Whitefish Bay drops a heartbreaker to Milwaukee Washington
Blue Dukes' season ends after leading for all but the final minute of regional final
Whitefish Bay has seen its fair share of talented basketball players this season.
Unfortunately, they ran into one more in Milwaukee Washington’s latest superstar,
Jamaar McKay. His unselfish pass to Justin Harris led to the game-winning free throw as the Purgolders eliminated the Blue Dukes, 63-62, Saturday night at Washington in a WIAA Division 2 regional final.
Washington advances to play No. 1-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran Thursday at Waukesha North.
“He has been making those plays all season,” said Washington first year coach Fred Riley. “I have been saying he is the ‘Lebron James of Wisconsin’ all season.”
Nursing a slim 61-60 lead with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter, Bay sophomore Miles Sigh was called for an offensive foul, giving the ball back to the red-hot McKay as the Purgolders looked to take their first lead of the game.
Senior Marvin Wynn threw a textbook entry pass into McKay, who spun around and threw down a monstrous two-handed slam to give Washington (17-7) its first lead at 62-61 with 47 seconds remaining. The Blue Dukes still held their composure through a deafening crowd.
Bay junior Christian Lane was fouled on the next possession with 27 seconds left as Bay was in the double bonus. Lane missed his last two attempts just two possessions prior. He missed the first one but salvaged the second to tie the game again at 62.
Holding for the final shot, McKay drove into the paint and kicked it to a wide open Harris who was fouled on his shot. He missed the first but calmly gathered himself to give Washington the lead for good at 63-62. Bay had three seconds remaining but could not get a shot off in time.
“He is a really good player, he just attacks the basket relentlessly,” Bay coach Kevin Lazovik said. “We tried to make things hard for him, but he was able to drive past us a little too frequently to our liking.”
Washington was quick to notice the help Bay (17-7) was giving in the paint when McKay came in and was an essential reason why he dished off the most important possession of the Purgolder’s season to Harris.
“That was definitely a high IQ play by McKay,” Riley said. “As a staff we noticed what was happening when he would drive. He is an unselfish player and he trusted Harris there.”
Bay was ahead for 31 minutes of the game in large part of the hot shooting of Joe Sherburne, who scored nine of his 14 points in the opening quarter to jumpstart Bay.
“We came out hitting shots,” Lazovik said. “That, however, led them to increasing their pressure and really contesting our shots and making it difficult to get it going again.”
Senior Kelin Johnson added 12 points for Bay in what was his last game as a Blue Duke.
“Kelin was an instrumental part of our (2011) state title run,” Lazovik said. “He is going to be sorely missed.”
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