Rainier boys basketball put away a 72-22 blowout against Winlock on May 19, but lost four other games over the course of the last two weeks.
The Mountaineers scored in the double digits every quarter against Winlock and put away a whopping 25 points in the fourth.
“The Winlock game was just a good game,” Coach Jeremy Landram said. “We had 10 guys score, so that was a pretty good game for everyone to be a part of.”
And the boys were no slouches on defense either. The Mountaineers held Winlock to single digits during each of the four quarters.
“Our defense was able to create some turnovers and we were able to take advantage of those,” Landram said.
Another game that Landram wanted to highlight in an interview with the Nisqually Valley News was Rainier’s 52-45 defeat at the hands of Kalama on May 15.
“In the Kalama game, we put together a really good three and a half quarters and just couldn’t figure out a way to finish it, but it was a game we could learn from because we played pretty competitive in that game,” Landram said.
Indeed, Rainier was ahead at the end of the first and third quarters, but Kalama mustered 19 points in the fourth.
“We just played extremely hard and did some things that we haven’t been doing all year and then in the fourth quarter we just let those things slip and hope to correct them,” Landram said. “We competed against their best player really well and we did a really good job of rebounding and on-side defense.”
Rainier lost its other games against Napavine, Toutle Lake and Wahkiakum.
Rainier at Napavine
Napavine beat Rainier 58-32 on May 11.
Despite a pretty even first quarter, with Rainier scoring 10 points and Napavine scoring 12, the latter began to pull away in the second quarter and only added to their dominance as the game progressed.
The high-point scorer was Ian Sprouffske, with 11 points, followed by Curtis Keller and Brody Landram with eight points each.
Toutle Lake at Rainier
Toutle Lake beat Rainier 53-36 on May 13.
Rainier came out strong in the first quarter, tallying 10 points to Toutle Lake’s eight, but then the latter held the Mountaineers to single digits in the second and third quarters. However, Rainier responded in the fourth quarter by holding Toutle Lake to six points, while scoring 11 of its own, but the effort did not amount to a win for the Mountaineers.
Sprouffske was again the high-point scorer.
Rainier at Wahkiakum
Wahkiakum beat Rainier 67-49 on May 21.
Wahkiakum scored in the double digits all game long and held the Mountaineers to single digits in the first, third and fourth quarters of the game, despite a Rainier rally in the second quarter.
Sprouffske was again the high-point scorer, with 17 points, followed by Jake Jeske with 10 points.
“They’re competing and playing hard,” Landram said of his team. “We’ve got good attitudes right now and we’re just hoping that one of these times we turn a page and are able to be a little more constant. … They’re usually on it for a while, it’s just figuring out a way to be on it for 32 minutes.”
He said there’s nothing consistently lacking with his team, adding “we’ve just gotta continue to be better than we were yesterday.”
Landram said his boys are grateful to get the chance to compete at all, given COVID-19-related restrictions.
“We kind of knew coming into this season that it would be a process and one where we would definitely want to be better at the end than the beginning,” he said. “I think that we get better everyday, it’s just a matter of how much better.”
Rainier is 3-6 overall and 1-6 in league play.