High School Sports

Holle's career night helps Braves withstand Falcons' fast start

KENNEWICK -- Case Rada is Kamiakin's leading scorer this season at just over 15 points a night, but in the Braves' high-energy, motion offense, he isn't necessarily the first scoring option.

Junior Tyler Holle drove that point home in Kamiakin's 68-53 win over Hanford on Friday night in Kennewick, hitting 11 of 16 shots for a career-high 24 points.

The 6-foot-1 guard scored 18 points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, to lift the Braves (10-1, 4-1) into a 3-way tie for first in the CBBN Cascade Division with Richland and Walla Walla.

"Our team has so many weapons. Any of us can go off on a given night," said Holle, who added four assists. "(The win) feels really good. It's tough to win in this league. You've got to bring it every night."

Hanford (5-4, 2-2) brought a slew of good shooters and a pair of tough post players in Brady Haynes (6-7) and Aaron Neary (6-3).

The Falcons got off to a strong start, hitting four 3-pointers in the first quarter and were 7-of-13 from the field to take an 18-12 lead after eight minutes.

"I said before the game that we would have to shoot 50 percent," said Hanford coach Paul Mayer. "With Kamiakin's firepower, we knew we had to sustain that shot percentage."

But the Braves came out firing in the second quarter. Holle scored eight points during a 14-3 Kamiakin run, capped by Justin Pedley's jumper on the low block for a 26-21 lead with 4:03 left in the half.

The Braves also made some good adjustments on defense and held the Falcons to just 34 percent shooting over the final three quarters.

"I'm proud of the kids' mentality tonight. Down 12-18, they could have hung their heads," said Kamiakin coach Brian Meneely. "But fortunately we changed our defense and then started making some shots. We executed on a pretty high level over the last three quarters.

"Any time you come out and see the stuff you worked on in practice being executed on the floor, you feel good."

The Falcons didn't make things easy, as Marcus Manderbach hit a 3-pointer off the glass with 32 seconds left in the second quarter to cap a 7-4 mini-run and cut the Braves' lead to 35-30 at the half.

Manderbach, who hit 4-of-10 from 3-point range, and Pete Zachara each had 15 points to lead Hanford.

"Marcus and Pete, we knew they were really good shooters, and both their big guys are athletic and good with the ball," Holle said. "But our big guys did a good job against them, and we worked on helping out in practice."

Holle hit an 18-foot jumper from the left wing at 4:48 of the third quarter to cap an 8-2 run that gave Kamiakin a 43-32 lead. Rada converted a three-point play to extend the Braves' lead to 54-38 to open the fourth quarter.

"We got hot and got some stops," Meneely said.

But the Falcons weren't done fighting.

Zachara scored six straight points over the next 59 seconds to bring Hanford to within 54-44 with 6:41 left to play.

"I don't think we ever quit," said Mayer. "We certainly believed we could compete."

But Holle hit a floater on the right baseline with 5:50 left in the game to start an 8-0 run that all but iced the game for Kamiakin at 64-46.

HANFORD (53)

Marcus Manderbach 15, DeVine 3, Pete Zachara 15, Neary 12, Haynes 6, Shintaffer, Bowser, Rueter 2, Funk. Totals 19-48 8-14 53.

KAMIAKIN (68)

Rada 16, Fletcher 2, Tyler Holle 24, Anderson 12, Pedley 8, Hayfield 2, Tumlinson, Welch 2, Wilmoth, Hunt 2, Petragallo. Totals 31-58 4-7 68.

Hanford 18 12 8 15 -- 53

Kamiakin 12 23 16 17 -- 68

Highlights -- Rada 8 rebs; Neary 11 rebs; Pedley 3 steals; Fletcher 5 assists; Holle 2x4 3-ptrs, 4 assists; Manderbach 4x10 3-ptrs.

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