Lyle/Wishram's boys basketball team will play La Salle (Union Gap) this Saturday in Yakima for a chance to play for the Yakima Valley District's single berth in next month's WIAA Class 2B tournament.
The Cougars, who tied Riverside Christian (Yakima) for third in the four-team Mid-Valley 2B League at 1-5, finished regular-season play at 14-6 following losses last weekend to La Salle and White Swan.
Should it win its first-round game, Lyle/Wishram would advance to the district championship contest on Saturday, Feb. 28, at Wapato High School, and play either White Swan or Riverside Christian.
White Swan 58, at Lyle/Wishram 46:
Last Saturday in Lyle, the visiting Cougars used pressure defense to extend a six-point halftime lead to 11 points after three quarters, then held on in the fourth, despite missing 10-of-13 free throws.
The win earned White Swan (5-1, 16-2) a share of the first-year Mid-Valley 2B League's regular-season championship and a home game in the first round of the district tournament.
Senior guard Adam Snyder scored 11 points and senior center Mike Murphy had 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots for Lyle/Wishram, which got a nine-point, 10-rebound, five-assist game from sophomore forward Henry Matai.
The host Cougars scored the game's first points on their second possession, taking a 2-0 lead on a basket by Snyder.
Five ties would follow before Lyle/Wishram regained the lead for the last time at 23-22, on a slashing drive to the basket by junior Alan Matai with 3:34 remaining in the first half.
White Swan reclaimed the advantage a minute and 19 seconds later on a putback by Treamain Fiander that sparked a nine-point run by the visitors, who took a 31-25 lead to their dressing room.
The closest Lyle/Wishram got in the second half was four points (31-27) early in the third quarter, on a basket by senior forward Mike Eiesland.
In the fourth quarter, White Swan led by as few as seven points and by as many as 13 points on the way to sweeping its season series with Lyle/Wishram.
COUGARS 58 (13-18-16-11) --
Cory Williams 17, Drew Blodgett 14, Guy Sanchey 14, T. Fiander 4, L. Fiander 4, George 4, YellowOwl 1. FGs: (2) 12 (C. Williams 7); (3) 6 (Blodgett 4). FTs: 16/35, 45.7%. Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 16.
COUGARS 46 (11-14-13-8) --
Adam Snyder 11, Mike Murphy 10, H. Matai 9, A. Matai 8, K. Murphy 4, Eiesland 4, Freemantle 0, Wolff 0, LeMarr 0, Vincent 0. FGs: (2) 15 (M. Murphy, H. Matai 4); (3) 1 (Snyder). FTs: 13/18, 72.2% (Snyder 6/7; M. Murphy, K. Murphy 2/2). Rebounds: H. Matai 10, M. Murphy 9, Eiesland 8. Assists: H. Matai 5. Turnovers: 25. Fouls: 21.
At La Salle 62, Lyle/Wishram 50:
The Cougars outscored the Lightning by four points in the second half last Friday, but it wasn't by enough to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit.
Senior Mike Eiesland led Lyle/Wishram with 14 points, senior Adam Snyder added 12 and junior Alan Matai chipped in nine.
COUGARS 50 (7-19-13-18) --
Mike Eiesland 14, Adam Snyder 12, A. Matai 9, H. Matai 6, K. Murphy 4, M. Murphy 2, Smith 2, Wolff 1, Freemantle 0, Lawler 0.
LIGHTNING 62 (17-18-13-14) --
Jake DeGooyer 20, Mike McGree 10, Duffy 9, Cacchiotti 5, Glazier 4, Tri 4, Sattler 4, Kilseimer 4, Smith 2, Anderton 1.