By Sarah Wehmann
Covington-Maple Valley Reporter
After losing its opening game at the Class 4A high school boys basketball tournament, Kentwood came back to take sixth place.
Issaquah beat Kentwood 61-51 in a fourth-place trophy game on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Malik Sanchez and Preston White each scored 12 points to lead Kentwood (24-5). The Conquerors couldn’t stop Issaquah’s Ty Gibson, who scored 32 points and finished the three-game tournament with 87 points.
The Conquerors opened the tournament with a 58-57 loss to Woodinville, sending Kentwood into the consolation bracket.
Kentwood trailed by four with 6.2 seconds left. Sophomore guard Darius LuBom hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded to cut the deficit to one.
Woodinville took a 12-6 lead in the first quarter and midway through the second increased its lead to 20-9. After a 14-0 run by Kentwood and six consecutive points by White, as senior guard, the Conks were back in it.
Kentwood led 25-24 at halftime. White led the team with 13 points in the first half. Reserves scored 15 points in the opening half for the Conquerors.
After a basket by junior forward Davonte Sanchez and a 3 from LuBom, the Conks led 37-30 early in the second half. The game entered the final eight minutes with Kentwood up 39-34.
Woodinville took the lead back at 42-41 in the fourth quarter on a 3. And with 5:42 to play, the Falcons added two points to its lead.
Sanchez, a senior, re-entered the game midway through the fourth for Kentwood after leaving due to a possible injury. The Falcons were up 46-45 with less than four minutes to play.
Sanchez was then called for a technical after he blocked a Woodinville shot. After making both free throws, the Falcons led Kentwood 48-45 with 3:21 to play. Kentwood had the ball with less than two minutes to play and LuBom’s pass was picked off. The Falcons went up 52-49. With 1:04 to play, Josiah Bronson was called for a foul on Woodinville and the Falcon made both, taking its lead to 54-49. A basket by sophomore guard Rayvaughn Bolton brought the Conks within three. With less than 30 seconds to play, Sanchez went to the line for three shots. He made the first before missing the second two.
The Conks were down 56-52 before a putback by Sanchez cut the lead to two. After a timeout, Kentwood fouled Woodinville. The Falcon made both, increasing the lead to 58-54.
LuBom, who was named to the all-tournament second team, finished with a team-high 16 points.
The loss dropped Kentwood to the consolation round Friday where it beat the Richland Bombers 73-59.