SPOKANE — The numbers read like the script to a basketball horror film.
Three-for-18 shooting, 11 turnovers, one offensive rebound and seven points.
That was the first half that the Lake Roosevelt boys basketball team put forth in its Class 2B state quarterfinal game on Thursday in the Spokane Arena, a performance that Raiders coach Brad Wilson attributed to nerves and a flat-footed approach to defense.
Lake Roosevelt snapped out of its funk in the second half to outscore Napavine in the third and fourth quarters, but never worried the Tigers in a 59-42 defeat.
Lake Roosevelt will play Waitsburg-Prescott in an elimination game on Saturday morning, and will have to put together a more consistent effort to avoid going back to Coulee Dam empty-handed.
“We just weren’t ready to go, and that’s my fault,” Wilson said. “We thought we had a good scouting report and we knew where the ball was going to go, but we were just flat-footed and reacting instead of putting pressure on them. Maybe I underestimated our youth a little bit, but when I saw us dropping the ball right out of bounds, it gave me a clue to the state we were in.”
This was the fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament for Lake Roosevelt, who played in Class 1A until this season.
But only Ty Egbert and Kramer Carlson played meaningful minutes at state last year, and the tightness showed early on against Napavine, which placed fourth the past two seasons.
“We just didn’t handle it very well,” Wilson said.
A bucket by Egbert gave Lake Roosevelt a 10-7 lead, but the Tigers reeled off 24 unanswered points from all over the floor, and went into the locker room with a 34-7 lead.
“We didn’t anticipate it being like it was, but we knew coming in that we would have to rebound to limit their transition,” Napavine coach Rex Stanley said. “We didn’t want to live and die with the jump shot, but they can’t run off makes.”
Napavine outrebounded the Raiders 37-25, and were content to trade buckets in the second half, as Lake Roosevelt pressed full court to try and string baskets together.
Egbert led the way for the Raiders with 16 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, but fought double and triple-teams all game.
Wilson said that more activity on both sides of the ball contributed to the improved second half for the Raiders.
“We just moved, offensively and defensively,” he said. “We preach attack all the time, but we didn’t come out in that mode.”
Reece Stanley and Jordan Brown had 15 points apiece for the Tigers, who will face Bear Creek in Saturday’s semifinal.
Wilson was happy to see his team fight in the second half, and thinks the Raiders will respond well to having their backs against the wall on Saturday.
“They seemed all right in the locker room. No one had their heads down,” he said. “It doesn’t help to point fingers. We’re a team when we win and a team when we (stink).”