BICKLETON - The Bickleton varsity boys hoops team earned its fifth win of the season over the Riverside Christian JV last night, 42-38.
It was also the Pirates' second victory over the JV Crusaders in as many match-ups this season.
Last night's win was more challenging for the Pirates than in the two teams' first go-round back on Dec. 5. According to Bickleton Assistant Coach Chris Venema, the fourth quarter of the game was the most exciting because the Crusaders were able to hold his team to five points.
In the first quarter, Bickleton earned twice as many points as the Crusaders, 16-8. The Pirates ended the half up 29-17.
"We were up by about 10 points much of the game," said Venema.
The second half of the game, the Riverside JV squad turned up the defensive heat, holding the Pirates to eight points while scoring 13 in the third quarter.
"Their defense was strong, causing us to commit some turnovers," said Venema.
Bickleton hadn't practiced since its game against Kahlotus this past Saturday and he said, "We were a little rough."
Venema stated the Pirates' defense is the team's strength, but he feels the team has a good balance overall. "We play our games on the inside and most of our shots are within eight feet," he explained of the offensive mindset.
Last night, Patrick Maeder dumped in a team-high 12 points, and Bickleton teammates Andrew Venema and Edgar Molina chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Rebounding-wise, Venema and Molina snatched 17 and 16 caroms from the glass, respectively.
The coach said the Pirates guards are doing a good job of feeding the scorers inside the paint with solid entry passes.
Craig Osborne and Junior Hernandez scored four points apiece for the Pirates and stole the ball from the Crusaders three times each. Bickleton's Virgil Sampson secured a point and Nic Venema provided a couple of assists.
The Pirates (5-0) were scheduled to host Thorp tonight (Thursday), but that game has been canceled due to weather concerns.