ROCHESTER — Winlock hadn’t won back to back games all year.
That changed with a 59-56 win over Adna on Thursday in the Southwest District 2B Tournament. It follows a 57-50 win over Ocosta on Tuesday.
“I had plans for the winners’ and losers’ bracket,” Winlock coach Nick Bamer said. “When everything comes together at the right time, it’s a thing of beauty. We did every little thing tonight, and everyone did it. Coleson (Richendollar), Alan Contreras, everybody.”
Bryce Cline led the team in scoring with 18 points, adding eight blocks, nine rebounds and five steals. He had three steals in the third quarter alone.
“We came out, down by eight and cut it to two, and we knew that we had the momentum coming out,” Cline said. “It feels great, honestly, having my teammates trust me, and I trust my teammates too. We just did everything we could to win together.”
After trailing by seven points after the first quarter, Winlock went into the half down only two, and led 41-36 by the end of the third. The Cardinals carried the momentum they built after the first quarter all the way through the final play — a block from Cline on a last-ditch 3-point attempt.
“We rely on him a lot, not just offensively,” Bamer said. “He had stretches tonight, and stretches Tuesday at Ocosta where he just took over. Six or eight points in a row, he hits a 40-footer and gets the crowd going. We rely on him a lot, and the other kids were picking up the slack.
“How many great passes were there? It was Richendollar, (Noah) Patching, Contreras is making layups, (Jonathan) Gonzalez is making layups. Those kids had huge games for us.”
Coming together at the right time is how Bamer phrased it, and joy filled the bench as the final buzzer sounded, the Cardinals just one win away from their first regional berth since 2013.
Contreras grabbed 12 rebounds and Richendollar added eight assists.
“It’s basically unprecedented,” Bamer said. “They went five years ago, seven years ago, but it was kind of a fluke. We’re going to see if we can figure it out on Saturday against a really good Life Christian team.”