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Men’s Basketball loses close game to fifth-ranked Highline

Meet the 2014-15 Green River men`s basketball team.

Meet the 2014-15 Green River men`s basketball team.

It appeared that Green River's Men's Basketball was back on track after its two victories over Pierce College (70-68) and Tacoma Community College (76-66), despite a 77-76 loss against Lower Columbia College, but that now appears to be in question after its recent losses last week.

After a double-overtime loss to Grays Harbor, the Gators had their hands full again with fifth-ranked Highline College. Highline came into the game 5-1 and in first place in the western division. The Gators were 3-3 and looking to get over the hump.

After a tightly-contested first half, the Gators went into halftime with a two-point lead, 33-31. The second half was much of the same, and the winner of this game may have come down to who had the ball last.

With 13 seconds remaining, the Gators trailed 70-68. Glenn Brooks dribbled down the court, waited for a lane to open, and drove to the hoop to drop in a lay-up to tie the game at 70. However, the quick basket from the Gators left 3 ticks on the clock for Highline. Highline inbounded the ball and quickly got down court and tried to put up a shot. Benny Bridges committed a foul with 0.3 seconds remaining and Harold Lee of Highline went to the line for two free throws.

The Swamp was loud and the fans did anything they could to try and psyche Lee out and send the game to overtime. The first shot bounced two times off the rim and missed; the Gators were one missed free throw away from overtime. After collecting himself, Lee headed back to the line for his second shot, and he sunk it. Highline escaped with a 71-70 victory over the Gators.

Damon Cikanek stepped up big with 20 points and shot 70 percent, and was 4 of 6 from three-point land. Glenn Brooks (14 points), Bridges (13 points), and Trevante Williams (11 points) all had double-digit points as well. Williams and C.M. Garrett each had 10 rebounds, and the Gators out-rebounded the Thunderbirds 43-34. Turnovers would kill the Gators as they had 12 turnovers and Highline would score 20 points off of those turnovers.

The Gators fall to 3-4 in league and 12-8 in season. They will travel to Centralia on Wednesday before returning home on Saturday to face off against Clark at 5 p.m.