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Originally published December 18, 2010 at 10:36 PM | Page modified December 19, 2010 at 12:41 PM

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Slow start can't stop O'Dea | Boys basketball

Dustin Watts scores 33 and Sekeo Wiggs adds 28 in Irish comeback

Special to The Seattle Times

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If it were up to Dustin Watts, no mountain would be too tall to climb.

Just 3:23 into the game, he and his O'Dea boys basketball teammates were down 14 points to Garfield, the state's top-ranked Class 4A team.

For most teams, that would be a standing eight-count before a TKO on enemy turf.

Not so fast.

Watts, a senior guard, scored 33 points and teamed with backcourt mate Sekeo Wiggs, who had 28 points, to lead a furious comeback for 78-76 victory over the Bulldogs in a nonleague game Saturday among two city powers.

O'Dea (4-1), ranked No. 2 among Class 3A teams, never lost faith and finally regained the lead at 66-65 for the first time since leading early 5-4 on a Watts fastbreak layin with 5:33 left.

"We just had to keep on playing together and working together," said Watts, a 6-foot-3 playmaker headed to Seattle University. "We knew it was going to be a good crowd and had to stay composed. You can't underestimate us, because we're coming ready.

"We've got a goal."

Watts hit a pair of free throws with 42.5 seconds to play to give the Irish a 77-74 advantage and teammate Devonte Williams added one of two foul shots with 26.6 seconds left.

Tony Wroten, who rolled his ankle Tuesday in a victory over Woodinville, showed no ill effects and supplied Garfield (4-1) with 30 points.

Wroten misfired on a three-pointer with two seconds to go and Keenan Durham grabbed the rebound for O'Dea and time expired.

Just before that, Watts made a big defensive play, poking the ball free from Wroten on the top right wing.

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"Those guards (Watts and Wiggs) are our leaders and we expect them to do that," said first-year O'Dea coach Al Hairston, who guided Garfield to five state titles from 1979 to 1991. "This is a neighborhood win.

"We lost a tough one to Rainier Beach, so I was interested in seeing how we'd bounce back.

"(Garfield) threw rights and lefts at us in the beginning, and we hung in there. I'm very proud of these kids."

The Irish came in off a tough 75-73 overtime defeat against Metro rival Rainier Beach on Tuesday. Rainier Beach's Marques Davis forced overtime by banking in a running three-pointer at the end of regulation and that led to the heartbreaking defeat for O'Dea.

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