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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Pirates start 2-0 with wins over Riverside, Griswold


December 6, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Bickleton junior Cody Strader takes a turnaround jumper during Friday's game against Riverside Christian in Bickleton.

In last year's season opener between the Bickleton Pirates and the Riverside Christian Crusaders, the Crusaders were able to take advantage down the stretch which led to the one-point, 47-46 win over the Pirates.

However, during the Pirates opener this season on Friday in Bickleton, it was the home team that made key plays late in the game, leading to the 61-56 Pirate win. The Pirates then carried over the momentum from Friday into Saturday, where they knocked off Griswold 43-26 in Helix, Oregon, to start the young season 2-0.

"What I was telling the kids was execution," Bickleton head coach Bill Daley said after Friday's game. "I felt that we executed pretty well."

Bickleton trailed 32-31 heading into halftime on Friday, but outscored the Crusaders in each the third and fourth quarters. They also turned up the aggression on the boards in the second half with an obvious rebound advantage and were able to break Riverside's full court press multiple times with ease late in the fourth quarter while trying to close out the game.

"But as far as execution, I felt this was the best we've executed as a team in our last 18 games. That's a really nice compliment to our kids," Daley said. "It was exciting to see that."

Junior Cesareo Arriaga torched the Riverside Christian defense, scoring inside and from beyond the arc, while also cashing in at the free throw line. He finished with 34 points and hit three 3-pointers, and knocked down 11 of his 12 attempts from the line.

Junior Cody Strader also had the hot hand for the Pirates offensively. He finished with 19 points, scoring 16 in the first half and 10 in the opening quarter. Strader knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter while Arriaga added nine and the Pirates opened a 21-14 lead after the first eight minutes.

The Crusaders changed the momentum in the second though, limiting Bickleton's scoring while attacking the basket and getting to the foul line. Riverside got to the line 10 times in the quarter and made seven, taking a 32-31 lead in to the break.

They built on the lead immediately, converting a pair of free throws and hitting a three pointer for a 37-31 lead shortly into the third.

Junior Michael Gannon hit a 3-pointer for Bickleton's first points of the half and shortly after the Pirates regained the lead at 42-41 when Arriaga hit four straight free throws and finished a layin on a roll to the basket off a nice pass from senior Hunter Wentz.

The teams traded leads again before the end of the quarter, but Arriaga closed out the third on fire, scoring the last six points of the quarter, grabbing a pair of offensive rebounds for a putback which put the Pirates up 48-45 going into the fourth.

Riverside put on its full court press and got a steal and a layin on the first possession of the quarter, but the Pirate press breaker was solid the rest of the night.

A pair of Riverside free throws evened the game at 53, but the Pirates answered with a 6-1 run that would put the game out of reach.

"I just thought it was a great opening contest," Daley said. "It's something to build from and something to learn from and that's what we're always trying to do."

Bickleton 21 10 17 13 - 61

Riverside 14 18 13 11 - 56

Bickleton scoring: Cesareo Arriaga 34, Cody Strader 19, Christian Arriaga 4, Michael Gannon 3, Dakota Riggs 1.

Bickleton vs. Griswold

The Pirates turned up the defense against Griswold, winning 43-26 on Saturday while holding the Grizzlies to single digit scoring in three of four quarters.

Cesareo Arriaga once again paced the offense with 23 points while Christian Arriaga found his range with three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.

Bickleton 11 10 13 9 - 43

Griswold 3 5 7 11 - 26

Bickleton scoring: Cesareo Arriaga 23, Christian Arriaga 11, Strader 4, Riggs 3, McBride 2.

Coming up

Jaryd Cline

Freshman Christian Arriaga drives looks to score against Riverside Christian on Friday.

The Pirates knocked off the Zillah Leopards junior varsity squad 54-46 Tuesday evening with 24 points and 19 rebounds from Cesareo Arriaga.

The Pirates trailed 13-10 after the first quarter, but a strong quarter from the Arriaga brothers put the Pirates ahead for the rest of the way. Cesareo scored 11 points in the second with two 3-pointers, while Christian also knocked down a shot form long range as the two combined to score all of Bickleton's second-quarter points.

Christian finished with seven points and five rebounds, and Strader and Wentz both finished with seven points, with Strader adding nine rebounds and two blocks.

They match up with Granger's JV team on Saturday and have over a week before their next game on Dec. 19 against Touchet at home.


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