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Wolverines clipped by Trojans, 57-52 | Boys Basketball
The Wolverines came up short in a furious comeback bid as Meridian took care of business at the free-throw stripe and skedaddled out of Friday Harbor Wednesday with a 57-52 victory in tow.
Senior Josiah Sebens tossed in a game-high 19 points for Meridian and point-guard Tyler Slesk, who tallied 17 points for the Trojans, erased whatever hope the home team had to steal a win or send the game into overtime by hitting four consecutive free throws in the final 30 seconds of the game. Slesk knocked down 10-of-11 free-throw attempts in the game.
The Trojans (9-2) led from start to finish in the only regular-season match up between the 1A regional rivals, but they couldn't deliver a knock-out punch. Trailing by five at the break and down by 13 midway through the third period, the Wolverines score 10 unanswered points to finish the quarter and began the fourth and final period down by only three, at 39-36.
Friday Harbor's Parker Lawson dominated play in the paint at both ends of the court and, despite foul trouble early on, posted a double-double in only 25 minutes on the floor. The 6' 3" senior scored 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, 10 on the defensive end, before fouling out with 50 seconds remaining in regulation, and with the Trojans clinging to a 6-point lead.
Senior Preston Ukra, who added three points to the team total with a buzzer-beater at the end of regulation, scored 10 and Roy Taylor had 10 points as well for the Wolverines.
Meridian began the final period on a 7-3 run and had bumped the lead up to 10 with less than two minutes remaining in the game. A steal and a breakaway lay-in by Taylor brought the Wolverines to within four with 40 seconds left to go. But the Trojans came up with a loose ball following a missed free-throw by Mitchell Tripp of Meridian and Slesk, fouled by Friday Harbor in order to stop the clock, then dropped in the first of his four game-clinching free throws.
With the loss, the Wolverines fall to 4-7 overall. However, at 3-1 in league play, Friday Harbor remains on pace in the Northwest 1A/2A League title chase and just one game behind league-leading La Conner. Friday Harbor will face two league opponents on the road, Concrete on Friday, and Mount Vernon Christian on Tuesday, before returning home to host the Braves, undefeated in league play, at 4-0, Jan. 22 in Turnbull Gym.