Chaplik's buzzer-beater lifts Stanwood to league title

Chaplik's buzzer-beater lifts Stanwood to league title

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Chaplik's buzzer-beater lifts Stanwood to league title

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Karsten Chaplik gave a preview of how the night would unfold at the end of the first quarter, when he hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie Marysville-Pilchuck at 18.

The Stanwood guard would out-do that shot in overtime, though.

With no time left on the clock, Chaplik hit another three to lift Stanwood over the Tomahawks, 69-66. The win gave Stanwood its second consecutive Wesco 3A North championship.

The two buzzer beaters were far from Chaplik’s only contributions Tuesday — he had 29 points with 16 of them coming in the first half.

The final shot may have been the exclamation point on the league title, but it took a lot of outlasting the Tomahawks to get to that point. Marysville-Pilchuck turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation with three seconds left in the game to set up Chaplik’s game-winner.

Prior to that, there were nine first-half lead changes and another seven in the final six minutes of regulation.

Marysville-Pilchuck’s Michael Painter finished with 30 points and nearly had two more plus a possible game-winner. He made a lay-up with 6.9 seconds left in regulation that would’ve given Pilchuck a 63-61 lead, but he was called for a charge.

Chaplik had a good look after that foul to win it in regulation for Stanwood but it went off the back iron. When given the opportunity in overtime, he pulled through.

“He’s a player that lives for those moments,” Stanwood head coach Zach Ward said. “As much as you hear that, that is him. There’s not another kid on that team that would be as comfortable as Karsten in that spot, so that’s why we go to him.”

The Wesco 3A North title gives Stanwood the No. 1 seed in the District 1 tournament, which starts on Saturday. Marysville-Pilchuck will be the third seed and head coach Bary Gould looked at Tuesday’s loss as good practice for what’s to come.

“You want to play tough teams before heading into the playoffs and we certainly did that tonight,” he said.

Sophomore AJ Martinka has been starting all season for Stanwood.

Sophomore AJ Martinka has been starting all season for Stanwood.

Chaplik is one of just three seniors on the Stanwood roster and Ward keeps several sophomores in the rotation (AJ Martinka and Quinton Borseth are both starters). He was pleased with their composure in what was the biggest game of the season thus far.

“Now they’re juniors,” he said. “[When] you’ve played 20 games, it doesn’t really matter now what that little number is next to your name. It’s about experience.”

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