They say records go out the window for rivalry games — and on Friday evening in Kenmore, the Inglemoor High boys basketball team added fuel to that old saying.
The Vikings handed Bothell its second loss in conference play, jumping out to a big first-half lead and surviving a wild fourth-quarter rally for a 54-48 victory.
Senior Ryan Hamilton scored 16 points to lead Inglemoor (4-4 KingCo, 5-8). The Vikings led by 16 points in the first half and by as many as 13 midway through the fourth, but Bothell scored eight straight to creep within two points in the final minute.
Inglemoor hit 10 of 13 free throw attempts in the fourth period, including all four offerings for Hamilton.
“We were kind of nervous because at Skyline (on Tuesday), we kind of did the same thing,” Hamilton said. “We ended up winning by three, but I knew we were going to win this one. I just had faith.”
The game was more than a loss for Bothell coach Ron Bollinger, who struggled to come up with the words to describe exactly what he saw. The Cougars (6-2, 11-3) looked disjointed and hurried with the ball despite a size advantage in the paint.
“I didn’t recognize what we were doing on offense,” Bollinger said. “It’s not what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. It was just one of those, ‘wow.’ What do you say?”
“Inglemoor played hard, and they deserved to win the game by 20.”
Bothell, after starting out the season 9-0, has lost three of the last five games. The win over Woodinville was close, and the Eastlake game was close at halftime before Bothell pulled away.
But even then, Bollinger felt the loss — or at least how the loss played out, including the flurry of points at the end — was unexpectedly out-of-character.
“That didn’t even look like us because it was, offensively, helter-skelter,” Bollinger said. “Normally, you get a good-looking shot, but we were throwing up some crap. A couple went in and we got a couple of steals, but it was just… they wanted it more than we did, I guess, tonight.”
Senior guard Cameron Tyson led the Cougars with 15 points, including six in the fourth quarter. But even Tyson, who dunked to pull Bothell within 30-29 midway through the third and came up a critical steal-and-layup in the final seconds, didn’t have much of an excuse.
“We can have some of those [off nights], but we’ve got to play better defense,” he said.
Inglemoor, which has won three of the last four games and moved a game back of Skyline in the standings for third place, is set to take on Issaquah (6-2, 9-5) on Jan. 17 before facing the bottom half of the conference standings.
The top six teams make the conference tournament, scheduled to begin Feb. 7 at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. The top two teams get a bye in the first round and can take a loss and still qualify for regionals.
For Bothell, after games against Newport (2-6, 5-8) and Mount Si (3-4, 3-5), the schedule gets more difficult. There’s a game against Skyline on the road on Jan. 24 and a road game at Issaquah on Jan. 31.
And the regular-season finale is a rematch with Inglemoor, set for Feb. 3 at Bothell High School.
“This is KingCo Conference, and every team can play — especially when you’re in first place,” Bollinger said. “They’re going to come after you, and tonight we didn’t do a good job of responding to that.”
Josh Kollman had 11 points, including two fourth-quarter 3 pointers, for Bothell. Post Jake Medjo had nine.