All four teams at Friday night’s 1B boys basketball regional at University were state placers a year ago, but only two would advance to next week’s tournament in the Spokane Arena.
Defending champion Sunnyside Christian turned back Rosalia, fourth in state last year, 53-44 in the 6 p.m. opener.
In the nightcap, Almira/Coulee-Hartline broke Colton’s heart again, its 61-55 victory somewhat reminiscent of the Warriors’ come-from-behind, two-point win last year that decided third and fifth.
Colton’s Wildcats had the size in brothers Dustin and Dalton Patchen. ACH countered with Derek Isaak.
Isaak scored 20 of his team’s 32 second-half points and finished with 34 to duplicate the combined 34 total by the 6-foot-7 and 6-5 brothers.
The teams were tied or traded leads 16 times through three quarters. Colton took a 42-38 lead into the final quarter.
ACH (19-6) ran off 11 straight points, nine of them on 3-pointers – two by Colin Deyarmin – for a 49-42 lead 2 minutes into the fourth. Colton (19-3) rallied to within one with 38 seconds left, but poor game management at the end and Isaak’s free-throw shooting iced the win.
“Gyms don’t affect me that much,” Isaak said of the large crowd. “I felt good.”
Coach Scott Isaak said he told Colton coach Seth Paine, “to remember the little people,” referring to the Wildcats’ size.
“We did a great job of taking away one side from Dustin with Thunder Wellhausen and getting help on the other by Derek,” coach Isaak said.
Sophomore Dalton Patchen responded with 12 of his 18 points and nine of 15 rebounds in the first half.
Sunnyside Christian 53, Rosalia 44: The Spartans (15-11) hung tough with the defending state champs until the final minute of the first half.
Trevor Wagenaar and 6-6 post Brandon Broersma scored the Knights’ (17-6) first 30 points. Wagenaar finished with 30, Broersma scored 13 and they combined for 21 rebounds.
But it was Alex Brouwer who provided the Knights a lift and 10-point lead by scoring the final basket of the first half and making a three-point play to start the third quarter.
“We put three different defenders on (Wagenaar) and couldn’t stop him,” Rosalia first-year coach Justin Blayne said.
Damien Loucks (19 points) and Craig Nelson combined for 32 of Rosalia’s 44 points.