Pirates hold on for hard-earned road win over Mountaineers


RAINIER — In an uproarious, postseason-like atmosphere, the Adna Pirates came away with a massive road win on Friday, taking down the Mountaineers in Rainier 59-51.

“We’re pumped,” Adna coach Luke Salme said. “This is what C2BL kids want to play for … It was pretty at times, it was ugly at times. Both teams competed like crazy in a fun, loud gym, and I’m really glad we found a way to make a couple plays late to get the W.”

Still working his way back from a foot injury, Braeden Salme wasn’t 100 percent, but he was still Adna’s most proficient scorer on Friday. He finished with 21 points, including four threes.

“With each passing day, it’s harder and harder to keep him off the court,” Salme said. “Yes, that’s probably 60 percent Braeden Salme. But we’ll take 60 percent Braeden Salme. That helps us.”

Leading the offense alongside Salme was Lane Johnson, who consistently found lanes to the basket, specifically in the first half, where he scored 12 points to help the Pirates (14-5, 8-3 C2BL) take a seven-point lead into the locker room. 

He was also active on the boards, where he hauled in a team-high 13 rebounds to finish with a double-double.

“He was a dude,” Salme said. “He’s always been a great cog for us, but he’s been forced to be okay taking over and being the dude. And he’s consistently been the dude. Having a very aggressive Lane Johnson makes us a lot better.”

Gavan Muller also made an impact in the paint, scoring nine points, hauling in eight rebounds, and blocking five shots.

In the second half, as the Adna offense slowed down, the Mountaineers (12-6, 7-4 C2BL) had their chances to take control of the game. At one point, they were tied at 37 and were later down just one with four minutes to play, but they never got the go-ahead shot they needed.

In the second half, the Mountaineers shot just 9 for 31 from the field, including an 0 for 8 mark from beyond the arc.

“We played hard,” Rainier coach Ben Sheaffer said. “Shots aren’t always gonna fall. We may have missed a couple easy ones that may have changed the outcome, but overall, we’re really proud with our effort and our togetherness.”

The Meldrum triplets combined for 31 points, while Jared Sprouffske tallied eight and Hunter Howell added six.

With the loss, Rainier dropped to fifth in the C2BL standings. Adna remains tied with Toutle Lake for third, but the Ducks topped them earlier this month.

Rainier will finish its season with two road games, first at Wahkiakum on Tuesday, then at Toledo on Wednesday. Adna will return home on Saturday for senior night against MWP before heading to Napavine on Tuesday.