KEY BASKET – La Conner’s Elijah Porter drove into the key to knock down a floater as time expired in the first half of NW2B basketball action with Darrington at Landy James Gym last Friday. Porter’s buzzer beater gave the Braves a 25-22 lead at intermission and shifted momentum to La Conner. The hosts went on to post a 56-35 triumph. With the win, the Braves squared their season record at 2-2. – Photo by Bill Reynolds
KEY BASKET – La Conner’s Elijah Porter drove into the key to knock down a floater as time expired in the first half of NW2B basketball action with Darrington at Landy James Gym last Friday. Porter’s buzzer beater gave the Braves a 25-22 lead at intermission and shifted momentum to La Conner. The hosts went on to post a 56-35 triumph. With the win, the Braves squared their season record at 2-2. – Photo by Bill Reynolds

Fancy passing was no mere passing fancy for the La Conner Braves during their first week of spring hoop action. 

La Conner passed effectively both in transition and in its half-court offense, consistently finding open shooters, to post convincing NW2B home victories over Concrete and Darrington. 

The Braves sped past Concrete 73-29 last Tuesday and used a second half surge to defeat Darrington 56-35 on Friday. 

The two wins bookended road losses at 1A Meridian (68-38) on Wednesday and league foe Friday Harbor (44-33) Thursday afternoon. 

When at their best, the Braves patiently made the extra pass – often dishing off deftly in the paint – for high percentage shots. 

Senior point guard Elijah Porter was especially good running the Braves attack during the four-games-in-four-days stretch, setting up shooters in various hot spots, while junior guard Collin Joe riddled Concrete’s zone with well-placed entry passes. 

Against Darrington, Porter added what may have been the key bucket of the night – a floater in the lane off a coast-to-coast dribble drive that beat the halftime buzzer for a 25-22 lead at the break. 

That basket shifted momentum to the Braves, which closed the contest with a 31-10 second half run to square its season mark at 2-2 going into this Thursday’s 7 p.m. conference clash at Coupeville. 

Junior wing Miles Sidzyik, sidelined much of the last two years due to injury, led all scorers Friday with 17 points. All but five of his points came in the pivotal second half. Sidzyik scored seven points in the third quarter to spark a decisive 19-6 Braves spurt. 

Josh Jolly also scored in double figures for the hosts. He finished with 11 points, including an outside trey in the first period. Jolly likewise was a force in the lane early in the game, igniting the Braves with a short turnaround jumper and finishing a fast break via a feed from Charles Baker. 

Andre Knudson added a pair of three-pointers while totaling nine points. Baker drained a couple second quarter treys for six points. 

Josh Denton (4), Spencer Olsen (4) and Luke Marble (3) also scored for the victors. 

Caleb Rivera led Darrington with 16 points and three treys. Shane Jacobs delivered 10 points for the visitors. 

La Conner head coach Todd Hinderman freed up his charges to push tempo when possible. If fast break opportunities did not present themselves, he implored his team to work the ball into the paint and back out for open jumpers. 

That ball movement wore down Darrington, which played much of the game minus senior Aaron Colson, who sustained a serious leg injury midway through the second quarter and had to be lifted from the floor onto a gurney. 

The Loggers briefly led 22-20 prior to intermission before La Conner closed out the half with five unanswered points – including Porter’s runner in traffic as time expired. 

The Braves (2-2) return home June 1 (7 p.m.) to face Mount Vernon Christian. La Conner entertains Coupeville June 2 in another 7 p.m. tipoff.