Nikita Tyukalo knocked down 24 points, Jaiden Bernstine pumped in 16, Cody Petrin added 14 and the Cougars got past a stubborn Jaguar team in a 68-62 thriller on the hardwood in Bothell Thursday, Dec. 16.
North Creek’s Drew Jensen drained the game’s first bucket to give the Jags the early lead. The home boys then went on a 12-2 run to go up top 12-4. The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and Bothell led 21-14 at the end of the first period.
The second 8-minute period saw the Cougars light up the scoreboard with a 19-9 run to take a 40-23 lead into the locker room at the half.
Up by 17 points to start the second half it looked as though Bothell was in complete control of the contest. But there was no quit in North Creek as the Jaguars reeled off 13 unanswered points to get back in it, 40-38 at the mid-point of the third period. Drew Jensen ignited the North Creek charge with 12 points. A layup by the Jags Jackson Scott gave North Creek its first lead, 43-42, since the game’s opening bucket. North Creek closed out the period up 47-45.
Bothell regained the lead, 52-49, with just over six minutes left in the game.
Jensen drained a trey 90 seconds later to tie it 56-all. The Cougars edged back out front, 61-58, with two minutes on the clock. North Creek had a chance to tie it when Raj Dhillon went to the charity stripe for three free throws, but he could not get them to drop through the net.
The Cougars then reeled off a 7-4 run to win it, 68-62.
Scott led the Jags with 20 points. Jensen added 19 and Dhillon finished with 13.
The win moves Bothell to 2-1 in the KingCo Crown standings and 3-2 overall. The loss drops North Creek to 1-3 in division play and 2-4 overall. Next up for North Creek is a non-conference matchup with Cedar Park Christian at 8:10 p.m. on Dec. 23. Bothell was scheduled to host a home game with Sammamish on Dec. 22, but the game was canceled.