YAKIMA — Both Pateros basketball teams found themselves in dogfights during the first day of the Class 1B state basketball tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Only one made it out unscathed.
Despite a rough shooting night, the Pateros Nannies’ full-court press created enough turnovers late for them to escape with a 32-22 win over Cusick in the girls’ first round on Wednesday. The Billygoats weren’t so lucky, as they committed three straight turnovers in the fourth quarter and suffered a 46-37 loss to Sunnyside Christian.
The girls advanced to a quarterfinal matchup against North Sound Christian at 9 p.m. tonight, while the boys will be in a loser-out game against Neah Bay at 2 p.m. today.
Sunnyside Christian boys 46, Pateros boys 37
Though the Billygoats trailed 36-28 with 5:56 remaining, they rallied to take a narrow 37-36 lead — and then disaster struck.
Pateros handed the ball over to Sunnyside Christian on three straight possessions, and the Knights turned each one into a layup to jump back on top.
“It was uncharacteristic. We just coughed it up,” Pateros coach Mike Hull said. “They were the three easiest shots they had all night.”
Sunnyside Christian finished the game on a 10-0 run, with eight of those points coming from Steven Bosma.
Pateros trailed 13-5 after the first quarter, but it crawled back into the game with its defense.
“We pressured their guards really tight up front and tried to make those entry passes as tough as we could,” Hull said. “We extended our ‘D’ and made their guards work their tails off.”
The smaller Billygoats had trouble containing Sunnyside Christian post Steven Broersma, however. The 6-foot-6 junior scored a game-high 24 on 11-for-15 shooting.
“(Broersma) was their go-to guy,” Hull said. “When he slides to the post and catches you out of position, you’re done.”
Pateros struggled shooting over the taller Knights, making just 32 percent of its shots.
“I don’t think we’ve had to shoot over that kind of height all year, and that alters your shots,” Hull said.
The Billygoats also had trouble getting to the line. They were just 3-for-4 from the charity stripe, while Sunnyside Christian was 11-for-20.
“They were able to get to the free-throw line, and we weren’t,” Hull said. “We need to get a certain amount of points from the free-throw line to win, and we just didn’t get there.”
Abe Wilson had 12 points and five rebounds to lead Pateros, while Rylan Easter added eight points, four steals and two assists.
Hull said his team is in for a fight against Neah Bay today.
“They pose some problems. They’re fast, and they play a lot of freelance,” he said. “They’re creative and they’re allowed to run and gun. It’s going to come down to our field goal shooting.”
Pateros girls 32, Cusick girls 22
Junior post Lorrie Mattson almost outscored Cusick by herself, netting 21 points on 10-for-20 shooting to lead the Nannies to the first-round victory.
“Lorrie Mattson was huge inside,” Pateros coach John Ellis said. “She had some good moves, and had a really good offensive night.”
Pateros’ other shooters weren’t so successful — the rest of the Nannies were just 3-for-25 from the floor, including 0-for-11 from 3-point range.
“We could not buy a basket from the outside,” Ellis said.
The Nannies led 16-4 at halftime, but Cusick made it a one-point game before Pateros pulled away late.
“We just hung on. Our press kept making turnovers,” said Ellis. “The defense was tremendous.”
Mattson hauled down eight rebounds, and Jamie Bruno had seven points and three steals for Pateros.
Ellis said the Nannies will need to improve their shooting if they hope to get past North Sound Christian.
“We just need to hit some shots. We had some really good looks and we just didn’t hit them,” he said.
He expects North Sound Christian to play a similar style to his team.
“They will try to press us the entire game, and we’re going to press them back,” Ellis said. “It’s going to be a war.”
Brent Stecker: 661-5222