PREP BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: Roughrider boys’ backs against the wall after loss

TACOMA — The Port Angeles boys are in familiar territory.

Win to stay in.

The Roughriders had a rough third quarter and had a hard time with turnovers, losing 62-58 in the West Central District III 2A tournament to Clover Park.

The loss put the Roughriders into the consolation bracket, where they must win two straight games to qualify for regionals. It’s a situation they’ve faced the past few years at district.

Their first game Wednesday will be against a familiar foe — Olympic from the Olympic League 2A Division. The Riders have beaten Olympic twice this season — 75-39 and 64-42.

Despite the loss, the Riders got huge contributions from Anton Kathol and Damen Ringgold, who combined for 37 points and 20 rebounds.

“Our bigs were awesome last night,” said coach Kasey Ulin. “They were warriors inside.”

Kathol led the Riders with 19 points, while Ringgold had 18.

Clover Park was the champion of the South Puget Sound League West Division at 10-3 (13-8 overall) and was third in the SPSL tournament. Ulin said the Riders were undisciplined against the Warriors, making 20 turnovers.

Ulin said the Riders’ defense controlled the tempo well in the first half, as Port Angeles took a 26-25 lead into the half. But the Riders were only able to score seven points in the third quarter and the defense didn’t execute as well as it had been, Ulin said, giving up some easy layups.

Olympic knocked the league-champion Roughriders out of the West Central District III tournament last year, but Ulin said he isn’t worried about that history.

“It was a completely different team and a completely different situation,” he said. Ulin said the Riders will concentrate on cleaning up their turnover issues.

“If we clean up our turnovers, we can beat any team in the state,” he said.

Port Angeles’ (10-2, 16-6) must-win game against Olympic (7-6, 9-13) will be held at 6 p.m. at Curtis High School. The Trojans got off to a slow start this season, but did go 6-2 in league down the stretch to finish fourth in the Olympic League 2A Division, including a tiebreaking win over Sequim just to make postseason.

If the Roughriders win, they will play again on Friday night against the winner of Foster (10-3, 13-8) and Renton (9-4, 15-8) for the chance to go to regionals. Interestingly, Foster (No. 24), Clover Park (No. 23) and Renton (No. 22) are all clustered together in the RPI rankings.

Clover Park 62, Port Angeles 58

PA 12 14 7 25 — 58

CP 15 10 14 23 — 62

Port Angeles (58) — Kathol 19, Ringgold 18, Johnson 7, Cobb 3, Clark 3, Maestas 3, Dunning 3, Vaara 2.

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