You have to be truly impressed that the Kamiakin student section, which has been so supportive and so enthusiastic all year long, is still here in full force. There appears to be about 50 of them lined up three deep in the front row. It's no small thing to the players, I assure you that much.
Speaking of the players, they're out in full force, too, 16 hours after taking maybe the toughest loss of their young careers. Nobody's moping or complaining about playing the 11 a.m. game against GSL runner-up University. They all look pretty focused.
Javan Williams and Zach En'Wezoh, who both suffered acute ankle sprains in the Braves' previous two games, are both moving without any discomfort.
University was incredibly impressive against Rainier Beach yesterday, controlling the game for much of the first half. Their 6-5 guard Brett Bailey committed to the University of San Diego after his sophomore year, and they're getting a special player. He's big and strong, can shoot the 3 and he was driving the lane at will against Rainier. My guess is that Justin Pedley gets the call on Bailey.
I watched the Titans beat Kennewick at regionals, and another player that really came through for them was guard Jared Miller, who I believe scored a career-high 34 points.
This should be a great trophy matchup between two great teams.
I picked up a copy of the tournament stats to date, and it looks like Pedley is the tournament's leading rebounder and third-leading scorer after two days. He was already having an amazing season, but he's really stepped it up here.
Action underway, and University gets the good start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead as Braves miss their first five shots from the field.
Cooper Clyde scores the first bucket for Kamiakin, a 16-foot jumper from the right wing. Braves later go on a 9-3 run to cut the Titans' lead to 13-11.
Cojo Smith drills a 3-pointer for U-Hi with under a minute left and then makes a steal on defensive end and goes in for a layup. But Joe Hunt gets perfect position underneath and draws the charging call on Smith.
Clyde drains his first 3 of the game with just a few clicks left in the first quarter and pulls Kamiakin within 14-16.
Now University going a little cold. The Titans miss their first six shots of the second quarter. Meanwhile, Williams scores the first four points of the quarter for the Braves and Pedley takes a feed inside from Cody Wilmoth to put Kamiakin up 20-16 with 5:25 left in the half.
University gets its legs again and finishes the second quarter on a 19-5 run to pull ahead 34-25.
Braves shoot just 3-of-13 in the second. I wouldn't expect them to stay cold for too long. Their shooters have been too consistent this season.
Also, on the tournament leaders sheet, Kamiakin is leading all teams with a 50 percent shooting percentage after two games. So far today, however, the Braves are hitting just over 32 percent (9 of 28).
Kamiakin still can't find its range, hitting 2 of 7 to begin the third.
Titans also start slow in the second half, missing their first four shots before starting an 11-3 run that gave them a 45-32 lead with 1:33 left in the quarter.
Time running out on Kamiakin. Zech Johnson in foul trouble for University after drawing his fourth early in the third quarter.
Unfortunately, En'Wezoh just drew his fourth with 5:04 left in the third.
Miller drains a 3 from the right wing to put the Titans up 54-40 with 5:09 left in the fourth.
A nasty trend it developing for Kamiakin now. The Braves will miss a shot on the perimeter, U-Hi will get the rebound and beat them down the court in transition.
8-0 run for Titans gives them a 57-40 lead with 3:19 left in the game.
They're pulling the starters now. Pedley and En'Wezoh get nice hands coming off the court. Hard to believe their high school careers are over. They represented themselves well this weekend.
University just a little to strong today. The Titans win it 63-59.