With their season on the line, the Overlake boys’ basketball team (5-7, 10-11) staged a remarkable comeback victory against University Prep in a loser-out, winner-to-districts game at Seattle Academy Wednesday night.
After a slow start on offense, the Owls were down five at the half, and were still down heading into the fourth quarter, when senior Dean Poplawski took over.
He drained three shots from beyond the arc and went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in the final period, finishing with a season-high 33.
“Tonight, Dean willed his team to victory,” said head coach Justin Prohn. “It was one of the best high school performances I’ve seen, and I just kept smiling after each three he made because it was very special.”
In addition to Poplawski’s effort, Jackson Umberger scored 12 for the Owls.
With the win, the Owls advance to play Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the first round of the 1A Tri-District tournament against King’s School in Shoreline, at King’s. That game will be another loser-out game.
“This is the first time that we have been to districts since our state run in 2006,” Prohn noted. “I’m so proud of this group – they have had so much adversity this season, but they just keep digging deep and playing great basketball.”
POPLAWSKI JOINS ELITE CLUB
Last Friday, Poplawski entered rarified air among Overlake School hoopsters as the senior guard scored his 1,000th point during the Owls’ senior night game against Bellevue Christian.
He became only the third player to score 1,000 for the school, along with Colin Madden and Beckley Mason. “I truly believe Dean is one of the best shooters in the state,” said Prohn. “This is a very special milestone for Dean, his teammates, the Overlake basketball program.”