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Second place: Pirates in play-in game | Preston Citizen

Second place: Pirates in play-in game

February 25, 2014
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By ALYSSA NIELSEN 

WS sports writer

SODA SPRINGS – West Side settled for second place in the fifth district basketball tournament, suffering a loss to Soda on Monday night 60-35.

In order to make it to the state tournament, the Pirates now will have to win two play-in games on Thursday and Saturday of this week. It’s do-or-die time and a loss will end the Pirates’ season. West Side will play Wendell on Thursday at 7 p.m. at American Falls High School.

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No one could have envisioned the final outcome of the game, based on the first four minutes of the opening period. The Pirates started with a 9-0 run with shots made by Wyatt Beckstead, Matt Turnbow, Josh King, and Jason Wade. Soda called a timeout, which changed the momentum for the rest of the game.

Soda took the lead with the first basket of the second period and never lost it again. For a long time, all the Pirates seemed capable of was fouling. The halftime score was 24-17.

Plans to turn things around for the Pirates in the second half didn’t work. West Side scored nine points in the third, divided among Wade, Brennon Henderson, and Tristen Cox. But the Cardinals doubled that, leaving the score at 42-26 with eight minutes left.

Soda scored seven unanswered points in the final quarter before the Pirates made a four-point run. But it was far too little and much too late to make a difference. Coach Tyson Brown put in his bench and eventually Soda did too.

A lack of rebounding was one of the deciding factors and it cost the Pirates dearly. In the first half the Cardinals outrebounded West Side 17-14. Things got worse in the second half with Soda taking a 15-7 advantage.

King led the scoring for the Pirates with eight points, and Wade put up six. Turnbow finished with five, and Beckstead, Cox and Mason Gittins each had four.

The Pirates advanced to Monday night’s showdown with Soda after a phenomenal game against the Malad Dragons on Saturday night in Malad. The Dragons were ranked fifth in the state and were the top-seeded team in the district.

This story is sponsored by Bear River Archers.

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