St. George's survives Lind-Ritzville-Sprague for state title berth
by Josh Liebeskind, SWX Content Coordinator - email
St. Georges size and strength turned out too much for Lind-Ritzville-Sprague to handle (Photo: SWX)
SPOKANE, Wash. -
The three previous times St. George's and Lind-Ritzville-Sprague had gone head-to-head this season, it wasn't even close. St. George's pocketed double-digit wins each time. This time, though, it was different.
This was for a berth in the state championship game.
Even though Lind-Ritzville-Sprague made the game a nail-biter, it was again St. George's who got the best of the Broncos, beating their league foes 55-52 to advance to the boys 2B state title game.
It went down to the wire, though, and the Broncos had a late lead, 52-50, with under two minutes to play. But Dragons junior Corey Spalding responded with a 3-ball to put St. George's back up, 53-52.
Lind-Ritzville-Sprague couldn't respond and turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation with 1:13 remaining.
Still down one, the Broncos forced two missed shots, but the Dragons pulled down a pair of offensive boards and Lind-Ritzville-Sprague was forced to foul. Erik Muelheims knocked down two from the charity stripe for the final margin.
"He's a clutch kid, he's going to get things done when it's down the stretch," St. George's coach Ryan Peplinski of Muelheims.
The game wasn't quite over until Colby Starring's 3-point attempt failed to find the bottom of the bucket as the buzzer sounded.
St. George's had a comfortable 37-28 lead at halftime, but shot just 28.6 percent after intermission.
"I thought that's as good a defensive game as they've ever played against us," Peplinski said. "You've got to give them a lot of credit, they did a great job all the way around."
Muelheims had 21 points and Dexter Sienko had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Dragons. Starring led the Broncos with 14 points.
St. George's faces fellow Northeast 2B league member Colfax in the championship game at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday.