Sports

Groves buzzer-beater tops Olympic

Clanks more than quadrupled field goals for Sarah Groves, but she stepped up when it counted in a prep girls home basketball game Wednesday night against the Olympic Trojans.

The South Kitsap senior, a meager three of 13 from the three-point arc, sank a three-pointer with three seconds remaining to give SK a 70-67 comeback victory over Olympic.

The win propelled the Wolves to a 3-2 Narrows League Bridge Division record going into last night’s game at Central Kitsap.

After taking a 2-0 lead to start the game, SK trailed until 3:42 remained in the fourth quarter.

In a game marred by fouls, turnovers and poor shooting, the Wolves stayed within striking distance with a tough defense that induced the Trojans into 23 turnovers.

While their defense kept them in the game, it also hindered their play.

Referees called a tight game and SK paid for it.

“The officials never let anybody get comfortable,” SK coach Mike Allen said. “There were 49 fouls in this game. I think in any other game there wouldn’t have been as many fouls.”

Nearly half of Olympic’s offense came from the free-throw line, as it went on to shoot 30 of 40, giving definition to the term charity stripe.

SK made only half as many trips to the line and sank 12.

Despite her shooting woes, Groves led the Wolves with 20 points.

SK failed to show any signs of life until halfway through the third quarter. From the middle of the second quarter to the middle of the third quarter, Olympic led between six and 11 points.

Leading 49-38 Olympic finally helped SK’s Groves answer back with back-to-back three-pointers to pull within five points.

Olympic rebuilt a nine-point lead to end the third quarter, but SK slowly made its move in the fourth quarter.

SK’s Leah Kendrick (10 points) and Jamae Feddock (13 points) scored on consecutive buckets to pull within five points again.

Midway through the quarter Olympic held a three-point lead when a technical foul was called on Groves.

Olympic’s Lauren Haas sank one of two from the line but Olympic couldn’t score on its ensuing possession.

Feddock, who struggled with foul trouble, made the most of her time on the court, scoring 12 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Her bucket with 4:20 left the score knotted at 60.

Feddock fouled out a minute later, forcing Groves to play post.

Olivia Bui’s free throws and a Groves’ layup gave SK a 64-60 lead.

Bui, who scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds, played despite suffering from the flu.

Despite making a couple of trips to the garbage can, Bui showed her value against a much bigger Olympic team.

“I hadn’t practiced for a couple of days but coach said he wanted me to go in there and play,” Bui said. “I had to prove to him even though I missed practice I was ready to play even though I was sick.”

Olympic went on a 7-0 run led by Kim Fairbanks’ five points.

Bui hit one of two free throws to pull within a basket with 37 seconds remaining.

On Olympic’s next possession SK’s defense caused a turnover and Kendrick scored off of it to tie the game 67-67.

SK regained possession of the ball on another turnover and called a timeout to set up a play with nine seconds remaining.

“It wasn’t the play we ran,” Allen said. “We didn’t go where I wanted it to go. We wanted to force the ball inside to Leah (Kendrick) and at least draw a foul to get to the free throw line.”

The play didn’t open up but Daly found Groves open near the top of the arc and she drained it with three seconds left.

Groves finished 7 of 23 from the field but said she was more frustrated with the foul calls.

“I felt like we weren’t allowed to play,” Groves said. “It was 13 to three at fouls in their favor at one time. That’s unbelievable and unacceptable.”

Groves said the team was able to come from behind on true grit.

“We just fought and didn’t give up. We were down a lot it seemed forever but we inched our way back.”

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