The Lake Washington boys basketball team saw its season come to an end after a 48-40 loss to Bellevue in a 3A KingCo tournament loser-out game on Feb. 11 at Sammamish High School.
Lake Washington’s senior guard Evan Liggett made a 3-pointer to pull the Kangs within two-points with 2:33 left in the game, but the Wolverines scored the game’s final six points to secure the 48-40 win.
Lake Washington head coach Ryan Staudacher said that despite the loss, he was happy with his team’s effort, especially on the defensive side.
“We had some good looks and sometimes they don’t fall,” Staudacher said. “That’s part of the game and it’s frustrating, but I was super proud of the way we competed. We defended really well. We missed some free throws and some open shots and sometimes in the playoffs, you have to have those.”
After trailing the Wolverines 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, the Kangs outscored Bellevue 10-4 in the second quarter to take a 21-18 halftime lead.
The Wolverines opened the third quarter with a 12-2 run to take a 30-23 lead, but the Kangs closed out the quarter strong. After Liggett cut the Bellevue lead to 30-25 late in the quarter, Lake Washington guard Ben Nyquist made a 3-pointer with one second left to make it a 30-28 game going into the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines held on to a small lead for most of the fourth quarter. Liggett hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left to cut Bellevue’s lead to 42-40, but Bellevue’s Hans Stone answered with a 3-pointer of his own to make it 45-40. The Wolverines defense held strong and Bellevue made three out of its four free throws to cement its 48-40 win.
Liggett led the scoring for the Kangs with 20 points and Nyquist added 10. Staudacher said Liggett, who played his last game for the Kangs, has plenty to be proud of in his career with Lake Washington basketball.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team,” Staudacher said of Liggett. “He’s a great leader and he leaves it all out on the court, which is so fun to coach and watch. You hurt for him and all of our seniors.”
The other two seniors were guards Nate Eichner and Sean Royal.
Heading into the game, Staudacher said his team responded well to the pressure of a loser-out game. He said this is one of the goofiest teams he’s ever coached.
“At practice leading up to the game and in the locker room before, you’d have no idea this was a loser-out game,” Staudacher said. “That’s just how they roll, their personality. I think that helps in a game like this, you don’t get too uptight, you just play basketball and that’s what they did.”