ADNA — The Adna boys basketball team scheduled itself a rematch to open the 2022-23 season, and earned itself the result it was looking for with a 67-60 non-league win over Black Hills.
“That’s a great first game, a great non-league first game in lots of areas,” Pirates coach Luke Salme said. “We started really well, we ran into adversity. That’s a good team. That’s why we scheduled them last year, went there, and knew they were coming here.”
Last December, Adna went north to face the Wolves and jumped out to a big lead early, before seeing it evaporate in a hard-to-swallow loss. The return trip to Lewis County started out similar, with hot shooting powering the Pirates to an early lead, but while the visitors made their runs, the hosts held them at arm's-length the whole evening.
Braeden Salme led Adna with 21 points. Only five Pirates scored — they had no bench points at all on the night — but four of them finished in double-figures, with Eli Smith putting in 17 points, Seth Meister scoring 14, and Lane Johnson adding 10.
Meister sparked the Pirates early, cashing in on three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to cue a 14-5 start. He finished the night 4 for 11 from beyond the arc, while the Pirates hit nine triples as a team.
“We shoot a lot of threes,” Luke Salme said. “I kind of got on them at halftime because we’d love to get it in the paint a little bit more. But I also want them to play with confidence, and I was pretty happy with how confident they played from the tip-off for the first game this year.”
Every time Adna started to pull away, though, Black Hills came back. After the initial Adna salvo, the Wolves came back to make it a one-point game late in the first, reminding plenty on the Pirate side of things of last winter’s showdown.
“We talked about that during the first timeout, and sure enough they hit three shots in a row, and it’s like, ‘Here we go again,’” Luke Salme said. “But we showed some fight. We’ve got to clean things up, but sometimes kids just make shots, and that kid just made shots.”
“That kid” was Black Hills’ Simon Trujillo-Nysted, who kicked off his junior campaign with a game-high 24 points, 13 of which came in the second quarter, when the Wolves cut what got up to an 18-point gap at one point down to nine at the break.
Come the second half, Trujillo-Nysted cooled off a bit, but so did the Adna offense, keeping the Wolves within punching distance. Midway through the fourth quarter, Black Hills went on one last 10-0 run, with a pair of Keagan Rongen free throws cutting the deficit to seven points, but the Wolves simply ran out of time to try to make it any closer.
“It felt like the very first game, and I think it probably looked like that, too,” Black Hills coach Jeff Gallagher said. “We’re just trying to find a rhythm with some new kids. We gave up way too many open looks and offensive rebounds, and that doesn’t help us maximize possessions.”
Behind Trujillo-Nysted, Rongen put up a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, leading the Wolves on the glass. Jack Ellison had seven points, and Johnnie Stallings scored six.
Black Hills (0-1) will be right back in action, facing Bremerton at home Wednesday. Adna (1-0) will stay at home for another non-league matchup, hosting 1A Elma on Friday.