Eagles defense turns Billygoats away in the end

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Rodney Harwood/Columbia Basin Herald Soap Lake guard Deezy Bently (3) drives to the basket on Tag Easter (4) of Pateros during Tuesday's non-league basketball game at Soap Lake. The Eagles won 55-50.

SOAP LAKE — Pateros’ Ethan Wall went up and swatted Isaiah Ewing’s shot as the Soap Lake big man drove the lane with 30 seconds remaining with a chance to put the Eagles up by four in the waning seconds of Tuesday’s non-league game at Soap Lake.

The Billygoats pushed the ball up the floor, but Andrew Gonzalez’s 16-foot jumper from the wing to tie didn’t go and Soap Lake’s Wesley McCrady came up with the rebound of the night, drawing the foul with 15 seconds left.

The Eagles made the free throws in the final seconds to hold off Pateros 55-50 for the win. It’s early yet, but Eagles coach Agustin Pedregon liked the effort.

“I thought the intensity was much better tonight and we knew what we were trying to do defensively there at the end,” Pedregon said. “We’re inexperienced and it was a good collective win and we kept our cool.

“I was quite pleased with rotations we were doing on defense. I think that’s the most important thing right now and we were able to close this out.”

Deezy Bently finished with a team-high 22 points. Ewing came up with 13 inside and Klay Northrup and Wesley McCrady added nine and eight, respectively, for the Eagles, who led 44-39 with a little under five minutes.

“Our defense was a big part of our game tonight. We didn’t lose our heads, because (Andrew Gonzalez) got hot in the end, but we kept our cool,” Bently said. “This feels great and it was an amazing win for our team to be able to close this out.

“It’s early yet, but we can gain some momentum from this game tonight.”

Soap Lake led by five at the intermission and stayed up by that amount until midway through the final quarter. Gonzalez buried a trey from the top with 4:29 and all of a sudden the two possession lead was a 44-42 ball game.

“We work hard in practice on rebounding and I thank my teammates for all the pushing and shoving in practice,” Ewing said. “I thought we rebounded well as a team tonight, way better than Saturday. Even though they were able to come back, we kept our cool and focused on our defense and all our rotations were right and we closed it out.”

The Eagles are back on the court Thursday at Waterville.

Pateros              11 9 12 18 - 50

Soap Lake          13 13 11 18 - 55

Pateros - Tag Easter 2, Andrew Gonzalez 11, Ethan Wall 23, Ethan Freels 14.

Soap Lake - Tim Tikhonchuk 1, Deezy Bently 22, Devon White 0, Wesley McCrady 8, Isaiah Ewing 13, Klay Northrup 9, Axel Soltero 2.

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