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Glacier Peak outlasts Gonzaga Prep, books ticket to WIAA 4A boys basketball semifinals

Grizzlies' junior guard Josiah Lee goes on heater in fourth quarter and overtime to muscle Glacier Peak past Gonzaga Prep

TACOMA, Wash. — Jo Lee, welcome to the Tacoma Dome.

Lee, Glacier Peak's standout guard, was relatively quiet through the first seven quarters the Grizzlies played in the venue in the Round of 12 and the quarterfinals.

But with Glacier Peak down 10 points to Gonzaga Prep with about four minutes left in the game, Lee finally caught fire.

A string of three consecutive 3-pointers from Lee got the Grizzlies back within one possession before they eventually tied it and forced overtime.

And with four extra minutes put on the clock, Lee continued to feed his own flame, carrying the Grizzlies to the 65-58 overtime win.

Lee finished with a game-high 22 points, 17 of them coming in the second half. He shot 5-of-7 from deep, all of them coming in the fourth quarter and overtime.

"(Lee) cares so much about this program...and has watched us since he was in elementary school," Glacier Peak coach Brian Hunter said. "This means as much to Jo as it does to anybody and I think he was starting to feel it a little bit. He made plays, that's for sure."

Lee said there was a realization the Grizzlies' season might be coming to an end that triggered his heater.

"We got here and we talked about playing on Saturday, playing on Friday, just one game at a time," Lee said. "I looked at the scoreboard, we were down and I thought something had to change."

From the opening tip, Gonzaga Prep looked like the team destined for the semifinals. The Grizzlies were held to just 26.9% shooting from the field in the first half, but once Lee got rolling, so did everyone else.

Glacier Peak shot at a 50% clip in the second half and overtime and put together a 14-1 run to erase Gonzaga Prep's double-digit advantage.

Thursday's win marked the second consecutive day Glacier Peak overcame a double-digit deficit to stay in the Class 4A winner's bracket.

"You have to have kids that want to fight, want to compete, and we definitely have that," Hunter said. "We have kids that have definitely grown up. They realize that sometimes adversity hits and the true testament of athletics is how you deal with that adversity."

Lee credited Hunter for the Grizzlies being able to pull of two huge comebacks in the Tacoma Dome.

"He gets us with the right game plans, and my teammates, we never give up," Lee said. "Everyone plays really, really hard. I love it."

Reed Nagel (16 points), Isaiah Cuellar-Bell (13 points) and Zachary Albright (11 points) also scored in double-figures for the Grizzlies.

Heading into Friday's semifinal matchup, Hunter is more than confident with the group he has.

"You want to win every game and you want to obviously get to the state semifinals, but the fact we get to coach these guys for two more days is huge," Hunter said. "This is as good a group as I've ever coached at Glacier Peak and I've coached awesome groups."

The Grizzlies will play at 9 p.m. Friday against the Richland/Kentwood winner.