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By Jaryd Cline
Sports Editor 

Brown sinks another clutch shot as Pirates hold off Vandals

 

Jaryd Cline

CONTESTED: Bickleton senior Riley Brown takes a tough shot over Klickitat-Glenwood sophomore Jeremiah Larson on Friday.

Prior to Bickleton's Friday, senior night matchup with Klickitat-Glenwood, Pirates senior big man Riley Brown said his favorite high school hoops memory was his game-tying lay-in against Lyle-Wishram on Jan. 23 that sent the game to overtime, with the Pirates coming out on top.

Well, it's safe to say Brown now has a new favorite high school memory after his go-ahead lay-in with nine seconds left lifted the Pirates to a 51-50 win over the Vandals in the last game he, and three other seniors played in Bickleton's state-of-the-art gym.

In the Greater Columbia Gorge League game the Pirates led for the first 27 minutes, 45 seconds, the Vandals took their only lead of the game with 15 seconds left after senior guard Rylee Holycross grabbed an offensive board and scored to put the road team up 50-49, but the lead was short lived.

After the Pirates called time and broke the Vandals' press, senior Joseph Cummings hit Brown on the right block with a pin-point pass, who flipped it up and in despite being smothered by the defense.

"Joseph put it right on the money and we were able to put it in the hole," Bickleton first-year coach Bill Daley said.

"Of course, they had some opportunities too right down the stretch," he added.

The Vandals clawed back after trailing by as many as 12 late in the first half, and, what head coach Philip Watlamet said earlier in the season about his back court rung true on Friday night.

"We go as they go," he said of his group of guards.

After forcing some turnovers and with a few timely 3-pointers from sophomore Hunter Dawson and Holycross, the Vandals looked on their way to avenging an earlier season double-digit loss to the Pirates on Jan. 13 in Klickitat.

Holycross scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth, including a triple with one minute left and his go-ahead putback with 15 seconds. But it was the 6-foot-5 Brown's and-one lay-in in the final 10 seconds that was the deciding factor in the game.

After Brown misfired on the and-one free-throw attempt, there was a scramble for the ball but the Vandals picked it up with five seconds left and called time. Holycross was able to get a shot off from deep beyond the 3-point line, but couldn't continue his late game heroics.

For the Pirates, Brown was nearly automatic in the post, scoring a game-best 28 points while connecting on 13 field goals. He was able to pick up some of the slack while the Pirates struggled and turned the ball over more than they would've liked, although didn't sulk and were able to bounce back from the mistakes.

"That's the mental set we want," Daley said. "We call it 'wipe away.' No matter what happens on the floor, you're always out there, always making a difference, whatever happens. Just learn from it."

The Vandals also had their fair share of turnovers throughout the game and trailed 25-15 at halftime, but were able to claw back with some superb guard play in the second half.

Junior Easton Atchley, equally dangerous as a shooter or penetrator, caught fire in the third and almost single handily brought the team back. He canned three shots from beyond the arc and scored 16 of the teams 20 points in the third as the Pirates clung to a 37-35 lead entering the final quarter.

However, Brown and sophomore CJ Strader, who finished with 11 points, were able to give the Pirates just enough scoring in the fourth to hold off their rivals and give Brown, Cummings, and guards Kyle Underwood and Rhys Chapman a successful sendoff in their last home game in Bickleton.

For the Vandals, the combination of Holycross and Atchley was a tough tandem for the Pirates. They combined to score 37 of the team's 50 points, with the majority of the damage coming after the break.

Pirates 11 14 12 14 - 51

Vandals 5 10 20 15 - 50

Pirates: Brown 28, Strader 11, Allenton 6, Cummings 2, Arriaga 2, Underwood 2.

Vandals: Atchley 20, Holycross 17, Larson 6, Wenz 4, Dawson 3.

Cougs rally past Pirates

In the teams' first matchup on Jan. 23 in Bickleton, it was Brown's lay-in that forced overtime where Bickleton held off Lyle-Wishram 58-57. But on Saturday, it was the Cougars who were able to rally for a 56-52 nonleague win over the Pirates, who played the majority of the game without Brown.

Brown suffered an ankle injury in the opening minutes of the first quarter and didn't return, although he is expected to recover in time for Friday's game against Sunnyside Christian and the district playoffs, which runs various days from Feb. 10-18.

Trailing 42-38 entering the fourth quarter, Lyle-Wishram sophomore Riley Mills struck for 10 points, including two 3-pointers over the final eight minutes as the Cougars edged the Pirates and evened the season series at a game apiece.

Mills finished with a team-best 16 points, and the Cougars also received double-figure scoring from sophomore guard DaSean Leslie, who finished with 11 points. Junior forward Rudy Flock scored nine, all in the first half, and senior forward Elijah McCullough added nine points for the Cougars, who played Trout Lake Tuesday (results unavailable).

Jaryd Cline

Bickleton senior Kyle Underwood takes a shot over Klickitat-Glenwood sophomore Hunter Dawson on Friday in Bickleton.

Strader had the hot hand early for the Pirates, scoring 12 points in the first half and finishing with 17. Underwood also helped from long range, connecting on four 3-pointers and finishing with 15 points.

Lyle-Wishram finishes regular season play on Friday against the Vandals in Klickitat while the Pirates were on the road against Touchet on Tuesday (results unavailable) and conclude regular-season play on Friday at Sunnyside Christian.

Cougars 8 10 10 18 - 56

Pirates 10 16 16 10 - 52

Cougars: Mills 16, Leslie 11, Flock 9, McCullough 7, Hubbard 6, Billette 5, Dorr 2.

Pirates: Strader 17, Underwood 15, Arriaga 11, Allenton 7, Cummings 2.

 

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