Cedar Park boys basketball takes third place at state tournament
By MATT PHELPS
Bothell Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
March 6, 2013 · 12:19 PM
The Cedar Park boys basketball team finished its season at center court on the floor of the Sun Dome in Yakima on Saturday, hoisting the third place state title trophy high into the air.
Cedar Park head coach Adam Lynch said one of the big things that fueled the team was its chemistry on and off the court.
"It was a tight-knit group that committed to working hard in the off-season to get better and enjoyed the time together," said Lynch. "I don’t think you can underestimate the value of having good team chemistry and contributing to the overall success of the team."
The Eagles defeated Lynden Christian 52-50 to bring home the 1A third-place trophy from the Hardwood Classic.
The game was a battle for the entire 32 minutes of play as the teams traded leads throughout the game. Cedar Park finished the first eight minutes with a slim one-basket lead, but the Lyncs used a hot second quarter to take a 27-24 advantage into halftime.
The Eagles cut into that lead during the third period, outscoring Lynden 16-14. But the one-point deficit loomed large in the extremely close contest.
Cedar Park played smart during the defensive battle known as the fourth quarter. The team outlasted the Lyncs 12-9 during the final eight minutes of play to win the game.
Evan Scholten stepped up for the Eagles during their final contest of the season. The senior led the team in scoring with 21 points and combined with teammate Isaiah Penchion to give Cedar Park 14 important rebounds. Scholten was selected as a member of the All-State 1A team and will participate in the 1A/2A All State game March 16 at Curtis High School.
"Evan has had an outstanding high school career and saved his best for last," said Lynch. "In that final game he dominated all phases and was clearly the best player on the court."
Lynden Christian won the rebound battle 41-31.
Eagle Trey Drechsel finished the game with 12 points, while teammate Daniel Christenson had nine points.
The team from Bothell's defense did a good job of defending the three-point shot, holding the Lyncs to 5-for-22 from beyond the arch.
Cedar Park lost to Toledo, 46-39, Friday night during the state semi-finals at the Sun Dome in Yakima.
"That was a very tough loss for all of us," said Lynch. "To be that close to playing for the state championship and not get there was a tough pill to swallow. At the end of the day if a couple possessions go the other way we would have advanced but you have to give Toledo a lot of credit. They were a veteran team, very well coached and deserving of winning that game along with the state title the next day."
"Everyone falls, the question is how quickly do you get back up," said Lynch. "To play our best game of the season in that last game showed the heart of a champion and is something we talked about afterwards."
The Eagles beat Seattle Academy 61-43 at the Sun Dome in Yakima on Thursday night during the first round.
Cedar Park outscored their opponents 23-2 during the third quarter, following a hard fought first half by both teams.
The Eagles trailed at halftime 28-27 but the team stonewalled the Cardinals during the third quarter.
Seattle found its rhythm during the fourth quarter but it was too late, as the Eagles also dominated at the free-throw line, 15-6.
Scholten and Luke Saufferer made the most of their first appearance at the Hardwood Classic, combining for 37 points for the Eagles.
"One major difference was the addition of Luke," said Lynch. "He transferred from Jackson last year and was denied eligibility by the WIAA … adding him to the mix this year gave us another talented player that really made things go for us out of the point guard spot."
Cedar Park's Daniel Christenson finished the game with nine rebounds and six points.
Cedar Park dominated the key, outscoring the Cardinals 28-12 in the paint.
Honors Earning a birth in the Hardwood Classic State 1A Basketball Tournament was a team goal, but individual honors were also bestowed on the Cedar Park Christian boys team as voted by the head coaches for the Nisqually League.
For winning the Nisqually League with a 15-1 record during the Eagles first year in the league, Coach Adam Lynch was recognized as the league’s Coach of the Year. This is Lynch’s fifth year as head coach for the varsity program.
The Nisqually League Most Valuable Player honors went to junior Trey Dreschel, who scored 16 points a game.
Earning first-team honors for the second year in a row was senior center Evan Scholten. Luke Saufferer, senior point guard in his first year of varsity eligibility at Cedar Park, was awarded with All League Second Team honors.
Despite playing the state tournament games on the other side of the state, Lynch said that the community still came out to support the team.
"Our fans have supported us tremendously all year," said Lynch. "Our student body came out once again in full force and our community was well represented. It was an honor to represent our school and community at the state tournament."
Cedar Park finished the season with a 22-3 record and set a school record with a 19-game winning streak during the regular season.
Contact Bothell Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-483-3732 (ext 5050).