The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Pirates on pace to reach GCGL Tourney

 

January 23, 2019

Jaryd Cline

Cesareo Arriaga comes down with a rebound in an early season game while Dakota Riggs looks on. Arriaga, one of the few seniors on the Pirates, has been one of the top players in the league this season with strong scoring, rebounding, ballhandling, and defensive skills.

The Bickleton Pirates scored just seven points in the opening eight minutes during last Friday's road lass at Trout Lake, but hung with the No. 5 ranked Mustangs throughout the final three quarters but just couldn't make up the first quarter deficit in the 69-52 Greater Columbia Gorge League loss.

Dropping to 1-4 in GCGL contests with three league games remaining, the Pirates currently sit in fourth place in the five team conference and are holding on to the fourth and final bid to the GCGL District Tournament, which runs Feb. 5-8 at Goldendale High School.

Against the Mustangs though, Pirate senior Cesareo Arriaga scored all seven of the team's points in the first quarter, while the Mustangs, with points from six different players, scored 23 points and hit three 3-pointers in the opening frame to take a big early lead.

The Pirates found more of an offensive rhythm after the initial eight minutes, staying even with the high-powered Mustangs over the second, third, and fourth quarters, but the 16 point advantage Trout Lake opened with was too much to come back from. Trout Lake outscored the Pirates by just one (46-45) over the final three to secure its third league win in a row, including a 67-65 win over Yakama Tribal on Jan. 12 in Trout Lake.

John Cardenas got on the board in the second to help the Pirates, scoring six of his 10 while Arriaga added nine of his team-best 22 over the second, but Trout Lake's Micah Colburn was tough to slow down and kept the Mustangs out in front with his sharpshooting. Colburn canned three triples in the second and two in the first and led all scorers with 28 points, including 17 in the first half and six 3-pointers over the game. Christian Arriaga, after going scoreless in the first half, scored 12 points, with a pair of 3-pointers, in the second half.

Pirates 7 17 15 13 - 52

Mustangs 23 18 14 14 - 69

Bickleton scoring: Cesareo Arriaga 22, Christian Arriaga 12, John Cardenas 10, Michael Gannon 6, Scott McBride 2.

Trout Lake scoring: Micah Colburn 28, Carson Lane 15, Cole McKinney 8, Riley Allaway 6, Reece Painter 5, Davis Koesler 5, Josh Keller 2.

Sunnyside Ch.

One day after matching up with the No. 5 ranked (according to the WIAA RPI Rankings) Mustangs, the Pirates were at home for a game against another high-ranked team, the historically tough Sunnyside Christian Knights, who held off the Pirates 59-29.

The Knights held the Pirates to single digit scoring in each of the first three quarters, led 39-13 at halftime, and cruised to the league win.

With the win, the Knights improved to 14-1 and bounced back after suffering their first loss of the season the night before against Yakama Tribal, 54-51.

The Arriagas were held in check against the Knights defense, scoring just two points each, while McBride and Dakota Riggs stepped up to lead the Pirates in scoring. McBride led the team with eight points while Riggs hit a 3-pointer and chipped in seven. The 59 points Sunnyside Christian scored, however, was its third lowest total of the season.

Pirates 7 6 6 10 - 29

Knights 21 18 14 6 - 59

Bickleton scoring: McBride 8, Riggs 7, Cardenas 4, Gannon 4, Hayden Andrews 2, Cesareo Arriaga 2, Christian Arriaga 2.

Sunnyside Ch. scoring: Ross Faber 16, Kyler Marsh 13, Lucas Dykstra 12, Brennan Rip 10, Tyler Groeneweg 4, Anthony Mendoza 2, Matt Beltman 2.

Tough GCGL

The Greater Columbia Gorge League, always a top-heavy conference with Sunnyside Christian consistently among one of the best Class 1B teams in the state each year, is a little tougher this year than it has been in recent years.

With three teams ranked in the top 10 in the state by the WIAA RPI Rankings (seen at https://bit.ly/2SLS1X1), the GCGL may be the top Class 1B conference in the state.

Sunnyside Christian (No. 1), Trout Lake (No. 5), and Yakama Tribal (No. 7) all come in as ranked among the best in the state, in what should make a crazy finish to the season to decide which two teams will advance to regionals.

The top four teams in the league advance to the end of the season conference tournament, which begins Feb. 5 in Goldendale, while the top two finishing teams at the double-elimination tourney advance on to regionals.

The last couple of weeks though, the league has been sort of a carousel, with no undefeated teams anymore after the Knights suffered their first defeat since last season.

Previously unbeaten, the Knights fell for the first time this season (and the first time in over a year) last Friday to Yakama Tribal, a team that's come close to beating them the last couple of years but finally snuck by them for a three-point (54-51) win.

A week before that, Trout Lake came out with a narrow (67-65) win over the Yakama Tribal Eagles, and Tribal's win over the Knights created a logjam for first place in the league. The Mustangs, Knights, and Eagles all have just one league loss with only a handful of games left in the regular season.

While those three teams are battling it out for the conference's top spot, the Pirates, along with the Klickwood Vandals/Eagles, will be playing to see who finishes fourth and reaches the postseason conference tournament.

Bickleton sits in fourth place in the conference with a 1-4 league record and Klickwood is right behind at 0-4. Bickleton came out on top in the team's first meeting back on Dec. 14 and the teams play again on Feb. 2, the last day of the regular season.

Jaryd Cline

Michael Gannon, also one of the team's seniors along with Cesareo Arriaga, takes a jumper during the game against Prescott. One of the quickest players on the team, Gannon has emerged with a bigger role on the team in his last year of high school basketball.

Until then, the Pirates will take the court against Yakama Tribal in their only game this weekend before finishing up the regular season next weekend against Trout Lake and Klickwood.

Bickleton fell 81-49 in its first game this season against the Eagles on Jan. 11 and also dropped its first matchup with the Mustangs last weekend.

Klickwood closes the season with Trout Lake and Sunnyside Christian this Friday and Saturday, respectively, before finishing with Yakama Tribal (Jan. 29), Liberty Christian (Jan. 31), and Bickleton.

 

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