A pesky Lakewood team gave Blaine a run for it Tuesday night but succumbed in the end to a third quarter push led by Andrew Price and Todd Bird as Blaine beat the Cougars 59-52.
Price and Bird both put up 15 points, Price’s most significant contributions coming in a second half wave.
The 6'5'' post scored four straight buckets by dominating the paint like a bus parked on the front lawn ... there simply wasn’t room for anyone else near the hole.
Bird, meanwhile, was swimming around the edges of the Lakewood zone like a piranha.
The game was close for most of the evening, Blaine creeping ahead and then letting Lakewood back in by sloppy ball handling and foul shooting that, to be honest, needs work.
Blaine led at the half by one after Cougar guard Jacob VonPein threw up a prayer at the buzzer that went in for three after Blaine worked hard for the last bucket, leaving Lakewood with just three seconds to run down the court and score.
That turned out to be enough but in the third Price went to work, as solid as an oak in the high post, and Blaine, finally playing like a cohesive team, never looked back. They stopped passing to the wrong color jerseys, forced some turnovers off bad shot selection by the Cougars and by the end of the third led by eight points.
The fourth quarter was closer than it needed to be when Blaine hit a dry spell at the end of regulation, scoring just two points in the last three minutes until Todd Bird sealed the deal with a last second but nifty coast-to-coast layup that left the crowd cheering and Lakewood vanquished at Blaine’s orange-clad feet.
Other Borderite scorers included Jordan McCarty with five, Andrew Miller with six, Trey Bakogeorge with just two this time out, Trevor Chau with 11 and Dustin Dhanani with five.
Blaine’s three treys came one each from McCarty, Bird and Dhanani. Trevor Chau, leaping like a latter-day Baryshnikov with an itch, led Blaine rebounders with 10. League play begins Friday as Blaine travels to Anacortes for a 7:30 p.m. contest.