BICKLETON - Despite absorbing a 60-26 drubbing at the hands of Sunnyside Christian the previous night, the Bickleton Pirates this past Saturday gave the visiting Klickitat Vandals all they could handle.
The Bickleton boys basketball team, behind Cody Loomis's game high 19 points, was up by nine with five minutes remaining. The Vandals got hot from the perimeter down the stretch, however, draining three shots from 3-point land to eke out a 45-43 win.
Matt McConville, Jeremy Moss and Herschel Sanchey scored 17, 12 and 10 points, respectively, for Klickitat.
"Those three kids are all very good players," said Bickleton Coach Rick Palmer. "They got hot at the end of the game and hit some shots against us."
It also didn't help Bickleton's cause in the late going when Eric Hess fouled out of the game. Hess dropped in eight points for the Pirates before being relegated to the bench.
Klickitat forged a 14-7 first quarter lead Saturday night, only to watch as Bickleton went on a 12-3 run in the second period to take a 19-17 lead into halftime. Loomis shoved in six of his 19 points in that quarter.
Even though the Pirates lost, Palmer said the Bickleton squad was evenly matched with the Vandals.
"We can play with them," he said. "It might have been a case where we didn't have a lot left from Friday's game at Sunnyside Christian."
One area Palmer said he'd like his club to improve on is its play in the paint. "We have a tough time establishing our game down low," he said.
In addition to the 19 and eight points popped in by Loomis and Hess, who also tallied a combined nine rebounds, Bickleton got a nine-point and eight-rebound performance from Edgar Molina. Andrew Venema added five points and two rebounds to the Pirates' cause, and teammate Patrick Maeder snared six caroms off the glass.
The losses to Sunnyside Christian and Klickitat this past weekend came in the first two games of Greater Columbia 'B' League play this season. Overall, the Pirates are 5-3 this season.
Bickleton is scheduled to play at Trout Lake this Tuesday, and will return to the road this coming Friday and Saturday at LaSalle and Riverside Christian.