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Enumclaw boys take over 2A SPSL lead with upset of No. 10 Foss

Led by Carter DeRosier's 23 points, Hornets hold off late comeback attempt and even season series with Falcons

TACOMA — With the regular season inexorably winding down, two programs had separated themselves from the field in the 2A South Puget Sound League boys basketball race.

Those teams – Enumclaw and Foss – met Tuesday in Tacoma with the top spot in the league on the line. When the final buzzer sounded, the Hornets were the ones left looking down on the rest of the league.

Enumclaw used an early 13-0 run to build a comfortable advantage, held off a furious fourth-quarter rally from the homestanding Falcons, and escaped with a 69-64 victory over Foss.

There are games to play yet over the next two weeks, but Enumclaw (14-2, 11-1 SPSL) is now in position to win the league title and earn the top seed to the district tournament. Foss (14-4, 10-2) drops into second place.

Maybe more importantly, the Hornets evened the season series between the teams after they dropped a 67-65 decision back in early December to Foss.

“No excuses,” Enumclaw coach Terry Johnson said. “But that was just our third game, and our football guys had only had a few practices (due to the Enumclaw football team playoff run). We were still trying to figure out who we were.”

Two months later, the Hornets found out they were a bunch of strong bodies in the lane who dominated the glass and found consistent points on second-chance opportunities due to significantly out-rebounding the more athletic Falcons. Enumclaw ultimately held a 37-13 advantage on the boards.

And it was the second-to-last one that proved decisive.

That rebound was the last of seven gathered by Noah Seabrands in the game. It came off a deflection after Seabrands had missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw chance with 5.6 seconds to play in the game. At the time, the Hornets held a 67-64 advantage.

Seabrands was fouled immediately after the rebound, sending him back to the free throw line. This time, he made both shots, capping off a 16-point scoring night for himself and putting the game out of reach for the Falcons, who missed a desperation 3-point attempt just before the buzzer.

“Any time you put yourself in position as the season is winding down, it’s good,” Johnson said. “I think what’s more important for us is beating a really good team. Especially on the road. We have a lot of respect for Foss. We know how talented they are and how hard they play.”

The Falcons did play hard. The 13-0 Enumclaw run came over the last half of the first quarter. When it began on (appropriately) Ty Hanson’s offensive rebound and put-back basket with 4:04 to go in the first quarter, the Falcons still led the game, 9-8. When it ended with Karson Holt’s free throw with 1:06 left in the quarter, Enumclaw led 19-9.

Hanson’s rebound was one of his game-high nine boards.

Foss never got closer than five again until late in the fourth quarter. That primarily was the case thanks to timely shooting by Seabrands, who scored 12 of his 16 in the first half, and Carter DeRosier taking over in the second half.

“It was really good to get a win here after losing that first game,” DeRosier said. “But we just have to go on to the next one, get another win.”

DeRosier scored 16 of his game-high 23 points after halftime, and threw in the last five in the final 1:01 of the game, after the Falcons came almost all the way back. In fact, it looked as though Foss had tied the game with 1:58 to go when Ebraheem Dobashi made the second of two free throws.

A whistle sang out, however. And Dobashi was called for a lane violation, apparently having crossed the line before the ball reached the rim. That left the Hornets with a one-point lead at 60-59.

Nearly a minute later, DeRosier made a 3-pointer to push the lead back to six, 65-59, with 1:01 remaining. Aiden Finley raced back down and made a long 3-pointer of his own for Foss, part of his team-high 21 points, to close the gap to three, 65-62, with 16 seconds left.

But the Falcons wouldn't get any closer than that.