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King’s Way Christian, Seton Catholic wins set up rematch for Class 1A boys regional bid

Both Trico League teams bounce back from losses to advance past loser-out games

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 16, 2022, 10:28pm

The King’s Way Christian boys basketball team didn’t hang their heads when their path to the state regionals became a little more difficult.

Instead, the Knights responded with their most lopsided victory of the season, a 71-27 win over Montesano on Wednesday at Fort Vancouver High School, moving them to a winner-to-regionals game Friday against Trico League foe Seton Catholic, which defeated Elma 63-39 on the same court following the Knights’ win.

Giovanny Evanson, who was named the Trico League player of the year earlier in the day, came up just shy of a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Jamison Duke and Alex Fulton each added 12 points, respectively, and Aiden Peterson scored 14 points, all in the second half, after the Knights gave their starters an early rest late in the third quarter leading 52-15.

King’s Way found itself in Wednesday’s loser-out game after suffering a 46-43 loss to Castle Rock last Saturday at home, denying the Knights the opportunity to play for a district title.

According to King’s Way head coach Daven Harmeling, when the team met on Monday, they acknowledged the fact that the loss still stung, but not to the detriment of regrouping for Wednesday’s win-or-go-home game.

“I felt like emotionally they bounced back really well,” Harmeling said. “I think we were all in the same space of still feeling the hurt of the game, but putting it in a certain place and being able to focus on the opportunity in front of us, and not as much on the hole we dug ourselves.”

While King’s Way had struggled in recent games with its shooting at times, it shot 58 percent from the floor on Thursday, including 9-of-23 from deep.

After Montesano took a 7-5 lead less than four minutes into the opening quarter, the Knights went on a 19-0 run that went into the second quarter, before Montesano snapped a seven-minute scoreless drought.

“I would say it was better, better than what it’s been,” Harmeling said of the Knights’ offense. “Guys were playing to their roles and in a more aggressive way than what we’ve seen before, so that was a positive step.”

Asked what a King’s Way-Seton Catholic rematch would look like on Friday after two regular-season battles ending in Knights wins, Harmeling offered up a concise description: “Intense.”

Like King’s Way, Seton Catholic suffered a close loss last weekend, a 47-43 defeat at Eatonville, leaving the Cougars with zero margin for error.

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“We were motivated to come back in practice, worked hard and it showed tonight,” said Seton Catholic junior Jack Jenniges, who finished with a game-high 24 points Wednesday.

The Cougars got off to a quick start by taking an 8-1 lead behind a pair of Brady Angelo 3-pointers, prompting Elma to take a quick timeout less than two minutes into the game.

The start propelled Seton Catholic to a 17-8 lead through one quarter. Elma got to within five near the end of the first half, but the Cougars closed on an 8-2 run to take a double-digit lead to the break.

The first-half finish, combined with a third quarter in which the Cougars outscored Elma 17-5 slammed the door on any chance of an Eagles comeback.

Angelo and Breckin Miller each chipped in eight points for Seton Catholic.

“We got off to an early start, they started to come back, it scared us a little bit, but we kept calm and did our thing,” Jenniges said.

Though King’s Way won both regular-season meetings against Seton Catholic, both squads agreed the second game, a 32-23 Knights win on Feb. 1, was indicative of a defensive battle between two teams who know each other quite well.

It would come as no surprise if Friday’s game is a another slugfest.

“It’s going to be a defensive battle,” Jenniges said. “We know their plays, they know our plays. It’s going to be whoever makes the most shots.”

Class 1A District 4 loser-out games

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN 71, MONTESANO 27

MONTESANO — Josh Wills 3, Jackson Busz 0, Jaxson Wilson 0, Christian Olsen 3, Tyce Peterson 3, Trent Adams 0, Camden Taylor 6, Peyton Damasiewicz 0, Caydon Lovell 6, Soren Cobb 4, Carter Crites 0. Totals 11 (2) 3-6 27.

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN — Jamison Duke 12, Aiden Peterson 14, Ryan Tyler 6, Giovanny Evanson 15, Isaac Pisarczyk 0, Alex Fulton 12, Matthew Belefski 6, Hunter Baron 2, Jack Somarakis 2, Will Gunn 0, Brayden Schiefer 0, Cade Erwin 2. Totals 26 (9) 10-15 71.

Montesano 7 4 6 10—27

King’s Way 19 15 20 17—71

SETON CATHOLIC 63, ELMA 39

ELMA — Logan Witt 13, Canon Seaberg 5, Cason Seaberg 3, Tim Flores 0, Traden Carter 2, Grant Vessey 0, Gibson Cain 8, Nathan Comer 4, Jerred Bailey 4. Totals 17 (3) 2-7 39.

SETON CATHOLIC — Tyler Tran 3, Dax Clifton 6, Brady Angelo 8, Jacob George 3, Rico George 2, Westy Westrick 5, Breckin Miller 8, Lance Lee 0, Demi Alvarado 0, Andrew Harnish 3, Ryker Ruelas 1, Jack Jenniges 24. Totals 23 (10) 7-10 63.

Elma 8 13 5 13—39

Seton 17 15 17 14—63

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