Pioneers struggle to score in loss to Riverside

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MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi got 35 points from four different starters combined and just six points off the bench.

The poor scoring spelled doom in the end against the Riverside Pirates here Wednesday night in non-league action and the final was 54-41, Pirates.

The 13-point loss, Mac-Hi’s ninth consecutive, left coach Travis Chester noticeably frustrated.

“We gave up a lot of easy buckets on defense and didn’t come ready to play,” Chester said. “We need to get focused and get ready to play basketball. We’re not there yet. Maybe it is just because of the break from school for Christmas. The last several weeks have been a struggle. We just need to take a step back and assess where we’re at.”

Carlos Angel led Mac-Hi (1-9) with 12 points and a team-high six rebounds, and was the only Pioneer to score in double figures.

Post Derek Richwine had nine points and five boards. Point guard Jeremy Ley and off-guard Dylan Shuler each contributed seven points apiece. Shuler added five of the team’s 26 rebounds.

The Pioneers turned the ball over 14 times compared to 16 by Riverside. Mac-Hi outrebounded the Pirates 26-20 and got to the charity stripe 13 times. The Pioneers connected on nine of the freebies while the Pirates only shot four free throws and made three.

Riverside got out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter, but Mac-Hi rallied and ended the quarter tied at 9.

The Pioneers fought back with a free throw by Richwine and 3-pointer by Ley to cut the lead to 7-4 with 5:30 remaining in the first.

Andres Mendoza scored in the paint for Riverside to make it 9-4. But then Mac-Hi ran off five straight points to end the quarter.

Shuler nailed a jumper in the lane, Richwine connected on one-of-two free throws and Angel scored on the right block.

Riverside pulled away from there, however. Post Gregg Shimer (6-foot-5) scored nine of his 13 points in the second quarter to lead the Pirates on a 17-10 run over the length of the period.

The Pioneers didn’t get any closer after the intermission. They were outscored 18-8 in the third quarter before attempting a comeback in the fourth, when they went on a 14-10 run.

“We need to regroup and start (Greater Oregon League play) on Friday,” Chester said. “It is a new season, but that kind of effort like tonight is not going to win basketball games. We need to do some soul searching (tomorrow) and hopefully Friday will be a different outcome.”

Mac-Hi travels to La Grande Friday to begin its GOL opener at 7:30 p.m.

RIVERSIDE 54, MAC-HI 41

RIVERSIDE (54) — Gonzalez 3 0-0 6, Velazquez 6 0-0 14, O. Murillo 2 0-0 4, Shimer 6 1-1 13, Mendoza 3 0-0 7, Roberts 0 2-2 2, E. Murillo 0 0-1 0, Corpus 3 0-0 6, Amaral 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 3-4 54.

MAC-HI (41) — Richwine 3 3-6 9, Shuler 3 0-0 7, Ley 2 2-2 7, Angel 4 4-4 12, Jose 0 0-0 0, Ortiz 1 0-0 2, Williams 0 0-0 0, Perez 1 0-0 2, McElrath 0 0-0 0, Podolski 1 0-1 2, Diaz 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-13 41.

Riv 9 17 18 10 — 54

Mac 9 10 8 14 — 41

3-point goals — Riv 3 (Velazquez 2, Mendoza), Mac 2 (Shuler, Ley). Total fouls — Riv 9, Mac 7. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Riv 20 (Gonzalez 6), Mac 26 (Angel 6). Turnovers — Riv 16, Mac 14.

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