With a fluky last-second basket, La Salle of Union Gap ended Lyle/Wishram's 2008-09 boys basketball season last Saturday in Yakima.
The Lightning, co-champions of the first-year Mid-Valley 2B League and a host seed in last weekend's first round of the Yakima Valley District tournament, defeated the Cougars, 49-47, to earn the spot opposite White Swan in this Saturday's district championship game in Wapato.
Last Saturday, La Salle had the final possession in a tie game in Queen Gym. The Lightning got the ball by rebounding a missed free throw by Lyle/Wishram junior Kyle Murphy with 12 seconds remaining.
Murphy made his first attempt to bring the Cougars even with the Lightning.
But after the miss, La Salle (13-8) secured the ball and called time out to set up a play for--as Cougars Coach Scott Myers had it figured--its senior guard, Jake DeGooyer, who had 16 points.
"I told our guys that they were setting up a play for DeGooyer for him to penetrate the lane and either shoot or pass of," Myers recounted. "And that's what they did. We plugged up the middle, though, and DeGooyer threw up an air ball, but their guy (Mike McGree) was right there to put it in. The buzzer went off as the ball was going through the net."
McGree's game-ending basket gave him 11 points in the quarter and 19 for the game--La Salle's third of the season against Lyle/Wishram.
Moreover, it was the Cougars' third close loss to a league opponent. It previously lost two league games in overtime after holding the lead in the closing seconds of play. But the district loss hurt more, Myers said.
"It's a disappointment for our team, but especially for all of our seniors, that we didn't make it to the district championship," Myers noted. "This was a good, tough team that fought hard every game. We easily could have been 17-4 instead of 14-7. It's just that our league, which at one time had three teams ranked in the state's top 10, was tough too, and that's just our luck."
Sophomore Henry Matai led the Cougars with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Adam Snyder and junior Alan Matai each scored 10 points, while senior Mike Eiesland provided eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
COUGARS 47 (12-12-9-14) --
Henry Matai 12, Alan Matai 10, Adam Snyder 10, Mike Murphy 9, Chris Wolff 3, Mike Eiesland 2, Kyle Murphy 1, Nolan Smith 0. FGs: (2) 14/31, 45.2%; (3) 3/10, 30.0%. FTs: 10/20, 50.0%. Rebounds: 29 (H. Matai 10, Eiesland 8). Assists: 11 (Eiesland 5). Steals: 9 (Eiesland 4).
LIGHTNING 49 (16-10-9-14) --
Mike McGree 19, Jake DeGooyer 16, Kilseimer 6, Duffy 5, Glazier 2, Tri 1. FGs: (2) 17/42, 40.5%; (3) 2/11, 18.2%. FTs: 9/13, 69.2%. Rebounds: 17. Assists: 7.
Class 1B District
A peaking Sunnyside Christian rode a big first-half scoring wave to a 66-52 victory over Klickitat last Friday in Goldendale, in what proved to be the Yakima Valley District's 1B boys championship game.
Klickitat, which lost to Sunnyside Christian in the tournament's second round, would have had to beat its rival twice last weekend to claim the district's one state berth.
The Knights (11-11) worked hard in the first half of last Friday's contest to make sure a Saturday title tilt would be unnecessary.
Sunnyside Christian got hot from the 3-point line early and opened up a 23-12 lead after one quarter, then stretched it to 38-15 by halftime.
After its disastrous second quarter, though, Klickitat regrouped for the second half and made a run at SC in the third quarter. When the period ended, the Vandals trailed, 46-31.
But in the fourth, during which Klickitat outscored SC, 21-20, "an inability to defend the basket...killed any comeback we might have had at the end of the game," Vandals Coach Joe Bales said.
Klickitat senior Michael McConville led all scorers 20 points. Senior Levi Sanchey added 14 and senior Jeromie Mason chipped in 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and four assists.
VANDALS 52 (12-3-16-21) --
Michael McConville 20, Levi Sanchey 14, Jeromie Mason 12, Ron Prominski 5, Seth Davis 0, Wade Ramsey 0, Caleb Keys 0, Matthew Brewer 0, Dion Curtis 0, Christian Schlangen 0. Rebounds: 25 (Mason 5; Prominski, Sanchey 4). Assists: 8 (Mason 4). Steals: 11 (Mason 4, Prominski 3).
KNIGHTS 66 (23-15-8-20) --
Danny Van Boven 15, Ryker Van Belle 14, Steven Broersma 10, Matt Crabtree 9, Steven Bosma 6, Trevor Wagenaar 6, Jordan Vogel 3, Tim DeVries 2. Rebounds: 31. Assists: 14. Steals: 7.