By David Heiling

The Empire Press

COULEE CITY — The Waterville/Mansfield boys basketball team couldn’t keep up with 1B Almira-Coulee-Hartline’s physicality and intensity and lost 71-38 on Dec. 29 in Coulee City.

“Their two-man game ate us up all night long,” Waterville/Mansfield coach Heath Jordan said after the game. “Ate us up on the offensive boards too. They jumped on us from the beginning and we weren’t ready for the kind of play they brought out.”

The Shockers didn’t muster their first points of the game until two minutes remaining in the first quarter and never led in the contest. Waterville/Mansfield trailed by 20 points entering halftime, due in large point to 14 first-half turnovers.

The Titans are coming off a third-place finish at the 2017 1B state tournament a season ago, and the boys are fresh off a state title on the football gridiron. Jordan said the Titans’ toughness wasn’t a good match for his Shockers.

“Defensively, they were very physical and we were turning the ball over a whole bunch,” Jordan said. “They just manhandled us.”

The Shockers responded decently in the third quarter and only lost the frame by an 18-14 margin. Jordan then elected to play some of his younger guys to get valuable game time experience which led to the lopsided final score.

Titans senior Maguire Isaac had a game-high 24 points and Jordan had high praise for Isaac and Almira-Coulee Hartline after the game.

“I would be absolutely shocked if they’re not in the championship game come March over at Spokane Arena,” he said. “The thing is, I think we actually had a good game for us. They’re just that good.”

Top scorers for Waterville/Mansfield were Johnny Mullen (14 points) and Jordan Davis (8 points).