Skyview gets last word on Columbia River

Storm players earn football-basketball sweep of Chieftains

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Not all rivalries are league rivalries.

There are plenty of school-district rivals, too.

Skyview went into Columbia River's house on Hall of Fame night and left the gym with a 50-47 boys basketball victory in front of two jazzed student sections.

Keegan Liebelt had 23 points and Jordan Berni was clutch in the fourth quarter, leading Skyview to a sweep in the two biggest spectator sports in high school athletics.

"We always beat them in football, and they say they are going to beat us in basketball," Berni said. "They got us in basketball last year. Not this year."

Berni scored six of his 12 points in the final period. His 3-pointer with five minutes to play gave the Storm a 46-42 lead.

The Chieftains got the next five points to take the lead, but would not score in the final 2 minutes, 43 seconds.

Liebelt made a free throw to tie the game with 2:31 to play, and Berni was 3 for 4 from the line down the stretch, including two freebies with 9 seconds left for the three-point advantage after Brian Brady got a steal for the Storm.

River got the ball downcourt and called a timeout with 6 seconds to play. But Berni deflected the inbound pass into the arms of a teammate.

The Storm would miss two free throws with two seconds left but River's desperation 3 hit off the rim.

Berni said it was fun playing in such a wild atmosphere. Both fan bases talked trash all week on Twitter, and the action on the court was intense, too.

"Their crowd is like a sixth man for them," Berni said. "We got a lot of our fans out there, too, and they did good things for us."

The Storm also took advantage of some undisciplined play from the Chieftains.

Columbia River coach David Long said changes will need to be made by some of his players if the team is going to be successful this season.

Skyview made six free throws on three Columbia River technical fouls, including two before the game started when the Chieftains were T'd up for dunking in warmups.

Columbia River's Isaiah Smith had 28 points and 11 rebounds, but he was the only Chieftain in double figures.

River trailed by eight at the half but had the momentum in the third quarter when Nathan Hawthorne got a steal and scored a lay-up as he was fouled to give the Chieftains a 33-30 advantage.

However, River's Devin Bolds was whistled for taunting, and he then left the playing area -- two technical fouls.

Hawthorne would miss his free throw for River. Liebelt then made all four for the two technicals. On Skyview's ensuing possession, Berni made two free throws for a 36-33 lead.

Christian Bukant would add two more free throws on Skyview's next possession, giving the Storm eight points -- all on free throws -- in a span of 37 seconds.

Liebelt made four 3-pointers and scored all of his team's 14 points in the first quarter. He would make five total from long range.

"I came into this game knowing it would be my last time playing against them," Liebelt said. "I wanted to give it my all, and my teammates wanted to give it their all, and we did. Everyone shoed up."

Long said the highlight for Columbia River was the pre-game ceremony honoring the first class of the school's athletic hall of fame. Three teams, 13 individual athletes, four coaches, and four special contributors were inducted as the school celebrates its 50th year.

SKYVIEW 50, COLUMBIA RIVER 47

SKYVIEW — Christian Bukant 7, Cameron Harbertson 0, Brian Brady 0, Kalvin Johnson 0, Jordan Berni 12, Marcus Lord 4, Will Lopez 0, Parker Baker 4, Keegan Liebelt 23, Ben Spies 0. Totals 11-39 (6-9) 22-31 50.

COLUMBIA RIVER — Devin Bolds 4, Eli Evenson 2, Bryan Wyche 0, Terelle Bolton 0, Nathan Hawthorne 2, Torey Jones 0, Rian Bassett 7, Chandler Holt 0, Clark Bryant 4, Isaiah Smith 28. Totals 15-42 (1-12) 16-28 47.

Skyview 14 12 14 10—50

Columbia River 7 11 19 10—47