COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD
MOSES LAKE — Koby Huerta stood in front of his locker after the game and thought about it for a moment.
"There's no pressure, all we got to do is win," the 5-foot-10 guard who had a team-high 30 points and six assists said.
Just win, baby, is the mindset if the Runnin' Vikes (14-6, 4-5 NWAC East) want to be in the NWAC Tournament discussion. They need to win six of the next eight games, probably seven to be sure. Wednesday night's 88-80 victory over East Region cellar dwelling Columbia Basin College was the first step, one down, seven to go.
Huerta finished with 30 points and the Runnin' Vikes held off the Hawks (4-17, 1-8) with free throws down the stretch. Big Bend pushed out to a 14-point lead with 6:30 remaining. But the Hawks did not go down quietly, putting together an 11-2 run to close to 78-76 with 1:49 left.
"We know each game we play is important and we're just taking it one moment at a time," said sophomore Mauricio Smith said. "We got a little complacent tonight and underestimated them and they starting making their shots. That won't happen again."
Columbia Basin freshman Denzel Brantley drove the lane and connected with a runner off the glass to make it 81-78 with a little over a minute remaining. But Huerta, who is ranked fourth in the NWAC in scoring, drove hard to the basket on the ensuing possession. The basket and free throw were enough to get Big Bend over the top.
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