GOLDENDALE - The Bickleton varsity boys basketball team clamped down on defense, holding Goldendale's JV to 14 first-half points on the way to a 53-40 win.
"Overall we did a really good job," said Pirate Coach Ben McBride. "The guys seemed to play better last night (Tuesday)."
After taking a 28-14 halftime lead, Bickleton withstood a Goldendale run that cut the lead to four.
Part of the problem was that the Pirates battled foul trouble and injury in the third, losing Cody Loomis to an ankle sprain and Tyler Jensen, who fouled out.
Reserves Alex Whitmore and Andrew Venema filled in, and helped Bickleton get the lead back up to double digits heading into the fourth quarter.
"I was really pleased to see that some of the other kids got to play," McBride said.
He was equally glad his team held on to a lead.
"We had flashbacks to other games where we lost the lead," McBride said of Goldendale trimming the lead to four. "The guys did a good job of keeping their composure, they knew they could definitely overcome it."
Eric Hess posted another monster game for the Pirates, recording a second consecutive double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Ryan Bravo was impressive in the paint as well, hauling down 13 rebounds to go with 10 points.
Austin Ross tallied 17 points to lead Goldendale.
Bickleton (1-5, 4-10) returns to league play this Friday when it travels to Lyle on Friday.
"We've played Lyle twice already and each game was really close," McBride noted.