The Raiders defeated White Swan 79-55 to take home the District 5/6 2B Basketball Championship and earn the number-one seed to the regional tournament.
They will play Waitsburg/Presscott Cardinals at Walla Walla High School on Friday at 6 p.m. for the right to move on to the state 2B tournament in the Spokane Arena the following weekend.
The Raiders reached this triumph by first defeating Kittitas Feb. 13 with a score of 73-36 at Wenatchee.
With a halftime lead at 47-14, the Raiders rested their starters in the second half and set the cruise control to the win.
The Raiders faced Oroville on Wednesday in the semifinal game to decide who would play the red- hot Cougars of White Swan. LR did not look past the Hornets and ran away with another first half, gaining a 38-19 lead.
But the Hornets were not ready to roll over and came back to life in the fourth.
“Oroville made some shots in the fourth quarter to close the 26-point lead we had after three quarters of play,” Head Coach Brad Wilson said, noting he had to keep the Raiders together to hold back Oroville and their 17-point surge in the fourth before the Raiders came away with the win at 65-47.
At home, the Raiders for two days prepared for White Swan and tied up loose ends in their own play.
On Saturday, White Swan came in, still hot off a 40-point pounding of Brewster, and tried to throw the Raiders off balance with a full-court press to take a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 22-19.
But the Raiders had practiced for the Cougar press and countered with long-bomb passes.
“We were able to play with great focus and poise against their pressure,” Wilson said.
The Raiders fought back and took a nine-point lead into halftime, LR 38-White Swan 29.
After halftime, the pressure was on White Swan’s forwards to cover the Raiders’ 6-8 Ty Egbert, who scored 32 points from assists dished up to him by the backcourt.
“Our guards were able to control the action on both ends and fed Ty for numerous buckets or free-throw opportunities,” Wilson said.
The Raiders pressed home the advantage, and, after holding off a White Swan surge in the third quarter, cruised to the 79-55 victory.
With the win, the Raiders clinched the District 5/6 2B Championship for the second year in a row.
Coach Wilson was thrilled with the amount of fan support at Eastmont High School for the game.
“It was rewarding to see our tremendous fan base get to join us in celebrating the district championship,” he said.
Now the Raiders (12-0, 19-4) must focus on their matchup Friday against Presscott, the number-two seed from District 9 (8-2, 11-7), the last step between the Raiders and the Spokane Arena and the state tournament.
LR 73-Kittitas 36
Williams 6, Garvin 8, Adkins 4, Rosenbaum 10, Black 2, Saxon 10, Carlson 5, LaPlante 2, Egbert 26, Boutain 0, Piccolo 0.
LR 65-Oroville 47
Williams 4, Garvin 7 points 6 rebounds, Adkins 11 points 6 rebounds, Rosenbaum 15 points 6 rebounds 5 steals, Saxon 2, Carlson 2 points 8 assists, Egbert 22 points 12 rebounds, Boutain 2.
LR 79-White Swan 55
Williams 9, Garvin 7 points 5 assists, Adkins 7 points 4 rebounds, Rosenbaum 17 points 3 three pointers, Black 0, Saxon 2, Carlson 5 points 6 assists, LaPlante 0, Egbert 32, Boutain 0, Piccolo 0.