There was a lot of pressure facing Chiawana freshman Cayden Cazier in the final two minutes of a nonleague boys basketball game Tuesday in Pasco. Holding off a late run from defending Class 4A state champion Davis during the Riverhawks’ 56-55 win might have been a distant second to facing the heat from his father, John Cazier, after missing the front end of a 1-and-1 with 18 seconds left.
In fact, you had to wonder who he was more worried about facing: his dad — a former three-sport star at Pasco in the early 1990s — or his coach, Chad Herron.
“My dad for sure,” Cayden said, cracking a smile. “He chews my butt when I miss my free throws.”
That little late-game indiscretion aside, Cazier helped his team hold together just long enough to record a big win over a team that still has plenty of ice water in its veins despite losing all five starters off its state title team.
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The Pirates, who fell to 1-5, trailed 40-23 with 3:42 left in the third quarter after a transition bucket from Wesley Henderson capped a 12-5 Chiawana run.
Davis went on a 9-2 run to end the third quarter, pulling within 42-32, and then used an 18-8 run in the fourth quarter to pull even at 50.
But the Riverhawks’ defense tightened up over the final 2:22, holding the Pirates to just one field goal on their last six shots.
“We showed some resiliency tonight,” Herron said. “A lot of teams might have folded under that kind of pressure.”
Chiawana led 15-13 after one quarter and jumped ahead 19-13 on Cazier’s 3-pointer from the left wing. That highlighted an 11-3 run that put the Riverhawks up 26-16 with 2:01 left in the half.
Davis didn’t shoot well against Chiawana’s zone defense, hitting just 11-of-41 (27 percent) from the field through the first three quarters.
But the Riverhawks knew the Pirates would make a run over the final eight minutes.
“These are my favorite games,” Chiawana forward Aaric Wren said after scoring a team-high 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds. “We knew it was going to be an intense fourth quarter. Our heart was the difference.”
Cazier and Henderson each finished with 11 points for the Riverhawks.
Davis’ Carlos Vijarro scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, when he also had three steals.
After Max Jones hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 56-55 with nine seconds left, Vijarro forced a turnover off the inbound pass from Cazier with 3.6 seconds remaining.
Vijarro inbounded the ball to Jones at the low post and raced toward the lane. Jones found him with a pass, and Vijarro got free for a 14-foot fadeaway at the buzzer, which bounced off the back rim.
“Last year, we walked into the gym knowing we would win games. This group is just starting to learn that swagger,” Davis coach Eli Juarez said. “We came out flat. They were beating us to every loose ball and every rebound, but we finally kicked it into gear in the fourth quarter.”
DAVIS — Lizotte 12, Jones 14, Navarro, Carlos Vijarro 16, Brisco-Hernandez 5, Gasseling 8, Moctezuma, Gil. Totals 19-56 14-18 55.CHIAWANA — Cazier 11, Aaric Wren 13, Mendoza 7, Koval 7, Henderson 11, Harris, Avery 2, Rausch 2, Briones 3. Totals 20-59 10-19 56.
Davis 13 5 14 23 — 55
Chiawana 15 13 14 14 — 56
Highlights — 3-pointers: D 3-20 (Lizotte, Jones, Gasseling), C 6-21 (Cazier 3, Wren 2, Mendoza. Rebounds: D 39 (Max Jones 10), C 44 (Wren 8, Victor Koval 8). Turnovers: D 18, C 17. Assists: D 6 (Jones 2), C 12 (Brandon Mendoza 4). Steals: D 12 (Jones 4), C 9 (Cazier 2, Mendoza 2).