Braves close before loss to 2A Sedro-Woolley
January 26, 2022
There are victories, defeats and moral victories.
The latter was the case for the La Conner Braves Friday night, Jan. 21, when they lost a hard-fought 59-49 non-conference boys’ hoops decision to 2A Sedro-Woolley at Landy James Gym.
“It was a good game,” first year head coach C.J. Woods told the Weekly News afterward. “We had a chance to win.”
Indeed, the 2B Braves truly had a shot to knock off their larger school foe.
La Conner (4-8 overall; 2-3 in NW2B/1B play) trailed just 39-33 entering the final stanza on the strength of strong post play by Josh Denton and solid perimeter shooting from Mason Wilson.
But the Cubs clinched matters with a 20-16 run over the final eight minutes.
Sedro-Woolley guard Jerome Mathias delivered nine of his game-high 18 points, including a deep trey, during the pivotal fourth period.
Hayden Birkle (16) and Connor Cox (13) also scored in double-digits for the Cubs.
“We played pretty well. They just had a couple of kids who consistently shot the ball,” Woods said, speaking of Mathias and Birkle.
The visitor’s late flourish negated a fine outing by the Braves, playing two nights in a row, having beaten Darrington 62-35.
Denton paced La Conner with 12 points, all but four coming in the second half. Wilson finished with 10 points, including a long three-pointer in the first quarter. Spencer Olson drained a pair of treys and had 9 points. Ivory Damein (6), Cam Burks (5), Isaiah Price (4) and Miles Sydzik (3) rounded out the scoring, with Burks and Sydzik each meshing three-pointers.
“The boys played hard and gave themselves a chance against a good team,” said Woods. “You’re seeing this group in the process of figuring it out (by) playing team ball. Seeing that with a group of guys that always competes no matter the score is extremely exciting.”
La Conner played at Friday Harbor last night, the first of three key road tests this week. They are at Orcas Island Friday (6 p.m.) and visit Mount Vernon Christian Saturday (4:30 p.m.).
The MVC contest is re-scheduled from Jan. 14, postponed due to rising positive COVID-19 test results in Skagit County.
The Braves entered the week in third place in league standings, trailing only undefeated Coupeville and a single-loss MVC club. They play both teams down the title chase stretch run.
“It’s really setting up for a fun end of the year,” Woods said. “It’s been fun watching this team come together.”