OTHELLO — The guys were racing up and down, bodies sprawling across the floor on loose balls, there were blocked shots, 3-balls from the perimeter. But every time you looked up at the scoreboard, it was like, “Has that changed?”
The Othello Huskies (2-10, 2-8) had a perfect opportunity to jump start their second half with the CWAC’s second-place team, Selah, in town, but they just couldn’t get anything to go, falling 67-41 in a game that was just 12-4 after the first eight minutes.
“We were trying to focus on our defense and create for our offense, but we had a couple of lapses that slowed the offense down,” second-year Othello coach Roman Pruneda said. “We just didn’t execute on the offensive end.”
Selah put up 86 against them in their first meeting, so the Othello defense did its job keeping a team that scored 79 against Prosser and 76 against Quincy to within reach.
However, there was no “O” in Othello.
“We were kind of forcing it sometimes and didn’t know where to go with the ball because they were playing tough defense,” said Jonathan Garza, who led all scorers with 22. “Right now we’re in the middle of the pack, but we should have won some games early in the season. We’re trying to find our shooters and get everyone else involved. We feel good as a team trying to get it to the post, then bouncing outside.”
Even the high-flying Vikings (9-4, 9-2) stumbled out of the blocks. The score was 7-4 with 1:57 remaining in the first quarter. But a stingy Selah defense combined with a struggling Othello offense finally gave the Vikings the separation they needed. Selah held Othello scoreless for seven minutes, stretching from the first quarter into the second.
Garza’s 3-pointer with 5:03 remaining in the first half finally broke the Vikings 11-0 run, but the 23-6 head start was a tough hill climb.
“I’m shooting the ball pretty well right now. I feel like I can make every, single shot I put up,” said Garza, who had half of the Huskies 41 points. “That’s been the struggle this year, trying to find a better scoring balance. Coach wants me shooting as much as possible.”
Othello closed to within 10 with 53 seconds left in the third, 39-29. But a 4-0 Selah run to close out the third kept the Huskies at arm’s length as they closed it out.
Garza finished with four from 3-point range for a game-high 22 points. Frank Lopez had eight points and seven rebounds for the Huskies, who are at East Valley on Friday.
Selah 12 18 16 15 - 67
Othello 4 13 14 10 - 41
Selah - Calvin Herting 16, Shad Smith 9, Sebastian Quantrille 1, Matthew Quincy 7, Noah Pepper 19, Skylar Rayburn 4, Cooper Quigley 5.
Othello - Patrick Azevedo 2, Jaden Flores 3, Jonathan Garza 22, Frank Lopez 8, Jacob Suarez 2, Hilario Murrillo 4.