No. 4 Kentridge holds off Mount Rainier, 79-70 | Boys Basketball
Brendan Westendorf scored 30 points and Gary Bell added 28 despite foul trouble as the Chargers clinched at least a share of the SPSL North title.
Special to The Seattle Times
KENT — The fourth-ranked Kentridge boys basketball team proved on Friday night it could survive a long stretch without Gonzaga-bound star Gary Bell.
Brendan Westendorf scored a career-high 30 points and Bell added 28 despite sitting out almost nine minutes with his fourth foul, as the Chargers clinched at least a share of the SPSL North Division boys basketball title with a 79-70 win over Mount Rainier.
"I was proud of the way the kids hung together, and we stayed under control," said Kentridge coach Dave Jamison. "Obviously, some of the guys had the ball in their hands a little more than they are used to, but they responded and we withstood a couple of runs."I thought we could've gotten shaky at a couple times, but the guys stepped up and made plays and good passes."
The Chargers (15-5 overall, 13-3) lead Auburn (12-3) in the North after finishing league play. Auburn travels to Kent-Meridian on Tuesday to complete its league slate. If the Trojans win, Kentridge and Auburn will share the crown and play a tiebreaker game at a neutral site on Thursday for the top seed.
Bell and Westendorf were clicking in the first half, combining for 42 points as the Chargers built a 47-31 halftime lead. Bell registered 24 points before the break and Westendorf 18.
But Bell, who was hit with technical foul for touching the rim in warm-ups, collected his fourth foul with 6:29 left in the third quarter. Jamison sat his star and primary ballhandler until 5:53 remained in the game.
"It's nice to know we don't just evaporate when (Bell) comes out," said Jamison. "Gary hardly comes out all year for us and he's got the ball in his hands all the time. They (Mount Rainier) are hard to guard, and they're very athletic and very good one-on-one."
With Bell sitting, the less-experienced Chargers lineup allowed the Rams to get no closer than eight points. Mount Rainier (10-9, 7-8), which got 27 points from freshman Adrian Davis, crept within six twice after Bell returned at 74-68 on a Caden Rowland fast-break layin with 43 seconds to go and 76-70 Amelio Banuelos putback with 14 seconds showing.
Davis piled up 21 points in the second half, driving the lane for all of his field goals and drawing two fouls on Bell on drives.
Westendorf made 11 of 15 shots, Bell was 9 of 14, and each had six rebounds and five assists.
Freshman Jawan Stepney came off the bench to score 10 points and add five rebounds and three assists for Kentridge.
Malik Rodgers contributed 14 points and Rowland chimed in with 12 for Mount Rainier.
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