After trading runs with Vashon Island all game, a late run by Life Christian came up just short tonight, as the Eagles fell 67-66 to the Pirates when a last second shot was off target.
The Pirates went up 64-56 with just over four minutes left on a three-pointer by Jessie Norton – who had a game-high 23 points – but Paul Kunitsa later answered with two threes for the Eagles, the second of which pulled them within 67-65 with just over a minute remaining. After Ian Stewart missed the front end of a one-and-one at the foul line with 11 seconds left, the Eagles got the rebound and set up for one last look at the basket, but couldn’t convert.
Life Christian jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first quarter, as Luke Grocott – who led the Eagles with 18 points and 10 rebounds – had three early baskets. Vashon came back to take a 13-10 lead on Norton’s steal and layup, but Chris Anderson came off the bench to score six late first-quarter points to help give the Eagles an 18-13 lead. Tyler Bogue added two baskets and a key assist early in the second quarter to make it 29-24, but the Pirates charged back to take a 33-29 lead at the half.
Jordan Bowles and Taylor Roelofs led the Eagles’ charge in the third quarter, scoring four early points apiece as Bowles layup after a steal tied it 39-39 with just under six minutes left in the third. But Norton and Ben Whitaker – who had 14 points for Vashon – again responded, and Thomas Douglas gave the Pirates a 55-46 lead with a three-pointer late in the third. But Grocott dominated in the paint early in the fourth, as he scored 10 of his points in the period to help the Eagles keep pace. Bowles then cut it to 64-59 with just over two minutes left after repeatedly battling for a rebound, leading to Kunitsa’s clutch buckets the last few possessions.
Kunitsa hit four three-pointers and finished with 15 points off the bench, while Bowles and Bogue finished with eight points apiece for Life Christian. Stewart added nine points for the Pirates.