WENATCHEE – After getting off to a shaky start, the Oroville boys basketball team overcame a first round loss to secure a spot at this week’s State 2B Basketball Tournament to be held in Spokane.
After tying with Entiat for the league championships, the Hornets moved on to Districts. They played Entiat at Wenatchee High School on Thursday, Feb. 26, but lost to the Tigers 43 to 53. The winner of this game, the Tigers, earned an automatic advancement to State.
Entiat came on strong in the first quarter, out-shooting Oroville by three points to end the quarter ahead 13 to 10. The Hornets held the Tigers to just eight points in the second quarter, but only made six points themselves and the half ended with Entiat leading 21 to 16. In the second half of the game Oroville continued to have trouble with the bigger team and their zone defense. The Tigers scored 19 points in the third and the Hornets made 15 points, leaving Oroville trailing by nine 31 to 40. The Hornets nearly matched the Tigers in the last quarter, but it was not enough to overcome the nine point deficit.
“We struggled against their match-up zone and their size really hurt us. They have two players over six foot five and we didn’t shoot very well,” said
Coach Carl Iverson about the first round loss.
Hornet senior Luke Rowton was the high point maker against the Tigers with 15 and fellow senior Cody Mills had 14. Marcus Kinman, another senior, had eight, followed by junior Brandon Funston with four and senior Chirs Wolley with two.
Oroville then took on the Soap Lake in a loser out game where the winner would go on as the only other team from the NC2B league to State. The Hornets beat the Eagles 62 to 51.
“We played as a team and it was a great win for us,” said Coach Iverson. “Going to State is a great accomplishment and these players deserve it.”
Oroville edged out the Eagles by two points in each of the first two quarters to finish the half ahead 27 to 23. Coming back from half time the Eagles tried to rally and out-scored Oroville 13 to 10 to end the third just down by one point, 36 to 37. The Hornets, however, wouldn’t let the Eagles get a talon hold and came on strong in the fourth scoring 25 to Soap Lake’s 15.
Funston was on fire for this do-or-die match leading his team with 24 points. Rowton was next with 11, followed by Wolley with 10, Kinman and Mills with eight each and Preston Iverson with one.
“They focused their defense on Cody, Marcus and Luke, which left Chris and Brandon open. Those two made them pay by hitting a variety of shots. They were forced to foul us in the fourth quarter and we hit 15 foul shots to put the game away,” Coach Iverson said.
The Hornets were scheduled to play against White Swan, the second highest-ranked 2B school in the state, on Wednesday, March. 5 in Spokane (after the G-T goes to press).