When asked what was the difference between Friday’s effort by his Columbia River boys basketball team than its previous matchup against Foss, coach David Long had a simple answer.
“About 25 points,” Long quipped.
After losing by 31 points to Foss on Jan. 21, the Chieftains battled the Falcons to the end before falling 58-52 in a Class 3A bi-district quarterfinal.
Columbia River, which was missing two starters in that previous meeting with Foss, led 28-19 at halftime and carried a lead into the fourth quarter before Foss’ defensive pressure forced too many turnovers from River.
“They forced a lot of turnovers, which became turn-around baskets in our first meeting,” Long said. “And that’s really why things turned tonight. We knew at halftime they were going to pick up their defensive pressure, and we needed to be ready for it.”
Foss opened the third quarter with a 5-0 run, but River was able to keep the Falcons at arm’s length for a little while. But Dezmyn Trent came up big in the second half, scoring 16 of his 18 points.
River tied Foss 45-45 early in the fourth quarter with a 3-point play by Torey Jones. But the Falcons then surged ahead to stay.
“When we walked off the floor on Jan. 21 against these guys, I was embarrassed,” Long said. “But tonight, I’m proud of these guys and how they battled. We were right there.”
Columbia River still gets another shot to qualify for the 3A regionals when the Chieftains face Lakes at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Clover Park High in Lakewood.
FOSS 58, COLUMBIA RIVER 52
FOSS (17-5) — Reynolds 4, Trent 18, Nelson 12, Ballard 14, Miller 10. Totals 23 (4) 8-13 58.
COLUMBIA RIVER (16-6) — Devin Bolds 8, Bryan Wyche 0, Nathan Hawthorne 4, Torey Jones 3, Rian Bassett 15, Isaiah Smith 22. Totals 21 (5) 5-9 52.
Foss 5 14 20 19–58
Columbia River 15 13 12 12–52