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Pirates Hang in There

Sports Reporter

Bowman Mitchell goes past the defender on his way to the hoop. Photos of Pirate Season Play.


The Green River Pirates went to the Spartan Center in Castle Dale in search of a region title and a guaranteed slot in the state 1-A Boys Basketball tournament but an overtime loss to eventual region champion Tabiona in the semi-finals dashed their hopes.

Green River started the three day tournament with a four point victory over Duchesne on Thursday. The 62-58 victory put them in the semi-finals the next day.

In a game that was close all night long, the Pirates defeated the Eagles behind the 26 points of Bowman Mitchell, a 6'3" senior and the 25 points of Gabrin Ekker, also a 6'3" senior.

On day two, the 18-2 Pirates faced the 18-3 Tabiona Tigers. With the winner guaranteed a place in Cedar City, Green River and Tabiona ended regulation tied at 55 each. The overtime belonged to the Tigers, as they hit 9 of 10 free throws to take a 68-61 victory.

The Tigers enjoyed a huge free throw advantage in this game, as they hit 34 of 48 free throws versus only 5 of 12 for the Pirates. Ekker, with 20 points and Mitchell with 15 points, were again the leading scorers for the Pirates. Jake Mecham, a 6'8" sophomore, added 13 points including the base line jumper that tied the score at the end of regulation.

On Saturday, Green River faced the Manti Mustangs in a battle for third place in Region 16. The 11-7 Mustangs took the Pirates into overtime for the second straight day before Green River prevailed 83-77.

Green River was again led in scoring by Ekker with 31 points. He scored six points in overtime after having scored 25 points through the first three quarters. Kedric Bayles had his best scoring game of the tournament, as the senior scored 17 points, including four straight free throws in overtime. Mitchell added 14 points before he fouled out in the fourth quarter. Green River, 19-3, hosted St Joseph's, 2-17, at home on March 3. The winner will advance to a Wednesday game in Cedar City, against 19-2 Dugway. That game opens the 1-A tourney and will start at 10 a.m. in the Centrum on the SUU campus.

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