With 5.7 seconds left in regulation, Interlake Saints sophomore Derek Kramer stepped to the free-throw line with his team trailing the Lake Washington Kangaroos 50-49.
Kramer calmly sunk both free throws, giving the Saints a 51-50 lead. On Lake Washington’s ensuing offensive possession, D’Von Fisher missed a shot attempt at the buzzer as the Saints held on for a dramatic 51-50 victory in a loser-out, 3A KingCo playoff game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Saints improved their overall record to 11-10 with the win. Lake Washington finished the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 12-9.
Lake Washington head coach Ryan Staudacher reflected on his team’s 12-win season in the moments following the final whistle of the 2018-19 season.
“I’m just proud of our guys for how they competed and for how far they’ve come from day one to now. They are playing much better basketball now than they were at the beginning of the year. They were just a fun group to coach and were a bunch of really good kids who competed all year long,” Staudacher said.
Interlake head coach David Whitfield, who was congratulated by a bevy of well wishers near the bench following the game, was confident Kramer would come up big in the clutch.
“For him to be able to step up and shoot like that, it is huge. He is only a sophomore but he has ice in his veins and just plays with everything he has,” Whitfield said of Kramer.
Winning a playoff game is a huge accomplishment for the Interlake boys basketball program.
“When I came here, the first thing I wanted to do was get the program to believe they can win games through practice, commitment and putting the time in the summer. This has been our best year yet. We are starting to see those results come back,” Whitfield said.