High School Sports

Richland boys fall short in bid for state

KENNEWICK -- They may seem like the easiest shot in the world.

Fifteen feet from the basket. No one guarding you.

The whole arena watching you. A state tournament berth riding in the balance.

Those simple free throws ended up costing the Richland boys down the stretch of Saturday's winner-to-state game at the 4A Eastern Regional tournament, leaving the door open for Davis to leave the Bombers home.

Cooper Kupp's putback with 2 seconds left gave the Pirates a 60-58 victory at Toyota Center, as Richland came up one win short of state for the second straight year.

"It doesn't feel good right now. I hate this," said Bombers senior Colton McCargar, shaking his head. "I love all these guys. They provided me with the best year of my life. I thank them for that."

The year looked as if it would continue another week at the Tacoma Dome after the Bombers (21-5) fought back from a seven-point deficit midway through the third quarter.

They regained the lead at 55-53 on Calvin Douglas' three-point play with 3:11 remaining, capping a 9-1 run.

But in the final 2 1/2 minutes, the Bombers missed four foul shots -- including a pair of front ends of one-and-ones.

"I don't even think it was the pressure," McCargar said. "We just didn't hit them."

Bombers coach Earl Streufert said it would be easy to point to the misses at the foul line, but he shrugged them off.

"Everybody will remember those misses, but we had plenty of chances," Streufert said. "There were a lot of plays before that, a lot of defensive breakdowns. We put them on the free-throw line too many times. That hurt us."

And indeed, Garrett Gallinger hit both ends of a one-and-one with 28.4 seconds left to tie the game at 58, setting up Davis' final possession.

The Bombers trapped David Trimble in the corner, and it appeared he stepped out of bounds trying to escape. He eventually lost control of the ball, and it rolled to Jackson Marquis, who put up a 4-footer with two Bombers flying at him.

The rebound went long, and Kupp was left wide open on the weak side. He jumped, caught the ball and in the same motion banked it in. Time ran out as Richland tried to inbound the ball.

"Cooper has to be one of the hardest-working kids on our team," said Davis coach Eli Juarez, whose team is headed to state for the first time since 2004. "He's always in the right place at the right time. And he was right there, waiting for that follow-up."

The Pirates (20-7) avenged a pair of earlier losses to Richland this season, including one in last week's district semifinals in Yakima.

"I just feel bad for the kids," Streufert said. "We won 20-plus games, played tough all year long. We just struggled the last two games. Davis is on a hot streak, and they got the right bounce at the end."

Douglas scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Richland. McCargar added 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and had seven rebounds and four assists.

Trimble led Davis with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Gonzaga Prep 67, Mead 63

Tournament MVP Ryan Nicholas scored a game-high 28 points, and Gonzaga Prep used a 19-3 fourth-quarter run to erase an eight-point deficit and win the regional title.

G-Prep (23-2) won its first title since 1991 by avenging a district championship loss to the Panthers (19-6).

3A: North Central 71, Sunnyside 46

Brandon Olsen and Lucas Evans scored 16 points apiece, and North Central shot 62 percent (26-of-42) in rolling to a 3A Eastern Regional semifinal win at Toyota Center.

Alfredo De La Barrera had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Sunnyside, which plays Rogers -- a 62-59 loser to Shadle Park -- in a loser-out game Friday in Spokane.