It was a hard-fought battle back to the top, but Foster Pepper recaptured the hardware it last held a decade ago, taking the 29th Seattle Lawyers Basketball League championship on June 4 in a vindictive victory over the defending-champion Johnson & Associates squad. Then and current team captain, Jack Zahner, is the only player left from FP's 2003 championship squad.
Franklin High School hosted the title tilt in which Foster Pepper, 9-3 on the year and the No. 1 tourney seed, avenged two regular-season losses to the J&A cagers, which had entered the season-ending tourney as the No. 3 seed and finished with an 8-5 record.
Although Hizzoner, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, inaugurated the scoring in the game, tossing in FP's first bucket, J&A built up an early 24-13 lead. However, J&A's momentum and stamina vanished, and the squad could only manage two more points in the final 6:40 of the first half, during which Foster fought back to within five tallies at 26-21.
The halftime break did little to refresh the legs of the J&A squad. FP's Ryan Rourke and George Jordan sizzled as J&A fizzled. Foster Pepper closed with a 40-16 run in the second half, including an 18-7 burst over the last six minutes.
Rourke was lethal from the outside and inside, leading all scorers with 28 points, while Jordan tallied 20. J&A was led by Andre Lang's 17 points and Jack Slavik's 12, but it was not nearly enough as Foster Pepper prevailed in a rout, 61-42.
Foster Pepper team members and their respective law schools are Bryce Blum (George Washington '13), Jeremy M. Eckert (Seattle U. '09), Bryan Helfer (Michigan '06), Alexander J. Higgins (UW '91), Scott I. Jamieson (Pepperdine '08), George M. Jordan III (Seattle U '10), Hon. Michael P. McGinn (UW '92), Tyler O. Rogers (Seattle U. '09), Ryan Rourke (Seattle U. '15), Matt Teagarden (Seattle U. '14), David Weaver (Santa Clara '05) and Jack Zahner (UW '94). Blum, Eckert, Helfer and Zahner work at Foster Pepper and the balance of the team is awffiliated through basketball.
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