Bear Creek mauls Valley in coach’s swan song

BOTHELL – Willapa Valley’s first-ever meeting with The Bear Creek School was one the Vikings would like to soon forget.

Held to 12 first-half points, the Vikings trailed throughout in falling to the Grizzlies, 61-31 in a Boys 2B Regional Tournament game at Bothell High School.

The Vikings ended the season at 20-6.

In addition to ending Valley’s season, the game ended the career of veteran coach John Peterson. Peterson, who has been at Willapa Valley for 17 years and coached basketball of some type for 30 years, cited family considerations for his decision.

He will continue as an athletic director and assistant football and track coach at Valley.

“It’s just time to do something else,” Peterson said. “Time to enjoy Thanksgiving, spend time with my family. It’s been a great ride. I have so much respect for the Valley administration and community. It’s been a wonderful place to work.”

Peterson’s career head coaching record at Valley, Concrete and North Beach was 323-209. He guided the Vikings to four district championships and 10 state tournament appearances, including a state runner-up finish in 2005.

Third-ranked Bear Creek, a private school from Redmond, looked the part of state title contender from the opening minutes.

Finding rebounding opportunities in Valley’s zone defense, Bear Creek scored the first six points of the game – all on rebounds and putbacks.

A Matt Konigsberger 3-pointer got the Vikings on the board halfway through the first quarter. Bear Creek then went on an 8-1 run to take a 14-4 lead after the first quarter.

The Grizzlies (21-2), whose regular-season resume included wins over 3A Meadowdale and 4A Woodinville, ran off 10 of the first 13 points in the second quarter, with only a Kyler Oblad 3-pointer from the right wing breaking the Bear Creek scoring run.

Stephen Camenzind nailed a fall-away jumper from the free-throw line in second, but that would be it for Valley as the Vikings were held to five second-quarter points and found themselves in a 33-12 halftime hole.

“They were as good as advertised,” Peterson said. “You spend all week watching film, finding those edges, and then sometimes you come out and can’t make a bucket.”

Valley’s 31 points were 11 less than its previous season-low (42 vs. Raymond) and the Vikings ended a chilly 8-of-38 from the floor (21 percent). Converting rebounds and Valley turnovers into points at seemingly every turn, Bear Creek never led by less than 20 in the second half.

Peterson used a 30-second timeout with 3:36 left in the game to clear the floor of his seniors – Camenzind, Konigsberger, Anthony Sagen, Cody Buchanan and Drew Pearson. He was effusive with his praise of the five afterward.

“Those guys have given me everything they had for the last four years,” he said. “As a group, we’ve been through some ups and downs, but they just never stopped battling. They’re a special group to me.”

In his final prep game, Konigsberger turned in his customary stellar floor game, tying for team-high scoring honors with 11 and notching a team-high six rebounds. Oblad used a trio of three-pointers en route to adding 11 points in the defeat.

Bear Creek’s Jesse Leuenberger and Collin Feight tied for game-high scoring honors with 18 points. Feight hauled in 11 rebounds as the Grizzlies held a 27-19 advantage on the glass.

Konigsberger and Leuenberger were both awarded with WIAA sportsmanship medallions in post-game ceremonies.

Will. Valley48109—31 Bear Creek14191414—61

Willapa Valley (31) – Sagen 1, Buchanan 3, Konigsberger 11, Cook, Oblad 11, Gray, Fluke, Pearson, Camenzind 5, Graves. FG – 8-38 (.211). FT – 10-15.

Bear Creek (61) – Block 2, Leuenberger 18, Blankenbeckler 3, Feight 18, Geiger 2, Linnenkohl, Magee, Benson, Rial 6, Kaiser 2, Denniston 10. FG – 23-50 (.460). FT – 12-17. Regional Scores

Class 1A Boys

Toledo 50, University Prep 40

King’s 83, Hoquiam 51

Cascade Christian 49, Woodland 44

Brewster 62, Naches Valley 56

Class 1A Girls

Mabton 56, Brewster 44

Okanogan 58, La Salle 49

Class 1A 2B Boys

Liberty (Spangle) 60, Kittitas 37

Morton/White Pass 54, La Conner 40

Bear Creek 61, Willapa Valley 31

St. George’s 65, Tri-Cities Prep 30

Class 2B Girls

Morton/White Pass 62, Crosspoint Academy 44

Class 1B Boys

Pomeroy 57, Yakama Tribal 46

Tulalip Heritage 81, Wilbur-Creston 64

Wellpinit 64, Entiat 48

Colton 67, Sunnyside Christian 44

Class 1B Girls

Tekoa-Oakesdale 50, Sunnyside Christian 44

Class 2A Girls

Lake Washington 51, Sumner 44

Mark Morris 67, Renton 29

Class 3A Boys

Eastside Catholic 80, Timberline 40

University 68, Kennedy Catholic 59

Rainier Beach 61, Mercer Island 55

O’Dea 73, Shorecrest 69

Shadle Park 55, Kennewick 51

Bellevue 60, Lincoln 55

Class 3A Girls

Lincoln 61, Mountlake Terrace 59

Class 4A Boys

Jackson 67, Stadium 33

Kentridge 65, Arlington 61

Issaquah 64, Bellarmine Prep 46

Richland 83, Moses Lake 55


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