Even the post-game handshake erupted into a verbal altercation, with the coaches exchanging heated words which caused other team officials to step in and calm the situation.
“It was an extremely physical game but we knew that’s how they would play coming in,” said Spokane coach Larry Brown. “We’ve got a couple kids headed to the ER right now, one to get stitches and one to get his back checked out. These kids are tough and we will learn how to play in these kinds of games.”
The game itself saw both teams shoot the ball poorly and neither team really took control of the game.
“Both teams were missing shots, but then we managed to take a lead,” said Hollister coach Chris Kennedy. “ Spokane hit some key shots at the end and just would not stop, they just kept playing.”
Neither team would take a lead of more than four or five points going into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter saw four lead changes and the game tied three times. Spokane senior Hunter Bishop went out of the game with an apparent back injury with 4:07 left to play. The score was 45-45 when he exited the game and Hollister would try to take advantage of the height differential.
“When the Bishop kid got hurt, that was a big loss for them” said Kennedy. “Spokane has such good athletes and they did not quit. We had a chance to put them away and we didn’t do it.”
Spokane senior Zach Turner would hit a 3-pointer with 1:57 left in the game to tie the score 50-50.
Hollister would then turn the ball over at the 1:40 mark. Spokane would call a time out at 1:14 to set up a game winning shot. Instead, the Owls would turn the ball over with 19 seconds left in the game. Hollister would take advantage of this turnover when sophomore Ethan Davidson hit the game-winning layup with 7.6 seconds to make the score 52-50.
Spokane would manage to get off a last-second shot but it would fall short.
“We had a chance to win it but our turnover at the end was crucial,” Brown said. “I’m proud of our kids. If we would have won, we would have felt real good about ourselves, but as I told the kids, we’re the same team that lost by two rather than won by two.”
Hollister 5 15 15 17 -52
Spokane 5 19 14 12 -50
Hollister—Kyle David-23, Andy Wenger-10, Trey McDowell-5, Zach Calovich-4, Layne Cooner-4, Ethan Davidson-3, Blake Woods-3
Spokane—Eric Bowman-17, Hunter Bishop-12, Zach Turner-10, Christian Brown-7, Cody McMurray-2, Brandon McCoy-2