WARRENTON - Thirty-one minutes and 50 seconds of complete boredom, followed by four minutes and 10 seconds of sheer excitement.

That's about all you need to know about Wednesday's Lewis & Clark League boys basketball showdown between Rainier and Warrenton.

That, and a couple of dramatic buzzer-beating shots by the Warriors.

Cody Patterson's fadeaway 3-pointer with one second left in regulation sent the game to overtime, and Billy Kerr's offensive rebound score at the buzzer in the extra frame lifted Warrenton past the Columbians, 27-25.

The Warriors closed out the league season a lot better than they started it, as they knocked off the state's eighth-ranked team, and will head to the district tournament with a lot of confidence and a clean slate, as Warrenton (7-9 in league) can throw its 9-16 overall mark out the window.

Rainier (13-2) can still clinch the league title with a win over Neah-Kah-Nie today. Warrenton's next opponent is still to be determined, with the outcome of today's game between Clatskanie and Vernonia.

"I was just real pleased with the way our guys played tonight," said Warrenton coach Josh Jannusch. "Josh Wheatley did a nice job defensively; Billy Kerr and Aaron Jannusch both did a nice job on the big guy (Rainier's 6-foot-10 Brandon Cataldo). He was the focus, obviously. He's 6-10, he's talented and he gets the ball down low."

So to take the Columbians away from their game, the Warriors decided to slow it down. Way down.

"I played with the idea, but I didn't know if I had the guts to do it," Jannusch said. "No. 1, we only scored 12 points the last time we played them and we didn't delay (and lost, 56-12).

"I saw Rainier had a score with Riverdale that was real low, and I knew that it was something we could do," he said. "It was just a battle of wills - if they were going to try and push the ball, or if we were going to be able to hold it."

Warrenton's delay at least involved a lot of weaving and passing; Rainier's delay involved standing at midcourt and holding the ball, which they did for almost five minutes in the third period.

It's boring, and it's barely basketball, but it kept the Warriors within striking distance.

"It was 11-8 at halftime, and I just told the kids, 'We have to stay the course and believe in what we're doing,'" Jannusch said. "It was dead quiet in our locker room - I don't think they knew what was going on. I told them that this was a good thing where we're at. This is where we want to be.

"And they were thinking, 'We scored eight points in the first half, and coach isn't mad.'"

Jannusch's younger brother Aaron Jannusch nailed a 3-pointer early in the third period to bring the Warriors to within 13-11, but Rainier countered with back-to-back scores from Daryl Paddock and Cataldo.

Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Patterson drained a 3-pointer, and the Warriors returned to their slow-down game.

It was interrupted when Paddock stole a pass and took it in for a score, and a seemingly insurmountable 19-16 lead with 1:15 left.

Kerr scored on a backdoor cut with 19 seconds left to make it 19-18, and Rainier's Tyler Yeoman hit two big free throws with 11 seconds remaining for a 21-18 advantage.

The Warriors turned to their 3-point marksman, Patterson, who dribbled off a screen, and took a fall-away 3-pointer that went through the net with a second to spare.

"It was planned - just not that dramatic, with the fadeaway," coach Jannusch said. "But we set that play up for Cody, got him the ball, and he got the shot. It worked out perfectly."

The Warriors pushed the pace to start overtime, which resulted in a layup for Patterson and a quick 23-21 lead. Jared Morrison made two free throws for a four-point advantage, before Paddock connected on a 3-pointer for the Columbians.

Following a missed Warrior free throw, Cataldo tied the game by hitting 1-of-2 foul shots with 44 seconds left.

Playing for the last shot, "we set up the same play for Cody," Jannusch said. "He drove and took a shot that I was probably not looking for - it was definitely too soon."

Reese Johnson came down with the ball but missed the follow, and the rebound ended up with Kerr, who flipped the ball in the basket as the horn sounded.

"I wish I could have drawn up something like that," Jannusch said. "We were scrappy at the end. We're going to be a scrappy team. I hope the kids realize that this is a top 10 team they beat. I imagine Rainier will go to Willamette (University) and be a top eight team in the tournament.

"It's just a good way for us to end the regular season and go to the postseason."


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