The Raiders dropped two state tournament games in Spokane last week to end a two-month winning streak and leave the tournament without a trophy for the fourth time in five years.
In the opening game against Northwest Christian Thursday night, Keith Rosenbaum opened the scoring with a steal for a layin early and went on to score eight of the 12 Raider points in the first quarter.
The Crusaders answered with 18 points and effectively shut down Ty Egbert as an offensive threat with a double team.
Egbert was still a presence on the defensive end, which kept the Raiders in the game through the first quarter.
In the second, the Raiders went on a cold shooting streak with the Crusaders exploiting the weak spots in their defense with ease.
Jesse Adkins ended the cold spell with a basket and the Raiders in the latter part of the first half would get momentum shifts in their favor, only to be stopped by timeouts.
The first half ended with score favoring NWC 36-20.
The Raiders needed to get Egbert scoring and play stiffer defense if there was to be a shot at beating the Crusaders in the second half. In the third quarter the Raiders did start with better defense, but soon fatigue set in and the Crusaders were again finding seams and soft spots. Egbert did become more of an offensive threat, moving out for jump shots outside the key, which NWC was not ready for.
At the end of three quarters the Raiders faced a steep challenge to come back from a 16-point deficit.
The Raiders did just that in the fourth quarter, closing the gap with the Crusaders to 49-41 with 5:35 left in the game.
But as in the first half, timeouts stopped the streaking Raiders and the Crusaders would gain breathing space. Raiders errors extended NWVC’s lead, and with less than a minute left, LR Head Coach Brad Wilson emptied the bench to give next year’s team some playing time, when Kendall Piccolo scored the last Raider points in the game at at 64-46.
Egbert and Keith Rosenbaum each scored 16 points for the Raiders. NWC’s K. Hanson scored the game-high 32.
With that loss, the Raiders moved into the consolation bracket and had to return to the Spokane Arena the next day for a 2 p.m. contest with the Wahkiakum Mules.
Wahkiakum did not have Northwest Christian’s tall men, but the Mules were not afraid to get their hands dirty and play rough. For the Raiders, the game was a must-win if they wanted to return with a trophy for the second year in a row.
In the first quarter, Egbert was an offensive presence early on and scored the first six Raider points.
The Raiders soon fell behind a Mule lead. Wahkiakum mistakes allowed the Raiders to stay in the game, with the score at the end of the first, 16-14 Mules.
In the second, the Mules began firing off threes, which the Raiders answered only with a three by Kramer Carlson early on.
The Mules also returned the Raiders’ rough play, which shook up LR. Wahkiakum double- and triple-teamed Egbert, slowing down his offensive contribution, and putting the score at the half 36-29 for the Mules.
The Raiders halftime adjustments took time to show; early in the third the Mules opened the Raider defense to give the whole key for an easy Mule basket.
The Mules continued hitting threes, which accounted for 30 points in the game for Wahkiakum.
The Raiders, facing all these factors and being down for almost the entire game, began to reassert themselves and were making an honest comeback, which was stalled by a technical on the Raider bench.
At the end of three quarters, the score was Wahkiakum 48- Raiders 39. With the score still close, LR applied a full-court press to try and snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.
But the Mules were still hitting threes, and Egbert picked up his fourth foul after knocking a Mule to the floor.
The Raiders faced the adversity with strength and took a slim lead with less than two minutes left. Then Wahkiakum hit a three and the momentum was the Mules’ to keep, for a 65-60 victory.
Egbert scored the game-high 28 points for the Raiders, with Rosenbaum pumping in 15.
"Unfortunately, we did not play our very best, but showed resiliency in battling back in both of our games,” Raider Head Coach Brad Wilson commented.
The Raiders finished the season 20 wins and six losses, overall.
Next year, LR will have five new starters and several question marks about how next year’s team will fare.
"A productive off season will be a key to challenging for the league title next year," Wilson said.
NWC 64 - LR 46
Raider scoring: Adkins 26, Black 0, Boutain 0, Carlson 3, DeWinkler 0, Egbert 16, Garvin 2, LaPlante 0, Piccolo 2, Rosenbaum 16, Saxon 0, Williams 5.
NWC Scoring: Beltz 0, Clark 12, Eisenrich 0, Friedy 6, Hanson 32, Kersinar 0, Kilpatrick 0, Kiourkas 0, Sander 0, Shannon 5, Stephens 1, Winward 8.
More game stats at http://ow.ly/9uWGs
Wahkiakum 65 - LR 60
Raider scoring: Williams 4, Garvin 0, Adkins 2, Rosenbaum 15, Black 0, DeWinkler 0, Saxon 0, Carlson 11, Egbert 28, Boutain 0, Piccolo 0.
Wahkiakum scoring: Souvenir 0, Doumit 0,Bilgic 0, Blix 11, Weiler 18, Wegdahl, 0, Chambers 13, Kreutter 0, S. Doumit 0, Parker 21, McElroy 2, Chaput 0.
More game stats at http://ow.ly/9uWLl
More photos are available online at grandcoulee.com and at coulee.photoshelter.com. — Scott Hunter photos