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Rogers eliminated

Rogers came up short against Foster. Keep reading for the unedited game story.

Dropping the cookie was disappointing but not devastating, which is understandable since Rogers hasn’t had its hand back in the cookie jar that is the state basketball tournament since 1975.

“For not being here in 34 years I think we did alright,” senior star Jesse Vaughan said. “It got to us a little bit at the beginning but we played our game and almost came out of here with a trophy. We had a good season. It’s good for the underclassmen to get the experience, see what they do next year.”

The Pirates season ended Friday afternoon when Foster won the loser-out game of the State 3A boys basketball tournament 74-67 at the Tacoma Dome.

“They’re a quick and athletic team,” Vaughan said. “We matched up pretty well but they’re a little quicker I think. We missed a lot of shots. If we would have shot well I think we could have beat them.”

All things being equal, and most were, the telling difference was the Bulldogs shooting 50 percent to 23 percent for the Pirates.

Rogers (13-15) never had any prolonged dry spells but they didn’t have any real surges and Foster (18-8) can score in a hurry with long-range bombers and inside bangers.

“I think the difference was their athleticism, the way they came out and pressured us,” Rogers coach Tim Wood said. “We had a hard time in their half-court 1-2-2 press. We attacked it better in the second half but even when they went man press, they really bump you, push you and make it very difficult to bring the ball up.”

Foster led 16-13 and 34-31 after the first quarters, free throw shooting and Vaughan keeping Rogers in it. The Pirates shot 33 percent but made 13 of 14 free throws – a day after going 17 of 34 – and Vaughn already had 14 points and eight rebounds on his way to a double-double of 25 and 12.

Two quick inside buckets by Jake Partridge to open the second half put the Pirates ahead but in less than 2 minutes Foster reeled off nine straight points for a 43-35 lead. Rogers never got closer than three after and trailed 58-48 entering the fourth quarter.  Baskets by Partridge at 3:20, Zach Nelson at 2:35 and Vaughn at 1:50 had the Pirates within four by once they missed the Bulldogs were able to salt the game away.

“That game was a reflection of our season – battling, getting behind and coming back,” Wood said. “That tells our guys have a lot of toughness, play hard, give 100 percent all the time.”

Partridge finished 11 points and eight rebounds, Nelson had 10 points.

For Foster, Refugio Soto-Lopez had 19 points, including a pair of 3’s beyond the NBA and Cameron Faison muscled his way inside for 16.

“This has been the best year I’ve ever had coaching,” Wood said. “I’m very proud of what they accomplished this year.  You’ve got to hand it to the seniors, they talked 3½ years ago about coming here. Here they are, one game away from a trophy. I hope the Rogers community is proud of them, I hope the school is proud of them because we sure are as a coaching stuff.”



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