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Second half swoon costly for Pirates

PASCO - Losing one player to injury and another to foul trouble, Bickleton's boys basketball team struggled in the second half in a 61-31 loss to Jubilee Christian.

The non-league game with Jubilee, located near Walla Walla, was played at Columbia Basin College.

Johnny Acevedo scored 30 points to lead Jubilee, yet Bickleton made a game of it for a half.

The Pirates struggled to hit the mark early on and trailed 14-7 after the first quarter.

A defensive stand sparked the Bickleton offense to 12 second stanza points.

"The defense seemed to feed the offense," Coach Ben McBride said of the second quarter. "On offense we tried to go inside more. Cody Loomis did a good job of penetrating and breaking down Jubilee's defense."

Bickleton trailed by single digits at halftime, 27-19.

"It seemed like we were within four or five points of them through the first half, then they hit some shots to go up by eight," McBride said.

As much as the Pirates struggled to score points in the first half, it would be more difficult in the second as Bickleton could muster only 12 for the entire half.

"We struggled offensively," McBride said. "A lot of shots rimmed off. Even when we got it inside we couldn't get it to drop."

Bickleton's hopes for a rally took a big hit in the third quarter when Tyler Jensen fouled out and Cody Loomis had to leave the game with a head injury.

Jubilee kept the pressure on, jumping to a 42-27 third quarter lead before putting the game away for good in the fourth.

"Cody and Tyler are a big part of our offense," observed McBride. "But that (losing players to fouls or injury) is going to happen during the course of a season. The guys off the bench need to step up and learn to play through those kind of obstacles."

Indicative of Bickleton's scoring struggles was the fact no player reached double figures. Kris McBride led with 8 points, followed by Loomis and Jensen with six each.

Eric Hess again led the Pirates in the paint, hauling down nine rebounds. Tyler Collins and Ryan Bravo added five boards each.

Bickleton (1-3, 3-8) travels to LaSalle this Friday, then hosts Trout Lake on Saturday.

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