Pirates Battle It Out in State Tournament
The Green River Pirate Basketball team spent the past week in heated basketball action. The Pirates had a playin game on March 4 at Green River High School Gym. The Pirates put the team from Piute out of contention with a win. This win qualified the Pirates to move on to the 1-A State Tournament held in Cedar City at the Centrum.
The Pirates were defeated in their first game of the tournament which dropped them into the consolation bracket. The Pirates won their game on Thursday which kept them alive to play on Friday.
Their Friday opponent was the West Desert Hawks. The Hawks jumped out to an early lead and were up nine to six with 4:58 left in the first quarter. Gabrin Ekker hit the three pointer and brought the Pirates tally up to 10. The Hawks answered with four points of their own and the score stood at Green River 10 and West Desert 13 with 2:06 left in the first quarter. Bowman Mitchell came alive with the hot hand and added two quick points.
At the end of the first quarter Green River was behind 14-17. Ekker put in two points at the beginning of the second quarter. Kevin Keele put in two foul shots to boost the Pirates to 18. The Hawks added a bsket of their own and the score stood at Green River 18 and West Desert 19 with 6:34 left in the second quarter. Ekker hit a three to tie the score at 21s with 5:44 left in the second quarter. The score was again tied at 23. Ekker converted on another three to put the Pirates in the lead.
A turnaround jumper by Mitchell added to the Pirate total. Kody King added a shot to bring the score to Green River 30 West Desert 23 with 3:27 left to go in the second quarter. Ekker was fouled and hit two foul shots. Green River maintained the lead and was up 39-32 at the half.
Green River came out smoking in the second half and quickly went up by 12 points. The Hawks battled their way back and were down by 52-43 at the end of the third quarter. Some questionable calls of traveling on Green River players brought the Hawks back even closer and with 6:19 left in the game the score was 52-47 with Green River hanging on to the lead.
The Pirates clung to a three point lead with 5:08 left to play. West Desert put up some tough defense and connected on their side of the floor. With 4:20 left to play the Pirates were still up by two points. Green River was not to be denied as Ekker and Mitchell each added two points. With 2:35 left to play the Pirates were 57 and the Hawks were 54. The Hawks took a time out to think about it.
Green River inbounded the ball under their basket and Mitchell put the ball up for a quick two points. With 2:14 remaining the Pirates were up by five points. Kedric Bayles put in two points to bring the score to 61-54. The Hawks began fouling to stop the clock but the Pirates were accurate with their foul shots and kept their lead. The final score was Pirates 64-Hawks 58.
This win led Green River into their Saturday matchup against Duchesne who had defeated them in the region tournament. The Pirates were out for revenge and ended up defeating Duchesne 57-50. The Pirates were the consolation champions and finished 6th in the state.