MATTAWA — The Warriors found the going rougher than they had anticipated to close out regular season play, getting past Columbia-Burbank 64-61 at home Friday and 58-54 on the road last Tuesday.
It was real nail biter on the hardwood in Mattawa with Wahluke holding a 15-11 lead over the Coyotes after the first quarter was in the books, and up 31-27 at the half.
Action was halted early in the third quarter when Sergio Pineda knocked down a bucket to record his 1,000th point of his high school career. Pineda was joined at half court by his parents who were grinning from ear-to-ear.
The Warriors were finally able to put a little distance between the clubs taking a 44-33 lead with just under two minutes left in the quarter. Wahluke pushed its lead to 46-36 heading into the final eight minutes. But Columbia wasn’t ready to lay down and roll over as the Coyotes went on a 15-6 run to close the gap to 52-51 with 4:15 left on the clock.
The Coyotes hushed the home crowd as they edged out front 56-55 with three minutes to go. A bucket by Pineda with 45 seconds left to play put the Warriors back up top, 61-58. Columbia Burbank was forced to foul with 28 seconds left in regulation play. Ricky Cabrera went to the line and made both shots but the second one was waved off because of a lane violation. The Coyotes got a late bucket to make it 62-61. Cabrera appeared to have sealed it when he sank two more shots from the charity stripe with eight second left, but Columbia got off a desperation shot from long distance at the buzzer that fell short of its mark.
Wahluke was back in action with an opening round district game at home Tuesday, but the result was unavailable at time of press.