Hermiston doesn’t much like to lose, no matter the sport.
When the Bulldogs were trailing by three with one quarter to play, they turned on the jets to the tune of 31 points in the fourth quarter to post a 72-63 victory over Lewiston in their season opener Friday at the Dawg House.
“It definitely looked like our first game,” Hermiston coach Casey Arstein said. “We have a lot to work on, but it was nice to come away with the win.”
Cole Smith scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, while Jordan Ramirez and Ryne Andreason each had seven.
“They are good,” Lewiston coach Jayson Ulrich said. “I told the guys this doesn’t hurt us in the league standings. This is why we play these games, to help prepare us for league play.”
Helping the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter was their stellar shooting at the free-throw line, where they made 12 of 14 shots.
“When they started making their free throws, they stretched out their lead,” Ulrich said.
Andrew James scored seven of his 12 points in the first quarter as the Bulldogs took a 17-10 lead.
Lewiston (1-1) outscored Hermiston 14-13 in the second, but the Bulldogs would take a 30-24 lead into the locker room at the half.
Lewiston, which led 6-5 in the first quarter, would not lead again until the third quarter when George Forsmann scored for a 39-38 Bengals lead.
A 3-pointer by Andreason tied the score at 41-41, but Lewiston took the lead back with a 3 by Jace McKarcher to make it 44-41.
Back-to-back baskets by Cole Smith tied the score at 45-45 in the fourth, and the Bulldogs used a 12-3 run over a span of 2:10 to take a 57-48 lead.
From there, the rout was on.
“When we got down, they guys came together and bounced back,” Arstein said. “We did a better job in the second half.”
Andreason led the Bulldogs with 23 points, while Smith had 13, James 12 and Cesar Ortiz 11 - all in the second half.
“It was pretty sloppy, but a win is a win,” Andreason said. “I knew we would have a push a the end.”
Donaven Santana hit a 3 with 9 seconds left in the game for the Bengals, but his game-high 26 points wasn’t enough to keep his team in the game.
“We struggled shooting the ball,” Ulrich said. “We got the looks we wanted, they just didn’t fall tonight.”
Lewiston 10 14 20 19 - 63
Hermiston 17 13 11 31 - 72
LEWISTON - McKarcher 3, Lang 5, Johnson 4, Mullikin 8, Santana 26, Forsmann 6, Van Boeyen 11.
HERMISTON - Andreason 23, Ortiz 11, James 12, Smith 13, Davis 2, Ramirez 9, Mendez 2.