drew Heimdahl 19, Kelly Guy 30, Austin Davis 2, Austin Glenn 7.