Braves lose two league road games
February 2, 2022
The La Conner Braves had momentum going into weekend conference hoops action at Orcas Island and Mount Vernon Christian, having won a 54-51 thriller against the Wolverines at Friday Harbor Jan. 25.
But momentum, in sports, can be a fleeting thing and the team found themselves on the reverse side of the equation opposite Orcas Friday night.
The Vikings hard-fought 55-51 victory broke a virtual tie with La Conner for third place in NW2B/1B standings. They held on, withstanding a 16-4 fourth quarter Braves rally.
“Orcas played well against us,” La Conner head coach C.J. Woods told the Weekly News afterward. “They hit some shots and played a good basketball game.”
The hosts clinched matters with a 7-1 surge in the waning moments.
The teams were tied 22-22 at halftime, but Orcas seized command with a 22-12 third period surge. La Conner nearly made up the deficit before the Vikings closed strong.
“I was really proud of our guys,” Woods said, “for being able to go on that run to start the fourth quarter and give ourselves a chance to win.”
With the triumph, Orcas squared its league mark at 3-3 and moved to 6-5 in all games.
Loss at MVC Saturday
The Braves (3-4 in league; 5-10 overall) then fell to league runner-up Mount Vernon Christian Saturday night, 47-26. The Hurricanes improved to 12-4 overall and 8-2 in NW2B/1B play.
The team was hoping to avenge an earlier 62-50 setback to the Hurricanes at Landy James Gym.
“This game was different than the last time we played MVC,” said Woods. “Unfortunately, the ball just did not go in the hole.”
His club was playing its seventh game in two weeks and that fatigue likely was a factor in La Conner’s low point output at MVC.
“Our boys play hard and have fought hard,” Woods stressed. “It’s tiring to play seven games in 14 days and our boys have continued to fight all the way through it. The boys have gotten better each game and it’s noticeable. There are a couple steps we need to take and now’s the time to do it.”
La Conner hosted Concrete last night and has a 7 p.m. game tonight at 1A Mount Baker. Home league games with Friday Harbor (Feb. 8) and NW2B/1B leader Coupeville (Feb. 10) wraps up the regular season.
Woods said his players have made steady progress since December and have not reach their peak.
“From where this team started to how they are playing now,” said Woods, “it’s a noticeable difference. We have worked hard, gotten better and have put ourselves in the driver’s seat for playoffs. I can’t tell you how proud I am to coach a team that truly plays hard for four quarters. That says something about who these boys are and what it means to play at La Conner.”