Struggles for Waterville/Mansfield boys on the road continue with loss to Oroville

Johnny Mullen shoots against Oroville. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal

By David Heiling
Empire Press Correspondent

OROVILLE — The Waterville/Mansfield boys basketball team lost its seventh straight road game on Jan. 30 in Oroville, falling to the host Hornets by a final tally of 70-60.

As is typical for the Shockers boys, the team got out to a one-point lead at halftime before turnovers and mental miscues let them down in the second half.

The third quarter was especially tough for Waterville/Mansfield, as the team was outscored by 12 points in the frame to take an 11-point deficit into the fourth quarter — a deficit which proved too deep of a hole to dig out of.

“We had some defensive lapses toward the end of the first half, and Oroville hit a 3-pointer before the halftime buzzer that cut the lead into halftime,” Shockers coach Heath Jordan said after the game. “Then they just came out and blitzed us right away in the third quarter.”

Angel Lucero with the ball against Oroville. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

The loss puts the Shockers boys in a precarious situation heading into the final game of the season. A win will put the team into the Central Washington 2B League postseason, while a loss could knock the Shockers out of the playoffs.

When asked why his team struggles so much on the road, Heath Jordan didn’t have a specific reason.

“I think sometimes we get off the bus not ready to play,” Jordan said. “Some of it might be mental. We haven’t been in too many close games this whole season, so when we are, we are not used to how to play effectively in those situations. Turnovers kill us and we need to find a way to communicate with each other better on the floor in clutch situations.”

Johnny Mullen led the team in scoring again, as he netted a team-high 21 points. Devyn Klinginsmith added 10 points for the Shockers to round out the Waterville/Mansfield players in double digits.

In order for the Shockers to continue their season, they will need to win close games and limit the self-inflicted wounds.