Tonasket boys’ basketball wins first game over Oroville in four years

Tonasket junior Zach Neal shoots the ball over Oroville senior Brandon Funston during Tonasket’s home victory over Oroville on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Photo by Terry Mills

Tonasket junior Zach Neal shoots the ball over Oroville senior Brandon Funston during Tonasket’s home victory over Oroville on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Photo by Terry Mills

TONASKET – For the first time in four years, the Tonasket boys’ basketball team beat Oroville on Wednesday, Dec. 8 56-55.

“It’s a rivalry game,” Glenn Braman, Tonasket head coach, said. “Whether or not we’re in the same league, when you get two schools close like we are, it doesn’t matter if the teams are good or not, it’s going to be a good game.”

Tonasket led most of the game and by as many as nine early in the fourth quarter. Oroville’s players fought and got it within one point several times, but could never take the lead, according to Hornet Coach Carl Iverson.

“Tonasket hit some key three-point shots in the second half which really hurt us. They ended up hitting six threes, four in the second half, to our two and that was the difference,” Iverson said.

Leading the Tigers in scoring were junior Colton Ayers with six two-point shots, one three-pointer, seven field goals and one free throw for a total of 16 points and junior Corbin Moser with two two-point shots, two three-pointers, four field goals, and two freethrows for a total of 12 points. Ayers and Moser also led the team in defense, each with four total rebounds. Moser had seven assists and five turnovers while Ayers had one assist and three turnovers.

“This game went a lot better than last week’s against Republic but we really need to get our defensive intensity up,” Ayers said. “We’ve really improved. It’s a really young and we’re small but I think we’re going to make some noises here.”

Doug Funston led the Hornets with 23, followed by Blaine Wagner with, Connor Hughes and Michael Garrett, six each and Zach Speiker and Preston Iverson, four apiece.

For Oroville, senior Brandon Funston said he thinks the Hornets are improving as well.

“We stuck together as a team and fought until the end,” Funston added. “We’re improving a lot from the first game until now.”

Tiger Coach Braman said he thought the most notable moment of the game was when Moser hit two freethrows in the final minutes of the game.

“Moser is a good shooter but he’s struggled with freethrows so for him to come back and shoot those in a really pressure-tight time was great,” Braman said.

“It was an intense game at Tonasket and the experience of the older Tigers prevailed,” said Hornet Coach Iverson. “I was very proud of the way our players fought the whole game. They never gave up. I am so excited for the year and this team has good chemistry and a great work ethic.”

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