The Richland boys basketball team will be kicking itself for a long time over this loss.
The Bombers shot the ball as badly as they have all season and it cost them in a 72-60 loss to Arlington on Thursday in the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome.
“It is disappointing,” Richland junior Nathan Streufert said. “We felt like this was a real good position for us, but we just didn’t come out and play our best game.”
The Bombers got open looks throughout the game, but just couldn’t get the ball to go in the hole. They made just 4-of-24 from behind the 3-point line and shot 38.6 percent overall from the floor.
“The frustrating part is that was a good matchup for us,” Richland coach Earl Streufert said. “That was a team we had a good chance to beat and we didn’t play the way we played for most of the year. But you have those days, and when you have those days you have to do something else.”
The Bombers (18-5) will face Central Valley of Spokane at 10:30 a.m. Friday in an elimination game.
Arlington, playing in its first state tournament in 51 years, used a 16-4 run in the third quarter to blow the game open.
Richland fell behind 37-30 early in the third quarter, but Streufert made a pair of layups. Jacob DeVries then had a chance at a three-point play, but the ball rimmed out and he missed the ensuing two free throws.
It was all Arlington from there.
Noah Jones scored six consecutive points, Terry Dawn had a pair of layups and Kaleb Bryson hit a 3-pointer and had a three-point play.
Just like that, Arlington led 53-38.
“They made open shots and we didn’t make open shots,” Earl Streufert said. “We didn’t defend very well and they moved the ball around.”
Richland put together a brief rally to pull within 63-55, but the game was summed up on the next possession.
Arlington’s Terry Dawn grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in. On the other end, a Richland player turned it over trying to create when nothing was there and on the other end, Jones had a lay-in.
“They just played good man defense,” Nathan Streufert said. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t run offense. We didn’t make shots. We really beat up ourselves by not running offense and not making shots.”
Arlington outrebounded Richland 38-29, scoring 16 points off of second-chance opportunities.
Dawn finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Jones had 20 points and eight boards.
“I thought I had an advantage in the post after the first couple of plays,” Jones said. “We made a conscious effort to get the ball down in the post to me and Terry.”
One bright spot for the Bombers was the play of freshman guard Steven Beo.
He hit three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, including 11 in the first half. His outside shooting is what kept Richland in the game through the first two quarters.
But the Bombers’ inability to hit the outside shots they had hit all season long is what sunk them Thursday.
Richland was at the state tournament for the first time since 2008, after making a bit of a surprise run to reach Tacoma. The Bombers rely on mainly juniors and a freshman, and many figured they were a year away from contending.
Now, they must find a way to come back Friday and win a game against a Central Valley team they split with this season.
“We’ve just got to keep shooting, execute on offense and defense and be ready to win,” Richland senior Mason Hilty said.
Streufert’s 20 points and eight rebounds led the Bombers, while Beo had the 14 and six boards. DeVries added seven points and four rebounds, while Payton Radliff had eight points and Levi Broeske had six.
“We didn’t come here to go two-and-out,” Earl Streufert said. “It is a mentality thing. You have to believe that you can win.”
ARLINGTON—Kaleb Bryson 4 4-6 15, Terry Dawn 8 5-6 23, Gavin Smoke 0 0-0 0, Shawn Adams 0 0-0 0, Noah Jones 9 2-2 20, AJ Passalaqua 1 2-2 5, Ryan Walker 0 0-0 0, Brady Brummel 3 0-0 7, Nate Lewis 0 2-2 2. Totals 25 15-18 72.
RICHLAND—Jacob DeVries 3 1-4 7, Jason Crandall 0 0-0 0, Drew McCullough 0 0-0 0, Steven Beo 5 3-6 14, Payton Radliff 3 2-3 8, Levi Broeske 2 2-2 6, Mason Hilty 1 3-4 5, Nathan Streufert 8 3-4 20, Carson Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 12-18 60.
Arlington 17 18 18 19 — 72
Richland 16 14 10 20 — 60
3-point goals—Arlington 7 (Bryson 3, Dawn 2, Passalaqua), Richland 4 (Beo 3, Streufert). Rebounds—Arlington 38 (Dawn 13), Richland 29 (Streufert 8). Assists—Arlington 13 (Passalaqua 4), Richland 8 (Streufert 3). Blocked shots—Arlington 3 (Dawn 3), Richland none. Steals—Arlington 11 (Passalaqua 3), Richland 10 (DeVries 4). Turnovers—Arlington 15, Richland 12. Total fouls—Arlington 18, Richland 17.