The Fort Lewis College men’s basketball team feels good about its start in Costa Rica.
On a three-game international trip, the Skyhawks played two games in two nights upon their arrival in Central America. Against the San José All Stars on Wednesday night inside BN Arena in Costa Rica’s capital city of San José, FLC held on down the stretch to earn a 77-74 win against a squad that has beat Division I squads from the U.S. that have visited this summer.
“It was an extremely fun game,” said FLC head coach Bob Pietrack. “We played against four starters from the Costa Rica national team in a very physical basketball game. It was great to see all of our new players mesh so well with our returners.”
FLC was led by junior forward Riley Farris, who scored 24 points in his first game back from shoulder surgery that sidelined him after only six games last season.
“Farris was 100% healthy for the first time in nine months, and it was encouraging to see him back doing what he does best,” Pietrack said.
FLC’s newcomers mixed in with the returners well. Danny Garrick, a senior transfer from Division I Nicholls State, scored 15 points. Returning redshirt sophomore center Brenden Boatwright added 13 points, and freshman guard Akuel Kot out of Texas scored 10 points in his first collegiate game. Sophomore forward Brendan La Rose was the leading rebounder with nine. All stats, however, were unofficial.
Just like in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Skyhawks had a quick turnaround for a second game in as many nights. This time, FLC faced Escazu SJ, a pro team that finished second in Costa Rica’s top League last season.
Behind the red-hot shooting of Garrick, who made five 3-pointers in the first half, the Skyhawks raced out to a 50-30 halftime lead.
That lead only grew in the second half, as FLC went on to win 98-60.
Garrick finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Farris scored 13 points in 15 minutes. Kot finished with 19 points, and Boatwright added 12 points and nine rebounds, all unofficially.
“Really focused group,” Pietrack said of his team Thursday. “We played a structured team. Offensively, we found great rhythm early and continued it through the game.”
FLC will have time off to interact with local school children and Special Olympics of Costa Rica as well as a rafting trip and zip-line tour before a game next Tuesday and a return flight home Wednesday. The regular season will tip off Nov. 9.