UNPUBLISHED CORRECTION: The name of football player Jeremey Williams is misspelled in this story. The correct spelling was confirmed by his mother.
When 6-foot-4, 240-pound Ferris High football lineman Jeremy Williams recovered a fumble and was buried by Bellarmine Prep, he kept his cool.
That, as much as anything, led to the Saxons’ 60-55 win over the Lions Thursday morning in a loser-out game at the boys State 4A basketball tournament in the Kingdome.
“If I would have gone off, I would have played right into their hands,” Williams said. “You can’t let the game get out of control, let down your teammates because you can’t keep control. You’ve got to keep your head and stay mentally strong.”
When Williams hit the deck 3 minutes into the second half of the physical game, the Saxons were up 37-36 in a game that featured seven lead changes. The Lions had just been frustrated by failing to convert three shots under the basket and they were roaring.
Shane Maul dived on Williams, was called for a foul and a technical followed his response.
“Their defense is a physical defense. (The referees) didn’t make up any of those calls,” Ferris coach Wayne Gilman said. “The guy literally dived on top of Jeremy.”
Chris Watts missed the two technical foul shots, but Brad Hodl followed with a 3-pointer from the left wing on the ensuing possession. After a Bellarmine turnover, Tommy Servine hit a 3-pointer about 5 feet further than Hodl’s.
The Lions then missed a shot and Williams was fouled on the rebound - making the foul calls 8-1 in Ferris’ favor, which added to Bellarmine’s frustration. Williams’ two free throws made it 45-36 with 1:25 to play in the third quarter.
“Whenever someone my size is out there, there’s going to be contact,” Williams said. “You’ve got to keep your head and be aggressive.”
Another 3-pointer by Hodl gave the Saxons a 50-38 lead entering the fourth quarter. The Saxons were up by 14 when Williams picked up his fourth foul. Brendon Merritt knocked down a 3 - he had four - from the right wing and Williams jumped into him, turning it into a four-point play.
The Lions crawled back within four points with less than a minute to go, but couldn’t get enough shots to fall.
“It’s surprising here, they let you play,” Servine said. “They’re fair, at least. If I can foul them when they foul me, you can’t get mad.”
The Saxons (21-6) face Mt. Tahoma (20-8) today at 9 a.m.
Ferris 60, Bellarmine Prep 55
Ferris 14 18 18 10 - 60
Bellarmine Prep 14 16 8 17 - 55
FERRIS - Servine 5 5-8 17, Atkins 4 3-4 13, Sleet 1 2-2 4, Watts 3 1-3 7, Hodl 3 0-0 8, Mietus 1 2-4 4, Williams 1 5-6 7. Totals 18 18-27 60.
BELLARMINE PREP - Black 2 0-0 6, Maul 1 0-0 2, Williams 3 1-3 7, Merritt 4 2-5 14, Swille 5 1-2 11, Jerkovich 0 0-0 0, White 1 0-0 2, Keely 4 1-2 9, Simmons 0 0-0 0, Brown 1 2-2 4. Totals 21 7-14 55. 3-point goals - Servine 2, Atkins 2, Hodl 2, Black 2, Merritt 4. Total fouls - Ferris 15, BP 21. Fouled out - Williams. Technical foul - Maul.
, DataTimesILLUSTRATION: 2 color photos
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