Waterville/Mansfield boys lose fourth-quarter lead, game against host Soap Lake

By David Heiling
Empire Press Correspondent

SOAP LAKE — The Waterville/Mansfield boys basketball team has had trouble finishing out close games on the road all season, and that trend didn’t stop against Soap Lake on Jan. 25 in a 57-55 loss to the Eagles.

Shockers coach Heath Jordan said that a slow start and silly turnovers down the stretch in the second half were key contributors in the loss to Soap Lake — a team that sits near the bottom of the Central Washington 2B League standings.

The two teams entered the locker rooms for halftime knotted up at 25-25. The third quarter proved to be different for Waterville/Mansfield, which scored 19 points in the frame and even took the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“We just turned the ball over way too many times out there and that’s really what it came down to in crunch time,” Jordan said. “We have troubles on the road and I don’t really know what it is. It might be mental because it didn’t seem like we got off the bus tonight. We have two games on the road to end the season, so we’ll see how we can recover.”

Waterville/Mansfield lost the lead with about two minutes to go in regulation and had another chance to tie the game on a buzzer-beater from the left wing that was left just short.

“We’re going to take the weekend and get healed up, practice what we need to do before we end the season with two road games,” Jordan said. “Soap Lake just straight out beat us tonight so we need to get right to end the season.”

As of this game, Waterville/Mansfield currently sits alone in fifth place in the CW2BL standings. Their next two road games are against Oroville (second place) and Lake Roosevelt (third place), so two wins to end the season would not only give the Shockers some momentum heading into the end of season league tournament but may also help jump them a few places in the standings for an easier route to a state championship appearance in February and March.

Johnny Mullen led all scorers with 20 points, and Jacob Stibal added 14 more for the Shockers in the loss.