Aided by a second-half surge and a complete team effort throughout, Grays Harbor College pulled away to secure third place at its own tournament, the Choker Classic, on Sunday afternoon.
Freshman guard Jeff Harris scored 16 of his team-high 19 points in the second half to power the Chokers past semi-pro Portland Basketball, 92-82, at Sam Benn Gym.
The Northwest Indian College won the Choker Classic title later in the day, defeating Wenatchee Valley, 91-78.
“I really just needed a complete performance from them, from start to finish, whether we were up or down,” GHC head coach Jordan Altman said. “We were up and we were down. We finished the game and put together a 40-minute performance.”
Locked in a back-and-forth affair, GHC hit clutch 3-point shots to wrestle away control. With 5:19 left in the game, sophomore Nolan Wyatt hit a trey from the wing to give the Chokers a 75-74 lead. Wyatt’s shot represented the last lead change of the contest.
The game-closing 20-8 run was kept afloat with a key trey from Harris in the corner with 3 1/2 minutes left and contributions from Arthur Erholm and Riley Alvord. The Chokers finished with 56 of their 92 points scored by bench players and 24 team assists (all but one player who logged in time on the court had at least one assist.)
“Looking at the bench scoring, I may be starting the wrong crew,” Altman added. “We missed some shots (on Saturday) and it hurt us defensively. Today, we missed some shots, let them get a little more on offense, but we were able to respond. We were taking those blows, but we took a step forward and landed a punch to take the lead.”
Dar’ijon Eubanks scored 15 points and Alvord 13 to help power the GHC offense. Portland’s Hassani Belt led all scorers with 35 points, 21 of them in the second half.
On Tuesday, Grays Harbor College (2-4) hits the road to take on Lane College in Eugene, Ore.
Portland Basketball (82) — H. Belt 35, Snodderly, Wynn 15, Robinson 8, Stone 3, R. Belt 7, Borovsky, Hardy 14, Carlson. FG — 28-77 (.364). FT — 18-28.
Grays Harbor College (92) — Hunt 3, Bowman 6, Eubanks 15, Alvord 13, Davis 2, Richters 7, Harrod, Harris 19, Smith 8, Wyatt 7, Nelson, Erholm 12. FG — 33-83 (.398). FT — 16-22.
Halftime: Grays Harbor College 39, Portland Basketball 38.