Rotary stays unbeaten

Rotary of Seattle continued its unbeaten streak Saturday afternoon, winning a pair of games on the second weekend of the Washington Premier spring league hosted by Highline Community College. Rotary, now 6-0 in the spring session, defeated Kitsap Peninsula based Total Package (3-2) by a score of 83-76 in an amazing overtime thriller.

In the afternoon game, a refocused Rotary squad went on to blow out an undermanned ACCESS-Black (1-4) by a score of 90-72.

In the first game of the day, Rotary came out sluggishly. Holding a double-digit advantage, Total Package overwhelmed their star-laden opponents on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Highly regarded Gig Harbor junior Mathias Ward was a force in the post, grabbing numerous rebounds for easy put backs and finding his guards for open shots on the wing against an unmotivated Rotary defense. The Rotary defense looked confused, out of position and tired for the entire first half.

North Kitsap point guard Kyle Erickson was able to penetrate the Rotary defensive schemes at will, creating easy shots for himself and the rest of the team. Every time Rotary seemed to finally get rolling, Total Package had an answer, shooting lights out for the most of the first period.

Despite cutting the deficit to eight after Roosevelt's Glen Dean found highly-touted Inglemoor guard Mark McLaughlin on a backdoor cut for an easy bucket, Total Package pulled away again, entering halftime with a 41-28 lead.

The fact that Rotary got out of the first half only down by only 13 was remarkable, since they could have easily been down by 20 or more. Total Package's inability to put Rotary away would ultimately prove costly.

Rotary chipped away at Total Package's lead for most of the second half. Peyton Siva's steal and outlet to Dean for an easy bucket cut the Total Package lead to eight and signaled a shift in the momentum. Garfield's Aaron Dotson's basket finally gave Rotary the lead with 5:03 remaining. Dean, who finished with 17 points, including five 3-pointers was the catalyst that led Rotary back into a game they had no business winning.

With under two minutes remaining, Total Package's Mathias Ward put down a two-handed jam to give them a five-point lead. Down 74-71, Rainier Beach junior Reggie Moore of Rotary missed two free throws, only to redeem himself seconds later, canning a long 3-pointer with under a minute remaining. With 15 seconds left and Rotary down by two, McLaughlin found himself isolated, and with a dribble-drive to the hoop tied the game up at 76-76.

McLaughlin scored a game high 19 points in a sterling performance and showed why he is one the biggest rising stars amongst West Coast D1 prospects. His multi-dimensional game caused fits for Total Package's defense from start to finish, as they found themselves unable to establish an effective defensive scheme to guard the explosive wing.

With six seconds remaining and the score still tied, Total Package's Kyle Erickson - who disappeared in the second half - missed an open jumper and the ball was volleyed until time expired. It was on to overtime.

In the extra period, with neither team able to muster much offense, McLaughlin found Joshua Smith inside to put Rotary up for good at 78-76 with 50 seconds remaining. The game ended with a final score of 83-76.

Peyton Siva, who finished with 14 points, left the game with less than five minutes remaining with an apparent ankle injury and he did not return. Dotson added 10 points in his first game back from an ankle sprain that kept him out of last weekend's action
In the afternoon game, Rotary took on an overmatched, undersized ACCESS-Black squad led by Federal Way wing Aaron Broussard. If the first half was any indication, Rotary was again going to have their hands full.

Siva brushed off a rolled ankle and turned in another memorable performance that left many in the stands shaking their heads and grinning from ear to ear. The speed and flare of Siva's game, complemented by his sensational skills, could not be contained. The hobbled sophomore dropped 22 points, putting on a shooting clinic that saw him drain six 3-pointers. Three of the triples came in the closing minutes of the first half.

After hitting one three at the 1:00 mark, Rotary's next trip down the court found Siva on the perimeter for another long range 3-point basket. Siva proceeded to steal ACCESS's entry pass, dribbled twice and dropped another tre to give Rotary a 37-30 lead. Rotary went into the half with tremendous momentum, up 39-33.

The second half started with Siva hitting Mark McLaughlin under the basket on consecutive positions for easy baskets. McLaughlin followed up his brilliant first game with another one, adding 21 points. McLaughlin's ability to get open and keep the defense of balance was hard to miss, as was the chemistry between Siva and McLaughlin that left the ACCESS-Black defense helpless. McLaughlin returned Siva's generosity on the next trip up the floor by feeding Peyton on a fast break. Siva finished the fast break by throwing in a left handed jam.

Though Kentwood freshman Joshua Smith added only eight points, his inside presence was the key to Rotary's ability to build on their lead. Smith was tenacious on the glass and ended up with numerous loose balls, highlighting his day with a thunderous dunk at the 12:00 mark. Aaron Dotson added another solid effort scoring 12 points including a fierce tomahawk dunk that showcased his considerable athleticism.

Broussard did his best against the Rotary onslaught, scoring 11 points and teammate Jeffery Forbes Jr. - a sophomore out Federal Way - added 13 points, but it wasn't enough. The game ended in a Rotary blowout, with a final score of 90-72. Top Stories