Kennewick boys advance with 89-84 win over Shadle Park (w/ gallery)

By Craig Craker, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 22, 2012 

KENNEWICK -- For three quarters, Kennewick's Bryce Leavitt and Shadle Park's Brett Boese dueled it out Tuesday night.

Leavitt scored at will off drives to the basket and getting to the line. Boese hit jump shot after jump shot.

With Leavitt and Boese playing to a near standstill, it was Leavitt's teammates who delivered the knockout punch.

Fueled by the outside shooting of Luiz Santiago and Brandon Pocasangre, Kennewick knocked off visiting Shadle Park 89-84 in a Class 3A state play-in game.

"Some guys came in and stepped up," Leavitt said. "I thought Luiz made some huge shots, and so did Paco. People stepped up with Reggie (Clinton) off the court."

Clinton, one of Kennewick's two leading scorers, was plagued by foul trouble throughout the game. Though he ended up with 16 points, he played limited minutes in the second half.

That meant Kennewick had to find offense elsewhere.

Santiago answered that call in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points to rally the Lions to the state berth.

"It's a great feeling to be a part of history," Santiago said. "It was just a team effort. We knew this could be our last game, and we didn't want to go out like this."

The Lions (19-4) will face University High at 6 p.m. Friday at Richland High in the Regional Round of the State Tournament. It is the first state berth for Kennewick since 1989 and only the second since 1944.

"It feels great," Leavitt said of the state berth. "A lot of us had this goal. We all worked so hard, and it paid off."

With the Lions trailing 69-68 heading into the fourth quarter, it didn't look as though it would pay off.

Boese, a 6-foot-7 forward bound for Washington State, had torched the Lions for 31 points through the first three quarters. After Santiago hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth, Boese scored on a layup to make the score 71-71.

But those were the last points Boese would score. The Lions used stifling defense and a 10-0 run to put the game away.

Devven Ramos kicked off the run with a layup, Leavitt added a lay-in and then Santiago finished it.

He drew a foul while shooting a 3-pointer, and after calmly sinking all three free throws, he drained a long 3-pointer for an 84-74 lead with 3:27 left to play.

"Everyone stepped up and contributed," Kennewick coach Bradyn Leyde said. "Paco was our Game 1 high scorer, and Luiz has come up big all year. We keep playing and the next guy steps up and fills their role."

That was never more evident than in the fourth quarter, when Ramos and Shaun Smith followed Boese all over the court and didn't let him do any more damage.

"Devven and Shaun Smith stayed on his pocket," Leavitt said. "Both are good defenders, and they put their mind to it, and that's what won the game."

Both teams came out shooting extremely well. The Lions pushed the ball up the floor on offense, and the Highlanders used their size advantage and Boese's smooth shooting to trade baskets.

Clinton picked up his third foul with 2:53 left in the first half, and Shadle Park took advantage, going on a 13-4 run for a 46-39 lead with 1:15 remaining in the half.

Leavitt helped stabilize the Lions, scoring eight of his team's final nine points -- six of which came from the line.

Kennewick climbed back into the lead in the third quarter. Clinton scored the first six points of the half for the Lions, and Pocasangre hit a 3-pointer to put his team up 57-56 with 3:40 left in the quarter.

But Clinton then picked up his fourth foul, and Shadle Park again took control, using a 9-3 run to go up 65-60.

Santiago ended that spurt with a 3-pointer, and Leavitt added one of his own, setting the stage for the fourth quarter.

"We knew they were athletic and physical, and we knew (Boese) could shoot," Leyde said. "We tried to push the ball and get into their legs. We wanted to keep the pressure on them."

Santiago and Pocasangre each finished with 15 points. Leavitt led the Lions with 29 points and five rebounds, while Domach Domach had nine points and five rebounds. Sophomore Mitch Mueller only scored two points, but Leyde pointed out that he gave the team big minutes off the bench in place of Clinton.

Boese scored a game-high 33 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Highlanders (13-10), whose season ended with the loss. Kionte Brown added 16 points, and Skyler Kelley had 13.

SHADLE PARK -- Brett Boese 14 0-0 33, Skyler Kelley 5 0-1 13, Kionte Brown 5 5-6 16, Nick Bettinson 3 1-1 7, Kyle Knutsen 1 0-0 2, George Pilimai 1 0-0 2, Drew Before 3 3-4 11. Levi McBournie 0 0-0 0, Morgen Barnes 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 9-12 84.

KENNEWICK -- Reggie Clinton 7 0-0 16, Brandon Pocasangre 5 1-2 15, Devven Ramos 1 0-1 2, Bryce Leavitt 7 13-14 29, Luiz Santiago 3 6-7 15, Domach Domach 3 2-2 9, Mitch Mueller 1 0-1 2, Shaun Smith 0 0-0 0, Stetson Plew 0 1-2 1. Totals 27 23-29 89.

Shadle Park 20 28 21 15 -- 84

Kennewick 20 24 24 21 -- 89

3-point goals -- Shadle Park 11 (Boese 5, Kelley 3, Before 2, Brown), Kennewick 12 (Pocasangre 4, Santiago 3, Clinton 2, Leavitt 2, Domach). Total fouls -- Shadle Park 21, Kennewick 15. Fouled out -- Kennewick, Clinton. Rebounds -- Shadle Park 34 (Boese 11), Kennewick 30 (Leavitt, Domach 5). Turnovers -- Shadle Park 18, Kennewick 12.

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