The Redmond High boys’ basketball team was down but not out on Tuesday night at home in their 4A Kingco Tournament opener against Ballard.
The Mustangs trailed by seven in the fourth quarter, but they were able to right the ship in the fourth quarter to pull off a 55-51 comeback win, sending them to the tournament semifinals on Friday against Garfield at 6:30 p.m.
Redmond struggled mightily in the middle two quarters of the contest, scoring just 16 total points while getting demolished on the boards.
“Our lack of intensity regarding rebounding and loose balls,” said head coach Jeff Larson on what hurt his team the most. “I told them at the beginning of the fourth quarter to remember the hours, days, and years they have spent working in this gym and we have eight minutes to protect our house.”
In the pivotal fourth, the Mustangs, led by senior forward Jason Harrington and his game-high 24, powered back from a seven-point deficit, as the Mustangs outscored the Beavers, 22-11, behind stellar defense and timely shooting.
Harrington made two free throws with 4.8 seconds left to seal the win for the Mustangs. Teammate Conner Floan, battling the flu, scored all eight of his points in the fourth and Peter Hendron drained a big three-pointer down the stretch to finish with eight. In addition, Kyle Sawtell added nine for Redmond.
“It was the epitome of a team effort,” Larson said.
The Mustangs (16-5), winners of four straight, previously lost to Garfield 62-52 back on Jan. 28, Redmond’s last loss this season.
With No. 3 Skyline being upset by Bothell last night and sent into the consolation bracket, the Mustangs know how big Friday’s game will be for their postseason hopes against a talented team currently ranked No. 6 in the state.
“What I think people overlook is how hard (Garfield) plays,” Larson noted. “They create opportunities for themselves as a result of the effort they put into the defensive end. We need to take care of the ball and rebound to even stay in it.”