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Spoiled again by a great finish

What's the song from Sound of Music?

The one that Julie Andrews — grateful for her new family — sings, "Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must've done something good."

That's what I feel like after watching the epic battle that was the Chiawana-Richland district boys semifinal on Saturday night.

For anybody who watched the first game between the two teams in Pasco, a 91-87 overtime win for the Riverhawks, it would have been inconceivable for the two teams to deliver a more thrilling night.

They did.

Richland won it 64-57 in double overtime, and they did it in such dramatic fashion that this game will no doubt go down among the all-time greats.

Just 29 seconds into the game, the Bombers' star post, 6-foot-6 senior Calvin Douglas, got hit in the eye and left with what was feared to be a scratched cornea, not an injury to be taken lightly.

I did find out today that the injury was not as serious as originally thought, and Douglas should be able to play at Davis on Friday. But to play a full game on the road without your stud rebounder and pivot man.

But Richland kept scrapping. The points came from all types of players both inside and outside, and just about everybody who played got on the board at one point.

Tyrell Turner tied it at 9 at the end of the first quarter, shuffling along the baseline for a layin. Shakeem Lakes hit a running one-hander in the lane to open the second quarter. Grant Gallinger flashed into the low block two minutes later and put one off the glass.

Just before the end of the first half, Turner fed Colter Quick cutting hard into the lane for an open layin that cut Chiawana's lead to 23-21.

Before heading into the locker room, Bombers coach Earl Streufert called his team to center court and had a simple message for them.

"Before you go in the locker room, look at the scoreboard. You got yourselves to halftime," Streufert told his team. "Now we're going to win the second half."

Richland stayed in it, never panicking despite missing their three-time all-conference post, their man in the middle.

This time it was Tyler Fuller, who entered the game midway through the third quarter and drilled a pair of 3-pointers to give the Bombers the lead.

Even though some shots may get overshadowed as a game plays out it's full length, Fuller's 3-pointers carried Richland and seemed to have a cumulative effect on the team.

Everybody plays. Everybody contributes. It wasn't long before Quick hit a big 3 from the left wing with 1:13 left in the third quarter to give the Bombers a 41-35 lead.

Adam Baker drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner to tie the game at 51 with just 42 seconds left.

Justin Smith, who scored a season-high 44 against Richland in the first overtime loss, hit a pair of free throws to put Chiawana ahead 53-51 with 32 seconds left.

What do you do when your hero falls? You find another hero.

It was Lakes to took it in from the top of the key, spinning into the lane from 15 feet to create enough space for a short jumper. Good!! And that sent it into overtime.

But then it was the Grant Gallinger show. I had a good talk with Riverhawks coach Chad Herron tonight about some of the tough players he's coached through the years, and we agreed that Shayne Kelly was probably the toughest we could remember.

When Kelly was in the game, he was going to find a way to keep his team in it. And he wouldn't ever let his team give up.

Gallinger reminds me of him. Especially in the way he took over the game in overtime. He actually didn't have a lot of points, but it was what he was doing on defense that essentially won it for Richland.

He stepped into the lane to take two charges from Miquiyah Zamora in the first overtime. They didn't convert to any points, but you could see the frustration level start to rise for Chiawana.

"The way we were shooting, those charges took the air out of us," Herron said.

Gallinger's defense in the low post so flustered Jordan Downing, Chiawana's hard-working but undersized post, that Downing eventually threw Gallinger to the floor in a fight for the ball.

That's when Gallinger knew he was winning the battle.

"He's a very physical player, and I was fronting him like crazy," Gallinger said. "He was getting a little mad, but I was trying to keep it from getting out of hand. When he threw me down, I just decided to get out of there."

Smart move. Don't risk a technical. Keep your team in the game. Just over a minute later, Downing fouled Gallinger for his fifth of the day. Gallinger calmly drained two free throws to make it 61-58, but on Downing's face — a look of utter emptiness as he took the long walk to the bench.

The Riverhawks trailed by just three points with 1:06 left, but the CBBN co-champs were like the Titanic. A mighty team that had just hit their own personal iceberg. And they were going down.

Once Zamora fouled out with 44 seconds left it was truly over. After Chiawana guard Buddy Walter missed a final 3-pointer, Baker got fouled and put the finishing touches on the win with a pair of free throws.

"I told the guys, I've been in the league a long time, and I've seen some pretty sweet wins," Streufert said. "But this ranked right up there."

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