By Grant Lucas

The Bulletin

For Brian Warinner, securing a defensive rebound late in a game while clinging to a one-point lead is what is expected of Bend High.

The Lava Bears, though, had been allowing Summit to crash the offensive glass throughout the second half, leading to second- and third-chance points that kept the Storm alive Friday night at Summit High.

With 15.4 seconds left, Bend needed just one stop and one defensive rebound to remain unbeaten in Intermountain Conference boys basketball play.

Trailing by one point, Summit had two solid chances to regain the lead. But Karson Klecker’s short shot was off the mark, and Evan Scalley, after corralling the offensive rebound, came up short on a contested follow-up shot. Warinner snared the defensive board, clutched the ball tightly, and was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining.

Warinner then made both free throws to push the Lava Bears’ lead to three points, and Summit did not get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer as Class 5A No. 3-ranked Bend held on for a 60-57 win.

“We knew it was going to be a battle from the beginning to the end. And it was,” said Bend coach Scott Baker. “A great, great IMC game.”

Warinner had not shot well from the free-throw line earlier in the game before stepping confidently to the stripe for the two game-sealing points.

“I was just telling myself they were layups,” Warinner said. “Even though I was struggling early on, that shouldn’t matter. At that moment, those earlier shots don’t matter one bit. And I just have to knock those down to secure the win.”

Summit (2-1 IMC, 6-4 overall) led 56-53 with just over three minutes remaining but did not make a shot the rest of the way, and a made free throw by Joe Hicks was the only point the Storm scored down the stretch as the hosts fired from the perimeter rather than penetrating to the basket.

“That’s something that had been so successful for us in the second half was getting to the rim,” said Summit coach Jon Frazier, whose team saw its five-game winning streak snapped. “Those last couple minutes, we settled for too many jump shots instead of attacking like we had been.”

“We’ve been preaching defense, buying in to defense, being scrappy,” Baker said. “I thought the boys did a good job with that. All the defensive philosophies that we’ve been working on for the week, we were able to implement.”

In front of a raucous crowd, and in a game of runs, the Lava Bears (2-0, 10-3) scored the first six points of the game to build early momentum. Soon after, however, Summit put together a 12-0 string, capped by a Klecker layup that gave the Storm a 19-12 advantage. Bend answered with eight straight points, including consecutive baskets by Bryan Brown, to go back up 20-19, and the Bears led 25-24 at the half.

The back-and-forth swings continued in the third quarter, as Summit jumped ahead 38-35 before Bend stormed back with a 12-4 run to take a 47-42 lead into the fourth quarter. Early in the final period, Brown grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a close shot to extend the Lava Bears’ lead to 52-43. Once again, though, the Storm responded.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Summit cut its deficit to 52-49 with 5:44 to play. Jacob Tompkins buried another 3-pointer from the left quarter to stake the Storm to a 54-53 lead two minutes later. With less than three minutes to go, however, Bend took control.

“We’ve really tried not to let runs get in our head,” Warinner said. “Just take every possession one possession at a time, get a stop, get a bucket, and get it going from there.”

Warinner hit a layup while being fouled and made the ensuing free throw to put the Bears in front 58-56. Hicks made a foul shot soon after to bring the Storm to within one point, but that was all the offensive production they would muster, as Bend’s defense clamped down to send the Lava Bears to their fifth win in six games.

“They’re a scrappy team,” Baker said of Summit. “They had their hands on lots of balls, but we were able to get away with a couple rebounds and hit some free throws down the stretch.”

Klecker paced Summit with 20 points and eight rebounds. Hicks added 13 points and nine boards, and Beau Blea finished with 13 points and five assists.

“It was good to see some younger guys, especially in the third quarter and early in the fourth, like (sophomores) Evan Scalley and Jacob Tompkins, be able to make some really big plays,” Frazier said. “That’s a big confidence boost, and hopefully it will be something they can draw on as we move on down the season.”

Jimmy Robertson led five Bend players who scored in double figures with 13 points, and he also dished out five assists. Warinner had 12 points and 10 boards, while Justin Kerr, Brock Mesarich and Brown each scored 10 points.

“It’s pretty big,” Warinner said of the win, setting up a Tuesday battle of IMC unbeatens as Bend hosts Mountain View. “But we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got a tough one Tuesday, so let’s go and get that.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0307, .