PATEROS – After four games, the Tonasket boys’ basketball team is undefeated so far.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the Tigers defeated Bridgeport at home 66-27 for their third victory of the season.
“In the first half, we weren’t as aggressive as I wanted us to be,” Head Coach Glenn Braman said. “The third quarter was the turning point. We out-scored Bridgeport 28-0 to increase our lead to 31-0. It was a good ball game up to half-time and I’ve got to give Bridgeport some credit for that.”
Junior John Stedtfeld lead with 19 points, one assist and five steals, shooting 4-4 from the free-throw line, junior Damon Halvorsen had 16 points with five assists and three steals, shooting 2-2 from the free-throw line and senior Colton Ayers had 11 points, one assist and one steal, shooting 3-4 from the free-throw line. As a team, the Tigers made 83.3 percent of their free-throw shots and shot 36.4 percent from the field.
“We’ve improved a lot,” Ayers said. “Bridgeport wasn’t a really competitive team but we’ve really shown we can compete better than last year. I think we’re playing with a lot more confidence. We have a lot more experience this year and I think we’re going to be significantly better than last year.”
Braman said this was the first time in quite a while that the Tigers have had such a lopsided win.
“I think winning and playing well is what’s improving the team’s confidence,” he added. “I think the positive record is something the team is starting to take pride in and the more pride they take in it, the harder they’ll work to keep it. I’m seeing this in practices and games. They want to keep that zero on the right side of their record.”
On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Tigers won their fourth consecutive game with their second victory over Pateros this season, this time in Pateros with a score of 56-44.
“I think this game was the best we’ve played beginning to end all season so far,” Braman said. “We played well defensively keeping them to 44 points. Offensively, we had some guys step up and play hard. Corbin Moser and Zach Neal had their best games of the season so far.”
Ayers led the team with 24 points and one steal, shooting 5-5 from the free-throw line Moser had 13 points, one assist and one steal, shooting 1-2 from the free-throw line and Neal had ten points, three assists and three steals, shooting 2-3 from the free-throw line. As a team, the Tigers made 78.6 percent of their free-throw shots and shot 60 percent from the field.
“The guys definitely improved against Pateros this game,” Braman said.
As of press time, the Tigers had not yet played against Oroville in Tonasket on Tuesday, Dec. 14. They next play in Bridgeport on Friday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Then they’ll play in Liberty Bell on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ve seen Bridgeport and this time we’ll be in their gym, where I don’t think any of our kids have played before,” Braman said. “Hopefully, we can have a similar outcome there. We don’t know a lot about Liberty Bell, since I’ve never coach there.”
He said he is happy with how the team has done so far this season.
“Everybody’s attitudes and work ethics are great and we’ve got to keep the ball rolling,” Braman said. “We’ll keep our eyes focused on one game at a time.”