Braves lose to Ilwaco and end their season
Boys basketball —
February 23, 2022
It was a long and winding road that the La Conner Braves took to extend a basketball playoff drive that began in Coupeville last week with post-season wins over Friday Harbor and Auburn Adventist. That road ended at Long Beach, more than 200 miles from home, Sunday. Facing a must-win situation to reach regionals, the Braves were eliminated 76-48 by Ilwaco in a rare Sunday noon tipoff.
The Braves began the sojourn with a 48-38 district qualifying win Feb.12 over Friday Harbor. That set up a return trip to Coupeville Feb. 15 to face Auburn Adventist, a game that went down to the wire before La Conner prevailed 48-45.
Isaiah Price and Ivory Damien each hit two key free throws while Josh Denton swatted away a couple Falcon shots to secure the La Conner win, earning the team a third shot at Coupeville, which at 16-0 is enjoying its best season since 1970.
The Braves (7-14) played their fourth game in eight days Feb. 17, three were in Coupeville. The undefeated Wolves beat them for the Northwest 2B district title.
La Conner rallied in the second quarter behind two three-pointers by Miles Sydzik and one three-pointer apiece from Price and Spencer Olson, closing to 32-20 at halftime.
At that point the visitors ran out of gas. The Braves managed just single goals by Price and Mason Wilson and a Corran Eisen trey in the second half. Grady Rickner led nine Coupeville scorers with 22 points on the way to a 67-27 win.
That loss pushed the Braves into the long-distance loser-out matchup.
La Conner had to re-fuel for the road trip to Long Beach and their do-or-die meeting with Ilwaco, where the Braves’ long shot odyssey reached the end of the road.