WINLOCK — Coming out firing in the first half and taking all that momentum into the second half, the Rainier boys basketball team defeated Winlock on the road Tuesday night, 55-34, to open Central 2B League play with a win.
The Mountaineers capitalized off 25 Cardinal turnovers and had a balanced scoring effort, with eight players scoring at least two points on the night.
“It’s nice to start our league schedule with a win, for sure, and gain some momentum,” Mountaineers coach Ben Sheaffer said. “We want to be opportunistic, it's a tough league and we want to get points however we can. I was happy with the way we shared the ball as well tonight as well.”
Josh Meldrum led the Mountaineers with a game-high 19 points, and Jake Meldrum added 10 to round out double-figure scorers. Jimmy Meldrum, Gavin Owen, and Jared Sprouffske each had six, as well.
On the other end it was a tough night for the Winlock boys, who started slow and just shot themselves in the foot too many times to keep up with Rainier in its first loss.
No player scored in double figures, but Carter Svenson led the Cards with nine points on three treys and Payton Sickles had eight points. After the slow start, with just 13 points at the half, the Cardinals nearly doubled their output in the third quarter, though, with a 12-point frame.
It was just too little, too late.
“We talked at halftime,” Cardinals coach Cole Doughty said. “Don’t play the scoreboard, we wanted to get it to 10 points by the fourth and make it a game, but Rainier came out hitting. They didn’t miss in that first quarter. That on top of all our turnovers was tough to overcome.”
The Mountaineers take on Adna next in another league matchup on Thursday while the Cardinals matchup with Pope John Paul II on Wednesday.