Overlake’s boys and girls basketball squads snagged the victory two-fer at home against Northwest on Tuesday night.
In the early game, the Owls girls notched a 43-31 win, and in the nightcap, the Owls boys pulled off a comeback triumph, 48-47, by way of a Conrad Im layin amongst traffic with 13.9 seconds left in the game. Northwest just missed a buzzer-beater that had House players holding their hands to their heads in disbelief.
Junior guard Roman Peterson led the Owls with 21 points and whipped a pass to Im, who nestled the ball into the hoop for the victory. Northwest led 20-17 at the half and 40-36 after three quarters before the teams battled for the lead at the end.
“It was a really fun game to be a part of and our team’s big on just fulfilling our roles, doing whatever we can to help the team win,” said the 5-foot-10 Peterson, who added six rebounds and five assists on the night. “We talk a lot about competing, just not giving up until the end, doing whatever we can to stay in the game and take the lead.”
Overlake’s boys upped its 1A Emerald City League record to 4-3 with the win and the Owls sit at 6-8 overall. It’s a dogfight for the top three seeds in the league, said Peterson, who added that the young squad wants to continuing building chemistry and creating a bond for this season that will apply to next year’s team as well.
Head coach David Bigelow said the Owls bring a balanced team to the court that includes standout freshmen Jake Shuey (6-1) and Alec Odell (6-0) along with senior Rohan Narasayya (6-1) and junior John Rolfe (6-2).
“It was maybe the most complete game we’ve played all year, we didn’t have a whole lot of lulls offensively,” Bigelow said. “They (Northwest) played a good zone. They got a big kid in the middle that’s tough, and it’s not something you see every day, so I was proud of how our guys responded.”
Peterson handles the ball well and can score in multiple ways, and junior Im can finish at the rim and is a defensive stopper as well.
“He’s kind of our heart and soul, and we try to get him out there to just make a night tough on somebody on the other team,” Bigelow said of Im.
Senior 6-5 post Eliza Friend stood especially tall against Northwest on Tuesday by amassing 14 points, 19 rebounds and nine blocks to help raise the Owls’ league record to 7-1 and 8-6 overall.
“I definitely try to block shots. I think it’s one of the perks of being tall, that you can go for that,” Friend said with a smile. “I think as a team, we play really good defense and we move the ball well.”
Along with Friend, head coach Teron Sutherlin praised senior Annabelle Wiley for her shooting, sophomore Maraim Cosmos for running the court and playing tough defense and sophomore Addie Sapirstein for her solid defense and unleashing good shots. Standout sophomore Rachel Sapirstein (6-0) sustained a sprained ankle two games ago and should be back on the court soon, the coach said.
First-year head coach Sutherlin — the Owl girls’ fourth in four years — said the girls are settling into a new system and are believing in each other.
“I tell them very often in practices and in games, ‘If you wanna go fast, you go alone, but if you wanna go far, you go together,’” Sutherlin said. “I think it’s really important for them to make sure that they’re a sisterhood, they’re a band of sisters that are really fighting toward a common goal. I think that when we get on one chord, the level of our game is exceedingly better.”
Sutherlin — who assisted with the Owl boys team last year and previously coached at St. Louis University High and Webster Groves High, both in Missouri — helps the team with cohesion and toughens the Owls up when he participates in intense scrimmages, Friend said.
As the culture has slightly shifted with new coaches each year, Friend added that “the one thing that’s always constant is that we’re always just playing for each other and playing because we love it.”
Following her Overlake career, Friend will play next season at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, in southern California.
Friend visited the school in eighth grade when she tagged along on a college tour with one of her older siblings. She enjoyed her visit and kept the school in mind when her college-recruitment process began by reaching out to the coach to attend one of her club tournaments.
“There’s a new coach this year and she’s very post-centric, which I love. I also just love the girls, they’re all so close. The team, it’s not a competition within each other, for like points or minutes, it’s all just trying to get the team to win and trying to get the team forward,” said Friend, who hopes to double major in either government and economics or psychology and economics.