BICKLETON - The Bickleton girls basketball team improved its record to 2-1 last night, beating the visiting Yakama Tribal Eagles 46-44.
The Pirates came out strong in the first quarter of their league opener by playing man defense. They were able to create some turnovers to get some easy baskets, Tom Whitmore, coach of Bickleton, said. The Pirates hit the offensive boards, which enabled them to get some more easy baskets.
"It worked pretty well for us," Whitmore said of his team's first quarter play.
In the second quarter the Eagles figured out Bickleton's man defense so the Pirates switched to a zone.
"That was a mistake," Whitmore admitted.
He said the Eagles started to hit outside shots and a couple of three's to even up the score. After Bickleton outscored the Eagles 13-7 in the first quarter, they were outscored 16-10 by Yakama Tribal in the second quarter.
Starting the second half tied at 23, both teams played pretty evenly throughout the third and fourth quarters.
"We were able to force a lot of turnovers but we gave up some ourselves," Whitmore said. "Important thing is we kept them from scoring."
The Eagles had a one-point lead to start the fourth quarter, 34-33. It was back and forth all the way to the end.
Yakama Tribal held a four-point lead with three minutes to go in the game. Bickleton was able to close within one point with 20 seconds left.
Then, Phylicia Pearson stole the ball for the Pirates and charged down the court for a lay-in. A defender from Yakama Tribal caught up with her so Pearson pulled up and hit a six-foot jump shot to put Bickleton up by one point.
When the Eagles tried to inbound, the Yakama Tribal player stepped inbounds before throwing the ball, turning it over to the Pirates, who were immediately fouled.
Chelsey Mercer hit one of her two free throws and the game ended.
Pearson led the Pirates with 12 points and three steals. Katelynn Clinton had 11 points and three steals for Bickleton. Mercer had nine points and three steals and Alejandra Molina finished with six points and eight rebounds. Mariela Macias added four points for the Pirates and grabbed six rebounds.
Bickleton shot 4-for-16 from the free throw line.
The Pirates will host Sunnyside Christian Friday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m.