It was a year in the making, and it felt really, really good for the Columbia River Chieftains.
Columbia River used a 15-0 run in the first quarter and never looked back, defeating non-league rival Skyview 64-49 Friday night in boys basketball.
“I remember last year, being in the locker room, with that bad taste,” Columbia River’s Torey Jones said, referring to the loss to the Storm last December. “I learned from the mistakes the team made. We corrected those. We didn’t get intimidated by the crowd.”
If anything, the Chieftains were inspired by two rowdy student sections — it is always festive when these two schools play each other in any sport.
Columbia River had seven steals in the first quarter alone, leading to easy baskets on the other end.
“That’s one of our biggest strengths this year, how well we play defense,” Jones said. “That’s what is going to carry us. That’s just all effort. We work hard.”
Jones led River with 17 points, and Cody Wolfe added 13. Nathan Hawthorne scored 11 and Andrew Vickers had nine points and four steals.
“This is a really fun team to coach,” Columbia River coach David Long said. “A variety of weapons.”
And they all know what to do to earn playing time.
“The defensive effort was exceptional,” Long said.
The Chieftains (3-0) opened the season with a win over highly regarded Evergreen and then got another win over Heritage. Playing Skyview is different, though. It’s a true rivalry.
“It’s a lot of the guys’ first time (in this game),” Jones said. “They were poised. They stepped up.”
Skyview (0-2) settled down after that rough first quarter. The Storm never did pose a serious threat but kept pace with the Chieftains.
Marcus Lord led the Storm with 18 points, going 8 for 12 from the floor. Avery Schmidt came off the bench and scored 13 points, connecting on 3 of 4 from 3-point land.
COLUMBIA RIVER 64, SKYVIEW 49
COLUMBIA RIVER — Nate Hawthorne 11, Joey Bean 4, Andrew Vickers 9, Sam Walker 0, Torey Jones 17, Cody Wolfe 13, Spencer Long 2, Chad Pedigo 8, Alex Hansen 0, Jeff Yingling 0, Robert Hanley 0, Jordan Hall 0. Totals 17-39 (6-15) 24-28 64.
SKYVIEW — Avery Schmidt 13, Daniel Thomas 0, Tyler Hoffman 4, Dylan King 4, Ben Spies 4, Darius Watson 0, Jason Chaney 0, Marcus Lord 18, Lucas Baricevic 0, Tyrone Watson 6. Totals 16-46 (6-18) 11-14 49.
Columbia River 21 13 13 17–64
Skyview 6 10 13 20–49