ROYAL CITY — Angel Farias went up strong on the offensive glass to haul in a rebound. He turned and slung it out to Corbin Christensen as he was fouled in the play.
Christensen went ahead and put up the 3-point shot anyway from the wing as the referees sorted things out and it was nothing but net.
The Knights (3-1) could have used a shot or two like that down the stretch in their 63-52 loss to Naches Valley in overtime.
As easy as it would be to look at the all-star effort of Rangers senior Kobe Kohl, who finished with game-high 43 points, or the three or four Knights lay-ups that spun out as Royal pressed hard in the final minutes of regulation.
The fact of the matter is it was decided at the free-throw line where Naches Valley (3-5) was 18-of-22 and the Knights, who lost their first game of the season, converted just 5-of-13 from the line.
“In the overtime, there was nothing to it. We just missed shots we normally make and the front end of one-and-ones,” Royal coach Ray Valle said. “I thought we played our hearts out defensively tonight. We just missed shots we normally make.”
Royal guard Ellis Owens finished with 20 points and Corbin Christensen scored 10 of his 19 points in the third quarter. The Knights defense was sound at the end of regulation, holding the Rangers to just four fourth-quarter points.
Owens went on a nine-point tear to give the Knights a fighting chance in regulation. The Royal junior went coast-to-coast for the lay-up to cut Naches lead to 46-42 with 4:58 remaining. He drained a 3-point goal from the top to make it a one-point deficit on his next possession and capped the run with a steal, again, going coast-to-coast for the lay-up and the foul. Owen made the free throw to give Royal the lead, 48-46, with 3:42 in regulation.
Naches Valley guard Sean Coyne was called for the offensive foul as he tried to drive the lane, giving Royal possession with 38.1 and a chance to win.
Valle called timeout and drew up a set play calling for a 3-point shot. As the Rangers defense collapsed on the perimeter, Gage Christensen drove the lane for the potential game winner. His shot hung on the rim for a tantalizing couple of seconds before spinning out and the game went to overtime.
Kohl scored 10 of the Rangers 15 points and Naches Valley escaped with a win to go into the holiday break. Royal hosts Bellevue Christian on Thursday
Naches Valley 11 18 15 4 15 - 63
Royal 14 11 15 8 4 - 52
Naches Valley - Kobe Kohls 43, Sean Coyne 7, Jarrett Simmons 2, Caleb Deaton 5, Alex Sloan 2, Jacob Stohr 2, Camden Andrews 2. Totals 18 18-22 63
Royal - Gage Christensen 6, Corbin Christensen 19, Isaac Ellis 2,Owen Ellis 20, Carter Dorsing 5. Totals: 13 5-13 52