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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Pirates cool off after hot start, fall to Mustangs and Cougars

 

January 10, 2018

JARYD CLINE

BASELINE BOMBER: Lyle-Wishram senior Reco Quintero makes his move to the basket during the team's loss to Soap Lake on Dec. 29.

Jaryd Cline

Sports editor

The Bickleton Pirates boys hoops team dropped its opening two Greater Columbia Gorge League contests over the weekend, falling to the hot-shooting Trout Lake Mustangs on Friday before falling on the road again on Saturday against Lyle-Wishram.

Playing in their first game since the Dec. 21-22 Helix Tournament, the Pirates started slow against Trout Lake, scoring just 11 points in the first half of the 70-39 loss.

Although they picked up their play after the break, outscoring the home team 23-10 in the third quarter in which five Pirates scored at least two points in the period, the 37-11 first half deficit was too large to overcome.

Last year's fifth place finishing team in the GCGL, the Mustangs sit at 6-2 overall and 2-1 in league play and have won four straight games dating back to a Dec. 21 win over Griswold at home.

They also have won back-to-back league games, beating the Pirates on Friday and knocking off the Klickwood Eagles 68-43 on Saturday in Glenwood.

Against the Pirates on Friday, Diego Cortez led all scorers with 21 points while connecting on three 3-pointers. As a team, the Mustangs knocked down eight shots from beyond the arc, with three also coming from Jonathan Avila and one each from Cole McKinney and Reece Painter.

A slow start doomed the Pirates, who scored just four in the first quarter with baskets from juniors Cesareo Arriaga and Cody Strader. The two juniors also added one field goal each in the second quarter, and junior Michael Gannon also hit a 3-pointer for Bickleton's only points in the second quarter.

Bickleton made up some ground in the third with a 23-10 run over the eight minutes, with six points in the quarter from sophomore Dakota Riggs and seven from Arriaga. Gannon also hit a triple in each the third and fourth quarter, but the Pirates scored just five in the fourth after trailing 47-37 entering the fourth.

Things didn't get much better for the Pirates in their second game of the weekend, a 60-31 loss to the Class 2B Lyle-Wishram Cougars.

Because of Lyle-Wishram's proximity to all the teams in the GCGL, they play in the league, but match up with 2B teams from other leagues when postseason play starts.

It was another slow start for the Pirates, one in which they scored just three points in the opening quarter, and 10 at the halftime break.

The Cougars also struggled putting up points early. Usually a high scoring uptempo offense, the Cougs led just 18-10 to start the third. However, they were able to pull away in the third behind a 25 point quarter, and took a 43-17 lead with just the fourth left to play.

It was too little too late for the Pirates though in the fourth, who picked up their scoring but was already down too much to make a comeback bid.

Arriaga scored 12 points in the fourth while connecting on two triples, and freshman Nathan Hanson also connected from long range but the Cougar offense also kept pace.

Junior Kurtis Billette was the game's high point man, scoring 17 points while junior Riley Mills added 14 with two 3-pointers. It was another balanced scoring game though for the Cougs, with nine players scoring.

Arriaga led the Pirates with 15 points and also helped control the boards with 15 rebounds. He also added three steals while Christian Arriaga finished with five points and handed out three assists.

Strader finished with just one basket offensively, but had a huge game rejecting shots on the defensive end. He finished with nine blocks and made sure none of Lyle-Wishram's inside baskets came easy.

The Pirates returned to action on Tuesday night at home against Prescott, but results weren't available at press time.

They host Klickwood on Friday at 5 p.m. and head down to Toppenish for a tough matchup with Yakama Tribal starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

One day before the Cougs' meeting with the Pirates, they were on the road in Sunnyside where they dropped a tough 82-38 game to the Knights.

Sunnyside Christian, at 9-1 overall, is the No. 2 ranked team among Class 1B schools according to the WIAA RPI rankings. The only loss for them came to the No. 2 ranked Class 1A team, Lynden Christian on Dec. 27.

Riley Mills led the team with 11 points against Sunnyside, with six points coming from Billette and DaSean Leslie, and five each from Jarren Leslie, Brandon Montoya, and Andrew Carlock.

The Lyle-Wishram girls also had a tough time with the Knights, falling 77-17. Sunnyside Christian is a powerhouse each year for both boys and girls basketball. Last year, the boys won the 1B state title, and the girls finished fifth.

The Cougars are on the road for their next two games. They have a GCGL contest against Trout Lake on Saturday before heading to Goldendale for their second of two games with the Timberwolves.

The Cougs are in Goldendale next Tuesday with the girls starting at 6 p.m.

 

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