WENATCHEE — Friday’s first-round state 2B boys basketball game between Lake Roosevelt and Northwest Christian featured teams with similar styles.
Both squads prefer to take advantage of their height and pound the ball inside to their skilled post players, and kick the ball out to their shooters for open looks as a fallback option.
Not surprisingly, the two evenly-matched teams played a close game at Wenatchee High School, but the Crusaders’ large first-half lead was too much for the Raiders to overcome as Northwest Christian pulled out a 62-55 win.
The Crusaders clinched a spot in next week’s state quarterfinals with the victory. The Raiders can do the same today with a win over St. George’s.
“We can’t let the same team that beat us tonight beat us (today),” said Lake Roosevelt coach Brad Wilson. “We didn’t take advantage tonight, so we have to take advantage (today). Obviously (Northwest Christian) is one of the favorites to win the state title. It was a war out there tonight.”
Entering the game, Wilson knew that his team would have to do a good job rebounding the ball because the Crusaders possess a tall, athletic front line.
Ty Egbert, the Raiders’ 6-foot-8 post, grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with 16 points, both team highs. But Northwest Christian still out-rebounded Lake Roosevelt 47-29, led by Kwinn Hanson’s 14 boards.
“We got killed on the boards,” Wilson said. “We knew that (that rebounding) would be important, but I guess it didn’t matter enough because we still got killed.”
The Crusaders took a 33-20 halftime lead, but the Raiders got back into the game in the third quarter, outscoring Northwest Chrisitian 17-11 in the period.
“They got up and down the floor in the second half and hit some backbreaker 3-pointers, and they tightened up defensively on Hanson,” said Northwest Christian coach Ray Ricks.
Lake Roosevelt got to within four points at 54-50 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game, but a Hanson putback and two free throws from Cole Ramey gave the Crusaders an insurmountable eight-point lead with just over one minute remaining.
Waitsburg-Prescott 63, Brewster 50
A tough, physical Cardinals squad exerted its will on the banged-up Bears, forcing Brewster into an elimination game Saturday against Colfax.
“They just wore us down,” Brewster coach Dwight Pflugrath said of W-P. “We wore out.”
The Bears have been dealing with injuries an illnesses during practice this week, and Pflugrath said the ailments took their toll on his team.
“It’s part of it,” he said. “We definitely ran out of gas a little earlier than we normally do.”
Brewster trailed 29-27 at half, but steadily lost ground. The Cardinals hit threes on their first three possesions of the fourth quarter to nail down the win.