TOPPENISH - A 26-point scoring output by 6'4" senior Taylor Brown, who also pulled down 13 of his game-high 16 rebounds from the offensive glass, powered the Bickleton High School boys basketball team to a 67-61 victory over Yakama Tribal in the Eagles' home gym last night.
Tuesday's road win in Toppenish squares the Pirates' Greater Columbia 1B League record at 1-1. The Pirates are now 5-2 overall on the season.
"Taylor (Brown) really had a breakout game for us with his 26 points and 16 rebounds. It was the difference between the two teams," Bickleton Coach Jerry Roberts said.
Roberts praised his club for controlling the boards, as together they managed a 63 to 40 rebounding advantage. Besides the 16 caroms collected by Brown, senior Justin Roberts scraped 15 loose balls off the glass. Two other seniors - Mitchell Powers and Peter Clinton - combined for another 14 rebounds.
Taking away Yakama Tribal's second-chance scoring opportunities by gathering in so many of the missed shots was the key to the win, said the Bickleton coach.
Roberts added, "And, I'm really proud of my boys for playing through Tribal's great shooting and for making the extra pass to hit the open man."
The Eagles canned 23-of-67 shots from the field, which included a 7-for-25 effort from behind the 3-point arc.
Bickleton went 23-for-71 in its field goal attempts.
The telling difference was at the free throw line, from where the Pirates outscored the home club by a 16-8 margin.
Offensively, Brown was the only Pirate in double figures. Bickleton did get a balanced scoring effort from five other players, however - ranging from 6 apiece by Nate Powers and Troy Roberts, to 8 points by Clinton and the older Roberts brother, to 9 by the elder of the Powers brothers.
"All eight guys that I played scored and contributed, which really gave us a boost, no matter what player combination I put in," said the Pirates' coach.
"All in all, we are starting to play as a team unit. That will hopefully pay off in the long run," Roberts added.
Bickleton's varsity is scheduled to host the 1A LaSalle Lightning JV squad this coming Thursday, then will play against the Mabton JV on the Vikings' home court the following night.