OROVILLE – Just four points separated the Hornets from continuing postseason play when they lost to the Kittitas Coyotes 62 to 66 in Game 8 of the playoffs last Friday, Feb. 16.
“It was a game of ups and downs. We started off with a great first quarter being up 13 to six. The second quarter was rough one, being outscored 24 to nine,” said Coach Carl Iverson. They got real physical and we didn’t handle the pressure. We had 13 of our 22 turnovers in that second quarter.”
In the third quarter the Hornets and Coyotes stayed pretty well even, but Oroville trailed by six points going into the fourth.
“We made a fantastic run in the fourth and put on full-court pressure and took the lead with about two minutes left in the game. The last two minutes went back and forth until 19 seconds left. I called time out and ran our offense until seven seconds. From there Preston drove and then kicked out to CJ who passed to Garrett… Garrett had an open shot, but just came up short to force overtime.”
In OT Kittitas hit some open shots and Oroville missed so freethrows and that made a difference in the final score.
Senior Preston Iverson led the Hornets with 24 points, followed by Michael Garrett with 12; Zach Speiker and Connor Hughes, eight each; CJ Mathews, seven and Luke Kindred, three.
“The physicality of the game took us out of our offense and really bothered us. We also ended up two for 14 from the three-point line, when we have been average about five makes per game. I was very proud of the way we fought and it proved we have learned to become warriors,” said Coach Iverson.
The Hornets finished with a record of eight wins and four losses in NC 2B League action, as did Pateros and Brewster. Lake Roosevelt finished without a loss in regular league play.
Coach Iverson said there have been a lot of distractions this year, but he really enjoyed coaching the kids who finished the season.
“I also want to thank the parents and community members for helping this team and for making it a successful season,” said the coach.