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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Feb. 28, 2024

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Hot-shooting King’s downs King’s Way Christian at 1A state tournament

Round of 12 loss brings end to Giovanny Evanson’s standout career

By , Columbian Sports Editor
3 Photos
King’s Way Christian’s Jamison Duke (23) battles for a rebound against King’s during the first half of a Class 1A boys basketball state tournament game on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in Yakima.
King’s Way Christian’s Jamison Duke (23) battles for a rebound against King’s during the first half of a Class 1A boys basketball state tournament game on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in Yakima. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

YAKIMA – To have an outside shot to win on Wednesday, King’s Way Christian hoped their higher-seeded opponent King’s wouldn’t hit its outside shots.

But few teams were going to beat King’s with how it shot in the round of 12 of the Class 1A boys basketball state tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

King’s made 13 3-pointers, shooting 67% from behind the arc in beating King’s Way 70-49.

The loss brings an end to the Knights’ season, one that King’s Way can be plenty proud of. After all, a district championship, a fourth straight Trico League title and an eighth straight trip to the Yakima portion of the state tournament is a list of accomplishments few programs can point to.

“I love our guys and I’m very proud of them,” King’s Way coach Daven Harmeling said. “The year presented a unique set of challenges to us. It was fun to see them continually respond. This isn’t a bad place to see your season end, here at the dome. But obviously it still hurts.”

Three-time Trico League MVP Giovanny Evanson led King’s Way with 22 points. The senior also had nine rebounds in the final game of a stellar career that saw him set numerous program records and surpass 1,000 points.

“His biggest impact beyond his obvious production is setting a standard for selflessness,” Harmeling said. “He’s the best teammate in the world. So humble. To have that much attention on you and to always deflect praise. That will be his legacy at King’s Way beyond all the records he set.”

Leading 36-28 at halftime, No. 5 seed King’s of Shoreline took control by opening the third quarter on a 10-0 run. Cameron Hiatt finished with 26 points and was 5 for 8 from 3-point range.

Dylan Myers added 20 points and was 4 for 6 from deep for the Knights (18-6), who advance to face No. 4 Freeman in the quarterfinals Thursday.

“We knew it was going to be a tough one if they were hitting from the outside because we had to kind of choose to give them that,” Harmeling said. “They made us pay. They really did.”

King’s Way (16-9) graduates seven seniors. But the Knights will bring back several players including second-leading scorer Jaydon Hall and Ryan Tyler, who scored 11 points Wednesday.

Therefore, this season’s trip to the dome wasn’t just to let the seniors cap their careers at the state’s flagship prep basketball event. It lets the next class of players see the high standard they’re tasked with keeping.

“Any time you get underclassmen here getting a taste of it, it fuels them,” Harmeling said.


KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN (16-9) – Jaydon Hall 3, Ryan Tyler 11, Giovanny Evanson 22, Matthew Belefski 3, Jamison Duke 5, Will Bump 3, Isaac Pisarczyk 0, Aidan Sweeney 2, Cade Erwin 0, Hunter Baron 0, Dave Struthers 0. Totals 19 (7) 4-5 49.

KING’S (18-6) – Gage Smith 2, Nick Linhardt 10, Cameron Hiatt 26, Maddox Boyce 9, Dylan Myers 20, Cole Adams 3, Sebastian Cooper 0, Weston Campbell 0, Cole Myers 2, Lucas Christensen 0, Jackson Pepsny 0, Cody Cramer 0. Totals 28 (13) 3-7 72.

King’s Way 15 13 11 10—49

King’s 18 18 14 22—72