MENLO — Tenoski Gym was packed and the atmosphere was electric for the Pacific 2B League winner-take-all championship showdown between rivals Raymond and Willapa Valley on Tuesday night.
A late rally brought Valley within striking distance, but Raymond senior guard Carte Bisbee put his team on his back and carried the Seagulls to a 59-52 victory. Bisbee scored eight of Raymond’s last 10 points to help seal the win.
In the fourth quarter, a 7-0 Valley run, comprised of two low post buckets by Stephen Camenzind and a 3-pointer by Matt Konigsberger, cut Raymond’s lead to 49-47. Camenzind led all scorers with 19 points and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Bisbee put an end to the Vikings’ run by hitting a trey with four minutes left to play, giving the Gulls (11-1, 16-4) a 52-47 lead.
After Konigsberger was fouled on Valley’s next possession and made one of two free throws, the defenses prevailed for the next couple of minutes before Bisbee put in an acrobatic putback layup to extend Raymond’s lead to 54-48 with 1:35 left.
The Vikings (10-2, 15-5) managed to get a field goal apiece from Camenzind and Konigsberger after that, but the Gulls closed the game out by converting five of six free throw attempts. Bisbee hit three of four free throws and Marvin So sank both of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Bisbee sat for much of the first and third quarters with foul trouble, but still led Raymond with 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and recorded three steals. So scored 11 points in the game. The impressive sophomore guard was the only other Gull to hit double digits in scoring.
“It really shows how tough he is mentally,” Raymond head coach Mike Tully said of Bisbee. “To be able to battle through the foul trouble, and still play at a high level. A lot of guys would get frustrated and crumble, but he was able to keep pushing through it, and really showed his senior leadership.”
Raymond led for most of the game, but when it seemed that the Gulls were about to run away, the Vikings made a push to stay in it.
In the third quarter, James Hamilton followed a missed free throw by Alex Sida and put it in to give Raymond its biggest lead of the game 44-33. The Vikings responded by finishing the quarter on a 6-2 spurt that kept them within two possessions of the Gulls. Camenzind, Sagen and Randy Heckard each scored two points during that run.
“I thought the effort was certainly there,” Valley head coach John Peterson said. “I asked them to play as hard as they possibly could, and I can’t think of one kid that didn’t give 100 percent effort. This is why I still coach. This was a really fun game to be a part of. The crowd was great, the band was great, and all the kids on both teams played really hard. You can’t ask for much more than that. Of course, I wanted to win, and I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, but I couldn’t be prouder of my kids.”
Konigsberger played an excellent all-around game for the Vikings. The junior guard scored 12 points, recorded three steals and dished out a team high four assists.
Andrew Hamilton and Darol Ratsovongsy cleaned up the boards for Raymond with 13 and eight rebounds respectively. Hamilton also recorded three steals and was cited by Tully for his defensive play.
Both teams will begin District IV 2B tournament play on Feb. 9.
Ray 18 10 18 13 – 59 WV 13 8 18 13 – 52
Raymond (59) — So 11, Bisbee 17, Newman 8, Murdock 2, Sida 7, J Hamilton 2, Ratsavongsy 7, A Hamilton 5. FG – 21-60 (.350). FT – 14-23.
Willapa Valley (52) — Sagen 6, Konigsberger 12, Buchanan 5, Friese 4, Rockett 2, Camenzind 19, Heckard 4, Pearson. FG – 19-60 (.317). FT – 13-18.