WENATCHEE – Oroville led the league in boys basketball this year, unfortunately they had to share the spotlight with Liberty Bell and Kittitas who proved to be too much for the Hornets in the post season – knocking them out of their bid for the NC2B’s sole place in the state tournament this year.
After making short work of Bridgeport in Game 2 of the district playoffs in Wenatchee last week, the Hornets had to play their biggest nemesis, the Liberty Bell Mountain Lions who had won on each of the two team’s previous meetings.
The Hornets jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but turnovers proved their undoing as Liberty Bell started capitalizing on Oroville’s mistakes and the game ended with Oroville trailing 51 to 59.
“Well, they started off with a zone and we were up 19 to eight in the first quarter,” said Coach Carl Iverson. “After the first they switched to a hard man-to-man and we just turned the ball over.”
The Mountain Lions rallied and had a 16 to two run on the Hornets in the second quarter.
“We were still only down three and we battled and came within three several times throughout the game. Liberty Bell’s free throws made the difference down the stretch. We had our chances.”
Luke Rowton led the Hornets with 21 points, followed by Zac Kinman with 18. Marcus Kinman contributed seven, Chris Wolley, three and Zeb Guenther, two.
Then it was Oroville versus the Kittitas Trojans in a game most reminiscent of their outing against the Mountain Lions.
“It was uncannily similar to the Liberty Bell game. We jumped out to a 16 to 8 lead in the first quarter and they then outscored us 16 to two in the second,” said Coach Iverson.
The Trojans, who the Hornets had beaten twice before, turned up their defense and played “hard man-to-man” and Oroville started turning the ball over again.
“They thumped us in the second half and we ended up getting beat 53 to 40,” said Iverson.
Z. Kinman led Oroville with 19, followed by Guenther with 10 and M. Kinman with six. Rowton scored four and Wolley and Isaac Iverson two each.
“We were only eleven for 25 from the line against Kittitas… two for seven in the second quarter,” said Iverson.
The coach said the team had great fan support for the tournament with a rooter’s bus accompanying them.
“We had great followers, great fan support… it was great all season really,” said the coach. “I am happy. We had a good run and 17 and six is a great record and we got a share of the league title.”