Playoff-bound Freeman’s bid for a sweep of Northeast A League champion Riverside was derailed at the buzzer Tuesday.
But Scotties coach John Nelson said the outcome was determined, 20 seconds earlier. It was then, he said, that his team failed to block out on a rebound, allowing the visiting Rams three shots for the tying basket.
“We should have had the rebound,” Nelson said.
The game then wouldn’t have come down to a hurried Freeman shot with the score tied 65-65 and the opportunity for Riverside’s Keith Cook to launch a shot from near midcourt that counted as time ran out.
Freeman completed its regular season Friday night as one of six Northeast A teams to qualify for the league tournament, which begins with a loser-out game Feb. 17 at Mead High School.
It has been a dramatic reversal of fortune from last year’s one-win lastplace finish.
The heartstopper Tuesday against the Rams was evidence that the Scotties can play with anyone in the Northeast A.
Of Freeman’s six losses, five have been by fewer than 10 points.
Against Riverside, Freeman trailed by 12 points before rattling off eight in a row in the last minute of the second quarter. Included were a pair of three-point baskets by Justin Miller.
Cory Oberst hit 10 straight free throws and a game-high 24 points and Travis Goldsmith had 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter. They put Freeman ahead and in position to win the game until the fateful final 20 seconds.
Valley Christian advances
A must-win victory over Odessa on Tuesday prolonged Valley Christian School’s boys basketball season.
The Panthers play the second round of the Bi-County League double-elimination tournament today against either Reardan, a team they beat twice during the year, or Ritzville, which won by 22 points a month ago.
Travis Harken finished the season as the team’s leading scorer with 15.3 average.
Aaron Asbury averaged 12.1 and Austin Gerells 11.6 points per game.
College to conduct softball clinic
Two Spokane-area athletes are members of Pacific Lutheran University’s softball team, which will conduct a fastpitch softball skills clinic in the Valley.
The clinic will be Saturday, Feb. 25, at Centennial Middle School, N915 Ella, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pitcher Denell Grindley, a University High School graduate and catcher Sarah Johnston, a Gonzaga Prep grad, are freshman members of the Tacoma college’s team.
PLU was conference and regional NAIA champions.
Cost of the clinic, which will focus on both offensive and defensive skills development, is $35 per person, payable in advance to Valley Villains Softball Club in care of Ron Bradstreet, E10803 31st, Spokane 99206. For more information, call Bradstreet at 926-4482.