Yakima snaps Tri-City boys 2-year run

March 17, 2013 

After two years of watching Tri-Cities get the better of them, the Yakima boys got back to the business of dominating the annual Media Classic basketball game.

In front of a healthy crowd at Pasco High School, Yakima overcame an early deficit to post a 114-96 victory, snapping a two-year winning streak by Tri-Cities with an impressive blend of strength and quickness.

Yakima increased its overall lead in the series — now in its 20th year — to 19-5.

Yakima put four players in double figures, led by West Valley senior Jalen Peake’s 16 points and outrebounded Tri-Cities 73-59.

“With that 2004 Olympic team, Larry Brown was beating his head against the wall with guys who didn’t share the ball,” Yakima coach Ray Funk said. “We talked before the game about sharing the ball and making that extra pass. We wanted to stress that.”

Tri-Cities got off to a fine start, as Richland junior Nathan Streufert hit a pair of jumpers on the team’s first two possessions and scored on a left-handed layin to stake Tri-Cities to a 10-7 lead. Southridge senior Austin Molt and buried a 3-pointer and later stole the ball and fed Pasco senior Julian Figueroa to put TC up 22-15 with 3:50 to go in the first quarter.

But Yakima began a 19-4 run that started with a Jalen Peake 3-pointer and finished with an 18-foot jumper by Eisenhower’s Andy Soto to put Yakima up 35-26 with 7 minutes left in the half.

Richland junior Payton Radliff hit a trey to tie the score at 25 with 1:27 left before the break, but that was the only field goal Tri-Cities converted during a stretch of 8 minutes, 29 seconds that left TC in a hole at 37-28. Another 12-6 run put Yakima ahead 56-45 at halftime.

“We had opportunities to score. We just couldn’t find the bucket,” Tri-City coach Rolando Garcia said. “They were converting buckets when we couldn’t. That gave them some momentum.”

Figueroa got hot toward the end of the second quarter, scoring eight of his 14 points in the final 3:16 of the frame. Hanford senior Joe Douglas and Kennewick senior Mitchel Mueller also had 14 points apiece to lead Tri-Cities.

“It kind of sucks that we lost, but this is all about having fun,” Figueroa said after his final game on his home floor. “We just wanted everybody to get equal playing time.”

River View junior Terran Brown made his way inside for a double-pump layin to cut the lead to 65-56 with 6:50 left in the third quarter, but Yakima went on an 11-3 run after that to put the game nearly out of reach at 77-59.

Mueller drilled all three of his treys in the second half, and Douglas ended the game with a flurry of activity, scoring six points — including a pair of and-1 chances — and adding an open-court steal of West Valley senior Austin Strock in the final 2 minutes of the game.

“I just wanted to do whatever to get us going. He was the biggest guy on the court, so I was guarding him,” Douglas said. “He wasn’t used to my quick hands.”

Streufert finished with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Selah senior Drew Dyer earned MVP honors after scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

YAKIMA — Nikhil Lizotte 5-9 2-2 14, Vijarro 3-6 0-2 7, Max Jones 6-15 0-0 14, Widner 3-4 1-1 8, Walker 0-5 2-4 2, Strock 3-7 2-2 9, Jalen Peake 6-8 2-2 16, Cervantes 1-2 0-0 2, Drew Dyer 5-9 3-6 13, Sert 3-6 0-0 8, Hull 0-3 0-2 0, Ruiz 2-9 2-4 7, Broersma 0-4 0-0 0, Soto 4-6 0-0 8, Craig 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 43-97 14-26 114.
TRI-CITIES — Clyde 2-5 1-2 6, Aguilar 1-7 0-0 3, Watson 2-5 2-2 6, Nate Streufert 5-9 0-0 10, Phelps 2-9 0-0 4, Brown 2-4 0-0 5, Robertson 2-7 0-0 5, Julian Figueroa 5-17 4-6 14, Mitch Mueller 5-8 1-1 14, Molt 1-2 1-2 4, Radliff 1-10 0-0 4, Henderson 1-3 0-0 2, Hilty 1-3 0-0 2, Joe Douglas 6-11 2-3 14, Ryckman 0-1 4-5 4. Totals 36-101 15-21 96.
Yakima 27 29 27 31 — 114
Tri-Cities 25 20 24 27 — 96
Highlights — 3-pointers: Y 14-36 (Lizotte 2, Jones 2, Craig 2, Sert 2, Peake 2, Vijarro, Strock, Widner, Ruiz), TC 9-29 (Mueller 3, Clyde, Molt, Aguliar, Radliff, Brown, Robertson); Rebounds: Y 73 (Dyer 8), TC 59 (Streufert 9); Turnovers: Y 14, TC 13; Assists: Y 16 (Lizotte 2, Vijarro 2, Strock 2, Cervantes 2, Ruiz 2, Craig 2), TC 10 (Watson 3); Vijarro 2 blocks; Broersma 2 blocks; Molt 2 steals.

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