Cox buzzer-beater topples T-birds in double OT

Playing on fumes, the South Kitsap High School boys basketball team willed itself to a 77-75 double-overtime victory against Mount Tahoma Saturday at Bremerton High School.

The No.1 seeds from the Narrows League Bridge and Bay Division entered the contest with a league title—and top seed into districts—on the line.

The two teams battled each other like to prized heavyweight fighters, but it was South Kitsap’s Brian Cox that delivered the final blow.

Cox nailed a 12-footer at the buzzer in the second overtime to give the Wolves its first Narrows League title since 1986.

It also gave SK the No.1 seed into the West Central District tournament.

SK (20-1) hosts Kent-Meridian (14-8) tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the tournament.

Kent-Meridian enters the game as the South Puget Sound League No.7 seed. SK coach John Callaghan said his team cannot afford to overlook Kent-Meridian.

“Kent-Meridian will full court pressure the entire game,” Callaghan said. “All teams are tough from this point.”

SK junior post Jake Beitinger, who scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Mount Tahoma, said no one will enter the Kent-Meridian game overconfident.

“I think we know now that every win dictates our future as a team,” Beitinger said. “So I don’t think we’ll go in overconfident.”

While they won’t be overconfident, Callaghan said the team will be confident going into districts because of the Mount Tahoma game.

“I think at this point, after a win like this against Mount Tahoma, I’m not sure there are too many teams we can’t beat,” Callaghan said. “It’s the kind of confidence we can build on.”

While Beitinger led the Wolves in scoring and rebounding, SK got contributing performances from Nate Seitz (15 points), Adam Bennett (12 points), and Brian Cox (11 points).

Bennett said the team is too experienced to let itself take any team for granted.

But he also said the team can’t ignore the good brand of basketball it’s playing.

“We just come together as a team,” Bennett said. “This whole season has been about momentum. It’s carried over game to game and that’s exactly how we’re going to take it.”

Bennett said it doesn’t matter how much playoff experience the team has had in the past.

The win against Mount Tahoma put a spark in the team that no coach and player can describe, Bennett said.

“This is a good way to start off the playoffs,” he said. “It’s a good experience and a great way to win a game.”

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