By David Bashore

Herald sports editor

Riverside's boys basketball team has spent the past four days getting ready for tonight's 3A state first-round contest at Clatskanie.

According to head coach Clair Costello, any longer of a wait and the Pirates might have lost their edge.

"The kids are sick of practicing," Costello said. "They're ready to play the game."

Riverside and Clatskanie figure to put forth the signature game of the first round of the 3A tournament, as both teams were ranked inside the state's top three teams at varying points but struggled down the stretch.

The Tigers come into tonight's game losers of three straight contests, while Riverside lost three of their last five games to finish a distant second in the Eastern Oregon League to Nyssa.

It's that Nyssa team that Riverside has taken their gameplanning from and transferred it to Clatskanie — a team very much like Nyssa in its desire to create a lot of turnovers and stifle opposing offenses.

Unlike the EOL's champions, however, Clatskanie has considerable height inside, headlined by 6-foot-6 bigman Casey Doyle.

That height and the press defense that the Tigers employ, puts the onus on guards Robert Turner and Eric Yoder to make good decisions with the ball and take quality shots.

"We know we can't rely on the inside game because they're so tall," Yoder said. "We have to play good defense and shoot well."

With one win separating either team from a trip to the quarterfinals, Riverside is motivated by the fact that they got to this point last season before falling to Sherwood.

"This is our last shot," senior Anthony Calvillo said. "We want to get it done."

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