Its not necessary for the Kamiakin boys basketball team to sink every shot to be successful.
What is critical for the Braves, however, is to take care of the ball on every possession.
So even though Kamiakin shot just 34 percent from the field during a Mid-Columbia Conference matchup in Pasco, Braves coach Brian Meneely was all smiles after a 47-35 road victory over the Bulldogs.
I thought (ballhandling) made a huge difference, Meneely said after Kamiakin committed just six turnovers for the entire game. Our offense didnt feed their offense. If you give them a head start, youre not going to catch them.
Instead it was the Braves that got off to the hot start, hitting seven of their first 12 shots to build a 15-4 first-quarter lead.
But Pasco returned fire with a 10-0 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by Julian Figueroa and Efrain Cardoza. Figueroa grabbed an offensive rebound and scored the putback with 5:56 left in the half, pulling to within one point at 15-14.
Meanwhile, the Kamiakin offense was running cold, missing 10 consecutive shots during a 6 minute stretch from the end of the first quarter to the middle of the second.
But the Braves snapped out of it and kept things tight on defense, holding Pasco scoreless for a 4 1/2 minute stretch toward the end of the second quarter to push the lead back to 29-19 at the half.
Its hard to defend when youre not scoring, Meneely said. Im happy with this group in that regard.
Neither team shot well the rest of the way, but the Bulldogs scored just five points in the third quarter, falling behind 39-24 before the fourth quarter.
John Petsch led Kamiakin with 16 points and nine rebounds. The junior guard combined with seniors Cooper Clyde and Javan Williams to give the Braves a clean perimeter game with crisp passing, strong defense and a dominating rebounding presence.
Kamiakin outrebounded Pasco 42-31. Williams added 10 points and eight rebounds. Clyde finished with 15 points and eight boards.
Ive been working a lot. Ive been wanting this for a long time, said Petsch, who played on junior varsity last season while the varsity earned its second consecutive trophy finish. Petsch is hoping to contribute to another memorable finish.
With the all-around effort he displayed Friday, he gives the Braves a trio of guards as good as any in the area.
Petsch showed his versatility early, attacking the basket off the dribble for his first points of the night. Then he posted up low for two points inside. He capped the Braves scoring at the end of the first half, driving the left baseline for a slick double-pump layin with 10 seconds left.
He said Meneely counts on him for a different things at different times. Against Pasco, the Braves needed Petsch to attack and rebound, and he did both extremely well.
We had a couple of tough games recently. Today we got to open things up offensively, Petsch said.
But it was on the boards where Meneely said he made the biggest difference.
He really rebounded well tonight, but he got his hands on a lot more basketballs, Meneely said.
Julian Figueroa led Pasco with 13 points, finishing the game with a nice coast-to-coast layin, getting fouled in the process, with 1:18 to go.
He converted the free throw to complete the three-point play.
Julian is a player who can do so much, Meneely said. Hes got a quick release. He gave them a big spurt.
KAMIAKIN Robertson 6, Cooper Clyde 15, John Petsch 16, Williams 10, Fowler, Holle, Bayles, Gurney. Totals 19-55 5-10 47.
PASCO Arroyo, Cardoza 10, Brown, Young, Miller 4, Julian Figueroa 13, Ballardo 2, Murillo 2, Cruz, Sprinkle. Totals 13-446-11 35.
Kamiakin 15 14 10 8 47
Pasco 10 9 5 11 35
Highlights 3-pointers: K 4-17 (Clyde 3, Robertson), P 3-15 (Efrain Cardoza 2, Figueroa); Rebounds: K 42 (Petsch 9), P 31 (Figueroa 6); Turnovers: K 5, P 8.