KENNEWICK -- Fans who attended Monday night's boys game between Kamiakin and Richland didn't expect what seemed to be developing in the first half -- a good old fashioned blowout.
The Braves won the nonleague contest 70-60, but the matchup turned out to be everything the amped up student sections had hoped for.
The young Bombers squad, still a little green in terms of varsity experience, trailed the Braves 40-24 after two quarters, and Kamiakin guard Tyler Holle looked like a man among boys with 19 first-half points.
But those familiar with Earl Streufert-coached teams knew that Richland would be back in the second half. And the Bombers made a run, moving to within four points on a transition layin by J.J. Patterson with just 1:26 left in the game to cut it to 61-47.
But Garrett Anderson answered with an offensive putback and the Braves hit 7 of 8 free throws over the final 45 seconds to pull away in the end.
"If you were wearing green and gold in the stands, you couldn't be anything but proud. We cut it down to four in a game we probably shouldn't have been in," Streufert said.
Holle finished the game with 26 points to lead all scorers, but he said it took more than offense to win it.
"We started playing good defense and got some clutch rebounds. JP (Justin Pedley) did a good job inside at the end," said Holle, who finished 10-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. "We expected them to make some runs, and we knew we'd have to respond to that adversity."
In the first four minutes, it was all Kamiakin as Holle and Riley Hayfield drilled back-to-back threes during a 14-2 run that started the game. But Holle and Case Rada each hit another 3-pointer to open the second quarter scoring, and Kamiakin went on a 12-4 run to open up a 31-17 lead with 5:13 left in the first half.
Braves coach Brian Meneely was pleased with his team's first-half output, but he was looking for a little more from them in the second half.
"We didn't finish quite the way I would have liked. Maybe we got a little frazzled," he said. "At halftime we talked about making more passes and finding other ways to score."
Instead it was Richland that found its rhythm to open the second half, getting a pair of buckets -- including a tricky reverse layin -- from Calvin Douglas, who finished with 14 points. Patterson also found his game, scoring seven of his 14 points in the third quarter, including a 3 that cut Kamiakin's lead to single digits at 47-38 with 2 minutes to go.
"This was definitely a positive," said Patterson, a senior guard. "We learned a lot tonight. We learned about playing a full game and not just one half."
Anderson added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Braves.
RICHLAND -- Turner, Gallinger 6, Quick 7, Imhoff, Calvin Douglas 14, J.J. Patterson 14, Burke 7, Lakes 2, Baker 6. Totals 22-57 10-15 60.
KAMIAKIN -- Hayfield 6, Rada 19, Tyler Holle 26, Anderson 10, Pedley 10, En'Wezoh 2, Fletcher 2, Hunt, Clyde. Totals 24-58 13-18 70.
Richland 13 11 21 15 -- 60
Kamiakin 19 21 10 20 -- 70
Highlights -- Rebounds: R 29 (Douglas 5, Quick 5), K 33 (Anderson 8, Rada 7, Holle 5); Rada 6 assists, 2 steals; 3-pointers: R 5-19 (Baker 2), K 9-21 (Rada 3, Holle 3).