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Bickleton boys victorious in season opener

BICKLETON - Bickleton School District Superintendent Rick Palmer may have found himself a second career.

Filling in this winter as the coach of the Bickleton boys basketball team, Palmer's Pirates opened the 2007-08 season last night with a heady 64-54 non-league win over Columbia Basin Secondary.

Like Bickleton, the alternative high school team from Moses Lake is a class 1B club.

Palmer said he was pleased with the effort of all his players last night.

"To get balanced scoring is a highlight for us," he said.

Three Pirates ended up in double figures, and one other came up just a point short of reaching that plateau. The leading scorer for Bickleton proved to be Cody Loomis, who shoved a game high 22 points through the net. Loomis also scraped eight rebounds off the glass. Also coming through big for Bickleton were Eric Hess, who dropped in 14 points to go along with his game high 17 rebounds, and Edgar Molina, who had 16 points and eight boards.

Bickleton's Andrew Venema added a nine-point effort in the winning cause.

Palmer said the only real downsides to the game were turnovers and free throw shooting.

"We committed 22 turnovers, but it was the first game of the season and hopefully it will get better.

"Free throws, we only hit 19-of-37. I think it was first game jitters primarily," he said.

The Moses Lake team had three players in double figures last night...A. Valdez, E. Curtis and M. Essex with 15, 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Bickleton's varsity returns to the hardwood court this coming Friday night at Naches, against the Rangers' junior varsity.

Col Basin 8 19 14 13 -54

Bickleton 8 22 17 17 -64

Bickleton: E. Hess 14, C. Loomis 22, A. Venema 9, P. Maeder 2, C. Osborn 1, E. Molina 16.

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