It understandable if the Chelan Mountain Goats never but heads again this season with the Riverside Rams.
The Mountain Goats, which saw their football state championship aspirations disappear with an opening round playoff loss to the Rams in November, saw the same fate befall their boys basketball team on Saturday.
The Rams, who never trailed in the loser-out bi-district playoff game, eliminated the Goats 39-28. Riverside (20-5) will head to regional playoff action next weekend.
While Andrew Kramer led the Rams with 10 points, it was the inspired play off center Kevin Huggins that provided a huge lift, especially on the defensive end.
The 6-foot-5 Huggins gave away 4 inches to his Chelan counterpart, Hank Hollingsworth. The Goat big man's imposing size did not faze Huggins, who finished with 8 points to go along with his 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Hollingsworth, who was never a factor in the game, finished with 2 points.
Head coach KC Ahrens called Saturday’s effort Huggins best game of the year.
The Rams jumped out to an early 11-4 lead midway through the first quarter on a 3-point shot by Kramer. A three-point play by Tyler
Axtell increased the Riverside lead to 18-8 with 4:05 left in the first half.
The Goats managed to trim the lead to eight points a couple of times before halftime, but could not get any closer.
Ahrens said he was pleased on how relaxed his team played to start the game.
A basket by Chelan’s Kai Clausen trimmed the lead to 27-20 in the third quarter, only to see the Rams go on an 8-2 run, keyed by six free throws.
Another Clausen trimmed the lead to 35-24 only to see any chance of fourth quarter comeback dim quickly when Josh Rux scored on a rebound in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Kramer closed out the Ram scoring attack with a basket early in the fourth quarter. Riverside spent the rest of the game milking time off the clock on each position and shutting down the Goats’ scoring options at the other end of the court.