North Thurston 68, Capital 66
(Lacey, WA) The new South Sound Conference’s boys basketball league is setting up to be quite a grind. The Capital Cougars came into this game at 5-0 sitting atop the SSC all by themselves with Timberline, Gig Harbor, Central Kitsap and North Thurston all within striking distance. The Rams were the only team with 2 losses at 2-2 and knew this home game was a must win if they wanted to take a shot at the inaugural League Title.
The Rams would jump out to a quick 7-0 lead behind Jeremy Spencer’s quick start. Capital would battle back and in fact take a 13-11 lead with 1:20 to play. The Rams answered with a 5-0 run to finish the first 8 minutes and led 16-13. In the 2nd quarter the Rams again scored early with 7 different players scoring led by Spencer’s 9 points but the final 3 minutes North Thurston would get shut down while the Cougars sailed past to lead 33-27 at the break. Luke Layton led the Cougs in the 1st half with 9, TJ Mickelson had 8 but it was Mickelson’s defense that neutralized Rams leading scorer Clay Christian.
North Thurston would re-group and come out ready to go in the 3rd quarter and would go storming past the Cougs. NT was led by sophomore Tim Tenkley who caught fire from outside the arc and sank 5 3-pointers alone in the 3rd. He had 1 in the 1st half and would finish with a game high 24 points. The Rams would nearly match their entire 1st half output putting down 26 points in the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th quarter the Rams extended their lead by as many as 12 and it looked like they would cruise to the win but Capital had one big run left. The difference came with full court pressure defense and the Rams were having difficulty in even getting the ball across mid-court. Chris Penner, TJ Mickelson and Grant Erickson came up with big hoops to pull them back into the game.
North Thurston would get some big buckets from Christian and then he and Spencer would close it out and seal the win from the free throw line to notch the upset. North Thurston improves to 3-2 while Capital drops to 5-1. Timberline, Central Kitsap and Gig Harbor all won so at the end of the night the Cougs still lead the SSC at 5-1, Timberline is now 4-1 while GH and CK are 4-2 and the Rams are 3-1.
Our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Players of the Game went to the Rams’ Tim Tenkley and Capital’s TJ Mickelson while Jeremy Spencer took our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game for hitting key shots especially at the free throw line to clinch the win.
North Thurston: Tim Tenkley 24, Jeremy Spencer 16, Clay Christian 15, Aaron Stone 5, Garrett Wallace 5, Michael Sallee 2, Gunner Nielsen 1
Capital: TJ Mickelson 19, Chris Penner 18, Luke Layton 13, Grant Erickson 10, Matt Mickelson, Jack Collard 2