Kamiakin guards Cooper Clyde, John Petsch and Kylle Robertson carried a heavy burden this season, scoring a high percentage of the Braves’ points during their pursuit of another trip to state.
But when the time came to answer a hard-charging Rogers team Tuesday in the District 5/8 tournament at Kamiakin High, Clyde and Robertson suffered an unfortunate cold spell in a 56-49 loss that ended the Braves’ season.
The pair combined for 32 of the Braves’ 49 points, but they missed 12 of 15 shots from the floor while the Pirates (5-18) were firing on all cylinders.
“I don’t think it was exhaustion. We’ve played teams like Richland, and they put up way more shots against us,” said Robertson, who finished with 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting. “I just feel bad for the seniors on the team. It hasn’t hit me yet that our season is done.”
Clyde drilled a 3-pointer 52 seconds into the fourth quarter, but the Braves’ next points wouldn’t come for over 7 minutes, when Clyde hit 1-of-2 free throws with 50 seconds left. By then it may have been too late.
“They were scoring too easily, and we didn’t find enough ways to score inside,” Kamiakin coach Brian Meneely said. “Our collective inexperience showed as a team, and unfortunately we had a poor performance on a loser-out night.”
Amaujae Daniels scored a game-high 23 points for Rogers, which trailed for much of the second and third quarters before grabbing a 43-42 leadon Jory Vaughn’s layin with 5:02 left in the fourth.
Daniels hit 8-of-20 from the floor, including four 3-pointers. But his floor leadership made the biggest difference for the Pirates. When he left the game with his third foul early in the second quarter, his team struggled offensively, missing 11 of its next 12 shots while Kamiakin grabbed a 25-20 lead.
But when he returned in the third quarter, he scored Rogers’ first six points to cut the lead to 29-26. “There’s no fear in that kid. When he plays like that, he’s as good as anybody on the east side of the state,” said Pirates coach Tim Wood.
Jim Fowler had one of his best games of the season, scoring the game’s first four points — he finished with six — and grabbing 10 rebounds.
“They were beating us up on the boards. I don’t know what changed exactly, but we switched to a zone and started rebounding better,” Wood said. “Defensively, I think it was one of our better games. We went to a 1-3-1 zone, which slowed down their shooters.”
Carson Murray drove the lane with just over 2 minutes left, spinning in for a short jumper that gave Rogers a 45-42 lead with 2:05 left. Daniels followed 20 seconds later with a 3 from the right wing.
Meanwhile, Kamiakin was in an 0-for-15 slump. Tre Joseph hit the Braves’ first jumper since early in the fourth quarter. That cut the Pirates’ lead to 52-45 with 20 seconds remaining.
Clyde hit one last 3 with 12 seconds left, but the Braves’ season was coming to an end. His final 3-point attempt missed the mark.
“It hurts tonight,” Meneely said. “In a couple weeks we’ll be able to talk about all the positives this season.”
ROGERS — Amaujae Daniels 23, Boyd 2, Murray 13, Franklin 3, M.Hampton 4, A.Hampton 4, Sanders, Vaughan 2, Weeks 5. Totals 20-51 8-12 56.
KAMIAKIN — Cooper Clyde 19, Robertson 13, Petsch 3, Bayles 3, Fowler 6, Joseph 5, Holle, Gurney. Totals 18-67 7-15 49.
Rogers 17 3 16 20 — 56
Kamiakin 16 9 14 10 — 49