The Lindbergh boys basketball played their hearts out during the last eight days of the 2A Boys Hardwood Classic. Four games including two games of overtime wore down the Eagles, but in the end the school captured a fifth place trophy, the highest ever for the school; whose only other state appearance was in 1991.
After the game players amerged from the lockers to cheers of classmates, friends and family to celebrate what the boys had accomplished.
Senior James Keum who was injuried in the final minute of the game Saturday says the team was fatigue after playing hard against Clover Park, then an overtime loss to White River Friday night.
Keum admitted he was happy with fifth place as he hopped over to his parents and grandmother for hugs.
Junior Austin Franklin was all smiles coming out of the locker room. Franklin a non-starter scored all of his 12 points from the three-point line to led his team in scoring Saturday. "I just had to be ready for when coach called on me," said Franklin. "Feels good to have coaches trust."
Waiting outside the first aid tent was head coach Robert Graham who was checking on James Keum being checked out for a possible sprained ankle.
Graham agreed just little things and the Eagles could have been playing in the championship game. Turnovers and missed free throws hurt them in the White River game. "Fatigue has a little to do with it, some of the teams got a little wisers in playing against James (Keum)," Graham said.
The Eagles will graduate six seniors, but have four key juniors, a freshman and a talented junior varsity team. Most of the players said after they game they will be back to the Hardwood Classic to go further than fifth place.
"It will be a different kind of team," Graham said. "It will be multiple scorers all over and yes we will be back here."
Breakdown of the tournament
Total points (all 3 days): James Keum – 54 (33 points first game, most of all state games that day); Jequan Hayes – 21; Casey Huppe – 18; Colin Malone – 18; Austin Franklin – 12 (all three pointers scored in Sunday’s game); Mario Garcia – 5; Brandon Brown – 6; Herman Clark – 4; Nate Cunningham – 4
Lindbergh shot 36 of 87 from the field (41.3%) compared to their opponent’s 33 of 99 from the field (33.3%). Combined of all three games.
Lindbergh shot 11 of 59 (18.6%) from the three-point line; their opponents shot 14 of 52 (26.9%).
Lindbergh shot 37 of 63 (58.7%) from the free throw line; their opponents shot 43 of 57 (75.4%).
The Eagles out rebounded their opponents 128-111.
Lindbergh outscored their opponents in the first half, but gave up points in the second half (mostly in the third period).
Teams how they finished – 1. Lynden, 2. White River, 3. Kingston, 4. Clover Park, 5. Lindbergh, 6. Pullman. (Four of the top six teams are from the West Central District, including Lindbergh).