King’s Way Christian’s non-league gauntlet is complete. In the last tune-up before Trico 1A League boys basketball play begins, coach Daven Harmeling’s Knights got one final learning lesson in a 75-66 defeat to King’s, of Shoreline, on Saturday.
In a rematch of last year’s state semifinals, in which King’s Way topped King’s 43-42, King’s size proved too much for KWC.
King’s shot 26 of 47 from the field, including an 8-for-8, 17-point performance from post Jaron Hansen, and King’s Way was forced to shoot 33 of its 65 shots from beyond the arc. KWC connected on just 11 of those in the losing effort.
“The nature of who we are, being a smaller team with some shooters, when the shots go down it feels like the offense is working,” Harmeling said. “When the shots don’t go down, it’s the same looks but it feels like we need to do something different. It’s easy to get caught up in whether the ball goes in or not to determine how well we’re playing.”
Brady Metz paced KWC (5-4) with 18 points, Kai Butterworth added 14 points and Bryson Metz tallied 14 points and 5 assists. Despite forcing 13 King’s turnovers, KWC could do little to slow down the Tyler Linhardt-led King’s (5-7). Linhardt scored 10 of his game-high 26 points in the opening frame to give the visitors a 17-13 lead.
“They’re a great team, great individual players,” Bryson Metz said of the opponent. “They obviously have great size, so that was tough.”
King’s Way stormed back with a 14-3 run to end the second quarter, led by eight Brady Metz points in the frame, to enter the break up 31-26. Linhardt, held scoreless in the second period, caught fire again in the third quarter, tallying 12 points as King’s retook the lead 49-47 with 53 seconds left in the frame.
“Lack of awareness and urgency,” Harming said of the struggles on defense. “We talked ad nauseam about stance, position and vision and all five guys having those things, the defensive bedrocks. It felt like we had two guys doing most of them, but never all of them doing all of them.”
King’s continued to break through King’s Way’s press and find open cutters to break open a 65-55 lead with 3:20 remaining, the largest lead of the game.
Butterworth scored eight points late and Bryson Metz had a diving steal and a highlight-reel assist before succumbing to the perennial power.
“This definitely meant a lot to us. Taking the loss is really hard,” Bryson Metz said. “We worked super hard in practice and we were hoping to come out with the win. But we’ll learn from this and we’ll come back better.”
King’s Way opens Trico play with a home contest against Castle Rock on Wednesday.
KING’S 75, KING’S WAY 66
KING’S (5-7) — Shane McGaughey-Flick 2, Jordan Hansen 18, Matt Amano 0, Will Pohland 10, Tyler Linhardt 26, Tyler Durbin 0, Jaron Hansen 17. Totals 26-47 (9-21) 14-15 75.
SKYVIEW (5-4) — Giovanny Evanson 0, Kobi Cason 0, Gage Koenders 6, Ty Snider 6, Bryce Dodge 2, Kai Butterworth 14, Justin Frahm 0, Brady Metz 18, Bailey Beek 0, Sam Kelly 2, Bryson Metz 14. Totals 26-65 (11-33) 2-2 66.
King’s 17 9 23 24—75
King’s Way 13 18 16 19—66