By John R. McNeil II
Lake Roosevelt snapped a two game losing streak Dec. 16 against the Entiat Tigers, beating them on their home court 60-50, then dropped a two-point game to Pateros in Coulee Dam Dec. 20.
"We needed that win against Entiat to help with our confidence and energy," Raider Head Coach Matt Simpson said. "We did a lot of great things and used this game as another learning experience moving forward."
At Entiat, Chance Garvin picked up a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Trey Nicolson was the high-point man for the Raiders with 15 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds. Austin Rosenbaum scored nine points.
With the win, the Raiders looked to the next game at home against Pateros Friday night. Last season, the Billygoats had defeated the Raiders for the first time ever. Simpson said he knew Pateros would come "ready to play."
They did. The game against the Billygoats started on the wrong foot for the Raiders with an administrative technical before the tip off. From the early mishap the pace picked up on the floor, but neither side could make their shots. At the of the end of the first quarter the score stood at 14-11 for Pateros.
In the second quarter game play became very sloppy and both sides committed many mistakes. Pateros began to put together an effective attack and the scoring was back and forth for several minutes. Then the Raiders put together an offensive hot streak to lead at half 26-22.
From the start of the third quarter the game became more physical and fouls began to pile up. Pateros went on a scoring run to build a sizable lead. Then the Raiders came back into the game, cutting that lead to a whisker. At the end of the third, the score was Pateros 36, LR 33.
The momentum the Billygoats had built in the third carried into the fourth. They seemed to go on a run that would put the game out of reach, until the foul bug bit the Billygoats.
The Raiders came back into the game, tying it and then taking the lead with only 2:30 left. From that point until the last 20 seconds, the game was a back-and-forth, edge-of-your-seat contest. Both crowds became highly charged and cheered their squads forward.
Pateros then took a two-point lead with only 10.8 seconds left in the game. With the Raiders taking the ball down court Coach Simpson called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Raiders inbounded the ball and passed it to Taren Redstar who dribbled and then passed to Merle Picard. Picard looked to pass, but was reminded by the crowd that time was running out and shot. The shot missed and Pateros grabbed the rebound and the win, 50-48.
"Our chemistry is really growing and we are learning what we want our identity to be," Simpson commented. "We want to be the most physical and toughest team in our league, and we beat each other up daily to prepare for our competition."
The Raiders return to action Dec. 27 and 28 at the Tonasket Holiday Tournament, where they'll meet both Tonasket and Liberty Bell. Games start at noon on the 27th and 2 p.m. on the 28th.
Garvin 12, Rosenbaum 9, Palmer 6, Picard 2, Davis 6, Redstar 4, Black 2, Desautel 4, Nicholson 15.
Truarz 13, Uvin 10, Larson 20, Alberto 5, Arios 2.