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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Seton Catholic beats Riverside to reach 1A boys trophy round

Cougars clamp down on defense in 49-40 win

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: March 1, 2024, 3:03pm
4 Photos
Seton Catholic's Rico George, left, and Lance Lee celebrate after a 49-40 win over Riverside in a Class 1A boys basketball consolation round game on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Yakima.
Seton Catholic's Rico George, left, and Lance Lee celebrate after a 49-40 win over Riverside in a Class 1A boys basketball consolation round game on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Yakima. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

YAKIMA – No longer satisfied with just reaching the boys basketball state tournament, Seton Catholic now has a hard standard for hardware.

The Cougars will head back to Vancouver with the first state trophy in program history.

That was ensured Friday when Seton Catholic beat Riverside 49-40 in a loser-out consolation game at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

Seton (19-7) will face Freeman (22-4) in the trophy round on Saturday morning. The winner earns fourth place while the loser gets sixth.

As soon as Seton clinched a hallmark achievement for this season, the Cougars were already looking ahead. Staying the maximum four days in Yakima and taking top-seeded Zillah down to the wire Thursday has a team with no seniors eager to return.

“I’d say that’s a big accomplishment for the future,” freshman Kaiden Wilson said. “Next year we’ve got to come back and try to win it all.”

Junior Lance Lee reflected on three seasons of consistent improvement. He saw Seton Catholic come one win from state as a freshman then advance to the round of 12 in Yakima last year.

“I feel it’s just a stepping stone for us,” Lee said. “Obviously this year we wanted to win the whole thing. But at least we’re going back with something. Hopefully next year we get the big trophy.”

Lee had two steals and helped lead a high-pressure defense that rattled Riverside. The Rams shot 16 for 55 (29%) from the field, including 4 for 25 from 3-point range. The Cougars forced 17 turnovers.

Every time Riverside passed inside the 3-point line, multiple defenders collapsed toward the ball.

“I had my teammates yelling from behind me which way to force the guy,” Lee said. “It was really just a team effort. Everyone stepped up on defense and we came out with the win.”

But in the fourth quarter the game wasn’t lost for Riverside (19-8), a school in Chattaroy in northeast Washington. The Rams pulled within 41-40 when Cole Waldron hit a 3-pointer with 2:07 to play.

That was the last time Riverside scored.

Seton sharpshooter Brady Angelo recovered from an eye injury that kept him out for most of the second half against Zillah. He nailed a 3-pointer to increase Seton’s lead to 44-40.

Then a blocked shot on defense led to a breakaway for Rico George, who was fouled. He made both free throws as the Cougars began to salt away the win at the line.

Wilson had 12 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double in as many games.

“Knowing what it’s like this year and how well I played, it’s easier to come back next year with the same intensity,” Wilson said.

George also had 12 points and Angelo added 10 points.

SETON CATHOLIC 49, RIVERSIDE 40

RIVERSIDE (19-8) –Andrew Campea 2, Jole Lyons 2, Jake Gaffaney 5, Cole Waldron 12, Jake Graham 4, Blake Koesel 0, Will Swanson 0, Daniel Schneider 15, Cooper Eagle 0, Justin Gaffaney 0, Cody Schneider 0, Rider Arrand 0. Totals 16-55 (4-25) 4-7 40.

SETON CATHOLIC (19-7) – Tyler Tran 3, Mason Glassmire 5, Brady Angelo 10, Rico George 12, Lance Lee 7, Simon Sihel 0, Kaiden Wilson 12. Totals 16-51 (7-22) 10-15 49.

Riverside 7 9 17 7—40

Seton Catholic 12 10 13 14—49

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