Union puts on 3-point display in fourth quarter, but Storm score final 10 points for the win
VANCOUVER — Do you believe now?
The Skyview Storm are still undefeated, still winning in the clutch, and still playing some of the best teams in the state, too.
The Storm scored the final 10 points after an incredible shooting display by the Union Titans in the fourth quarter Friday night, rallying for a 59-55 victory.
Skyview is 14-0 overall, with the last three wins coming against teams in the top 14 in the WIAA’s RPI rankings for Class 4A boys squads.
More importantly for the Storm, it’s 2-0 in the 4A Greater St. Helens League.
Alex Schumacher willed the Storm to victory Friday, scoring 11 of his 23 points in the final three minutes. Jovon Sewell, Mr. Defense for the Storm, got a steal that led to a lay-up by Schumacher with five seconds left to seal the win.
Skyview needed every bit of that effort, too, after Union made six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
What was Schumacher thinking when Union took a 55-49 lead with 2:11 remaining?
“Honestly? Can they start missing?”
Or just stop allowing the Titans to shoot.
Sewell drove to the basket to make it 55-51, then Schumacher stole the inbound pass and buried a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game.
The home crowd went crazy.
“It just kind of hyped me up. I wanted to go more and more and more,” Schumacher said. “They were feeding us energy.”
The Titans would miss on the other end, leading to another Schumacher 3-pointer and a two-point Skyview lead with a minute to play.
Both teams defended the next possessions, with Union getting a final shot to tie. Actually, it was a final chance to tie. The shot never happened, as Sewell got the steal, tipped the ball to Schumacher who made a lay-up and was fouled with five seconds to play.
“Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time moments,” Sewell said. “I just knew I had to make a play defensively to give my team the win.”
Union trailed by as many as 14 points late in the second quarter. The Titans held Skyview to five points in the third quarter. Dustin Nettles ended the period by banking in a shot from well beyond half court to make it a one-point game.
The Titans scored all of their fourth-quarter points via the 3-pointer. Tyler Combs made three in a row. He then assisted on the next two, one to Zach Reznick and the other to Jason Franklin Jr.
Reznick’s next 3-pointer, at the 2:11 mark, made it 55-49 for Union. But it was all Skyview the rest of the way.
“That’s one of the better shooting teams you’ll ever see,” Skyview coach Matt Gruhler said of the Titans.
The Titans found their shots, but did not bury Skvyiew’s drive.
“Our guys, we’ve been there enough times,” Gruhler said, noting that the Storm have been in one-possession games in the final minute of half of their games this season. “Our guys believe, even though they had a run, that we’d be there in the end.”
The Storm do believe they are doing something special this season.
“We’re setting a standard,” Sewell said. “We want to be a basketball school, too.”
They also know there are six league games remaining, including rematches with Camas and Union.
“We’ve got to face these guys again. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Schumacher said. “We will have to buckle down and prepare for them again.”
Notes: Combs scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half. He finished with four 3-pointers. Franklin added 15 points. He made three 3-pointers. … Cole Grossman was 5 for 8 from the floor and scored 11 points for Skyview. Samaad Hector added 10. Schumacher made five 3-pointers in his game-high 23 points. … Skyview came into Friday’s game No. 2 in the RPI rankings. Union (now 9-5 and 0-1 in league) came in at No. 6.