Stepping away from league play on Friday night, Aberdeen also stepped up in competition by welcoming Class 4A Spanaway Lake for the first time to Sam Benn Gym.
The Sentinels grabbed control of this non-league boys basketball game in the first half and were held in check by the Bobcats in the second half in a 69-53 decision.
Aberdeen’s Addam Follett led all scorers with 17 points, with Spanaway Lake’s Kareem Babbs knocking home 16 points.
“We started slow in the first half, but overall, I’m happy,” AHS head coach Leonard Barnes said. “Everyone got some action, it was a good game and I thought the kids coming off the bench did a nice job. I thought we battled and fought, kept competing. The flow of the game was different, but the energy and the spirit was there. It really showed in the second half.”
The flow of this game was choppy throughout, but when the game did get going, it was spirited and fast-paced like the Sentinels (3-14) wanted it.
The visitors grabbed control in the first half by dominating the boards, outleaping Aberdeen (7-10), 18-6, in the first half. Eight of those boards were on the offensive end of the court to fuel an 18-for-32 (.563) first-half shooting line. Even then, the Bobcats led through most of the first quarter, despite the slowstart.
Aberdeen ran out to a modest 10-4 lead in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the game off eight points from Follett, including a 3-point basket and a 3-point play. Spanaway Lake ran up six quick team fouls before settling down to end the quarter on a 15-4 run. The majority of the points came on driving layups, with offensive-rebound putbacks added into the mix.
The Sentinels also sped up the game, getting the Bobcats into a running, transition style of game that was slowed by fouls and free-throw attempts. The Bobcats went 10-of-14 attempts from the line in the first half, allowing them to stay close enough. Spanaway Lake went 9 of 16 from the floor in the second quarter to pace a 23-13 frame and a 42-27 halftime lead.
“You have to tip your hat to Spanaway Lake; they have some very good athletes and ball players,” said Barnes, whose team finished 22 of 31 from the free-throw line. “We didn’t back down to them. We only had six boards in the first half and 24 overall. That comes down to effort.”
The choppiness of the game flow played into Aberdeen’s hands in the second half. Spanaway Lake found itself in foul trouble and Bobcat free throws were piling up. Down 47-30 with 5:05 left in the third, Aberdeen trimmed its biggest deficit of the game with an 11-2 spurt. A 5-of-6 free-throw streak followed two driving layups by Austin Floch for a 49-41 score with 2 1/2 minutes left.
This would be the closest margin. Spanaway Lake got a quick transition basket, a timeout to regroup, and two more baskets before the third quarter expired for a 55-43 lead. The fourth quarter was much the same with the Sentinels getting out and running and the Bobcats getting to the line and shooting free throws.
On Tuesday, Aberdeen returns to Evergreen 2A action at River Ridge.
Span. Lake19231314—69 Aberdeen14131610—53
Spanaway Lake (69) — Babbs 16, Martin 8, Frazier 8, Summerfield Jr. 8, Bell 8, Williams 5, Releford 2, Hood 1, Butler, Lawrence 4, Hairston 5, Lemisio 4. FG — 30-67 (.448). FT — 4-5.
Aberdeen (53) — Campbell, Edwards 4, Follett 17, Floch 8, Schlesser 2, Cheema, Black 6, Ontiveros 3, Taylor 5, Craig 8. FG — 15-43 (.349). FT — 22-31.
JV — Spanaway Lake 67, Aberdeen 57.
C Squad — Spanaway Lake 43, Aberdeen 33. C.J. Oldham 10 points for AHS.