LAKEWOOD – Machai Harris was sick the previous game, but he was the one who made visiting Blaine feel sickly Dec. 21, scoring 26 points to lead the Cougars to an 80-70 victory.
Alex Jensen added 21 points, Alex Coleman 13 and Jackson Schultz 10.
The visitors actually led 17-14 after the first quarter and scored the first six points of the second period to take a 23-14 lead.
But after Harris broke that streak and hit a 3 at the 5:27 mark, Lakewood turned up its defensive intensity and went on a 27-7 to take a 43-30 halftime lead. Lakewood forced one turnover or steal after another to take control.
Schultz hit a 3 then Coleman hit one to knot the score at 25-25 in about a minute.
Blaine didn’t score for 2 1/2 minutes at Harris hit two free throws, drove in for a layup and hit another 3. The team went 6-for-6 from the foul line, Harris hit yet another 3 and Coleman assisted on a pass to Jensen after a teal to build the halftime margin, going from six down to 13 up.
Harris scored 13 points and Coleman added seven during that rally.
Jensen’s steal and layup started the second half, and after Harris did the same, Jensen made it a hatrick to make it 51-36. The Cougars cooled off for awhile, falling in love with the outside shot against Blaine’s zone, but Coleman’s steal and pass to Jensen. A block by Coleman ignited the crowd, but the visitors cut the lead to 57-51 before Schultz knocked down a 3 to give Lakewood at 60-51 advantage as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
Lakewood ran off eight-straight points to start the last stanza after yet another Harris 3, and a 3 by Jensen after another steal. Coleman’s beautiful assist to a cutting Jared Taylor kept them with a double-digit lead.
Blaine tried to press, but it lacked the intensity of the home team and the Cougars broke it easily. When Morgan Stacey passed to Coleman after breaking the press and the senior guard finished off that three-point play with 51 seconds left the victory was clinched.
Stacey finished with 5 points, Taylor with 4 and Kaiden Harrison scored 1.
The Cougar wrestling team placed 14th at the Mount Baker Invitational Dec. 20.
Lakewood had 39 points. Forks won going away with 209.5 points.