KENNEWICK — Bryce Leavitt was honored for his recent nomination to the McDonald's All-American High School basketball team a few minutes before Saturday's CBBN 3A contest at the Lions Den in Kennewick.
Then the 6-foot-4 Kennewick senior showed the capacity crowd the reason why he's the best guard in the area.
Leavitt scored 17 points and had nine assists, displaying the kind of playmaking ability the Lions needed to knock off second-ranked Kamiakin 63-51.
"All week in practice, we talked about bringing better energy," said Leavitt, remembering the Braves' decisive 63-49 home win over the Lions earlier this month. "We needed better defense and rebounding, and we had a lot of shots that didn't go."
When Leavitt wasn't sticking NBA-range 3-pointers, he was driving inside and creating havoc for the Braves defense. This time, however, he had a lot more help on offense. Reggie Clinton and Luiz Santiago each chipped in 12 points, and Domach Domach led all scorers with 18.
"Everybody did a good job contributing. A huge amount of credit goes to Domach. He was going up against two of the best posts in the league (Justin Pedley and Zach En'Wezoh), and he was right there with them," Leavitt said.
It was a welcome reversal of fortune for Domach, who missed several tough layins in his last meeting with Kamiakin and had just six points. But he was steady Saturday, hitting 9 of 14 shots and grabbing three offensive rebounds.
"This gives us a lot of confidence. I was really focused on defense tonight," Domach said. "The guys were making some good passes inside."
Kennewick (14-3, 9-2 CBBN 3A) got out of the gate quickly as Clinton made three steals and drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to fuel a 16-4 run to start the game. The Lions gave themselves a little more of a cushion at halftime, taking a 33-20 lead into the half.
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