SPOKANE The Brewster boys basketball team battled Liberty of Spangle down to the very last tick of the game clock before falling, 55-52, in a 2B boys semifinal Friday.
The Bears take on Northwest Christian (Colbert) at 11:15 a.m. Saturday in the game for third- and fifth-place.
“They are a very solid team,” Brewster coach Tim Taylor said. “It’s another big challenge.
“I wanted to win the thing. Getting a trophy is still a great accomplishment.”
The semifinal, which resembled a state final, was back and forth all the way.
The difference was the Lancers making free throws late.
But that wasn’t much of a difference, with a missed charity shot with 3.5 seconds remaining allowing Timbo Taylor a shot at a tying 3-point shot just before the buzzer sounded.
The game was tied, 16-all, after one quarter, and stayed close.
Brewster’s biggest lead, 10-6, came at the start of the game.
The Lancers went on a 10-6 run for the tie.
Coach Taylor said the Bears missed a lot of close-in shots.
The Bears shot 18/50 (36 percent) from the floor compared to 18/40 (45 percent) by the Lancers.
“Part of it was their height,” the coach said. “We played magnificently in the second half. We played better going at them, but we could not draw any fouls.”
Back and forth the teams went, with Josh Hammons passing to Cade Smith to bring Brewster to being down, 33-32, late in the third quarter.
Liberty responded with Kyle King knocking down a 3-pointer.
Timbo Taylor (19 points; 6/7 free throws, 3/5 3-pointers) sank a pair of free throws to put the Bears down 36-34 after three quarters.
“We knew we would come back,” coach Taylor said. “It was nip and tuck all the way.”
Match Burnham led Liberty with 29 points including 10-for-12 on free throws. His high-arcing free throws appeared to be automatic until he missed one with 3.5 seconds left in the game and the Lancers ahead 54-52.
He made the second shot.
The Bears got the ball inbounded quickly to Taylor, who drove down the court got off a 3-pointer over the 6-8 Burnham just before the buzzer. The shot missed, game over.
“I think No. 12 tipped the shot,” said Edgar Najera, who had a good look at the tying shot attempt that was right in front of the Brewster bench. “I think he got pushed from behind, too.”
Taylor said the team practiced this week for just the same scenario, a last-chance shot.
“I got hit on the hand a little bit,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t matter. It was a good play by the kid.”
Liberty (55) – Fleming 3, M. Burnham 29, Haas 0, King 11, Pottratz 0, C. Burnham 10, Dumaw 2. Rebounds (27) – M. Burnhgam 10, C. Burnham 6, Fleming 4. Assists (11) – King 5. Steals (4) – Pottratz 2.
Brewster (52) – Boesel 0, Hammons 5, I. Najera 6, Martinez 0, Divis 6, Williams 9, Smith 7, Taylor 19. Rebounds (28) – Taylor 6, Williams 6, Smith 5, INajera 5 Assists (5) – Divis 2, I. Najera 2. Steals (6) – Divis 2.
Brewster shot 36 percent , 18/50 forgame. 4/11 on treys.
Liberty shot 45 percent, 18/40 and 5/13 on treys.
Turnovers, 14 for liberty, 9 for Brewster.