Frustration swept over the Rainier High School boys basketball team’s bench as Ilwaco knocked the Mountaineers out of the District 4 2B tournament by a score of 74-56 on Friday, Feb. 9 at Castle Rock High School.
With the loss, Rainier’s season comes to an abrupt end, finishing the district tournament without a win and the season with a 13-9 record overall.
The Mountaineers led briefly in the opening minutes as senior Johnny Boesch scored their first 5 points, but the Fishermen caught fire from distance, drilling four triples in the first quarter. Ilwaco led 26-14 through the first quarter, capping off the statement period with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The barrage from deep continued into the second quarter, as the Fishermen drilled three more treys to increase the lead to 45-26 going into halftime. Boesch did his best to keep the Mountaineers in it, scoring 10 points in the first half.
As they have often done this season, the Mountaineers made a comeback attempt in the second half. Boesch nailed a trifecta of triples, and Jared Sprouffske attacked the basket to bring Rainier within a dozen entering the fourth.
The Mountaineers got as close as down 11 points after Hunter Howell splashed a 3-pointer with 7:30 left in the fourth. Down the stretch, poor rebounding and costly turnovers doomed the Mountaineers. The Fishermen put the dagger in Rainier with a 12-3 run to seal the victory and knock the Mountaineers out of the district tournament, where they went 0-2 after losing to Forks on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Boesch led the way with 22 points, while Sprouffske provided 10 and Hunter Howell scored 9.