COLTON — Pomeroy kept its prep boys basketball season alive with a 56-33 victory over St. John-Endicott/LaCrosse (SJEL) here on Thursday in a loser-out playoff for a spot in the district tournament.

The Pirates (5-14 record) advance to play a district first-round matchup Saturday at regular-season SE1B champ Garfield-Palouse, with the opening tip scheduled at 4 p.m.

“We played our best game of the year tonight in a loser-out game,” Pirates coach Chris Wolf said. “We defended and rebounded really hard tonight and limited them to 1-of-12 on 3-point shots.

“The seniors really stepped up and rebounded hard tonight,” Wolf said. “They played hard, and you could tell they didn’t want this to be their last game.”

The Pirates had finished the regular season tied with SJEL for fourth place and the last available spot in the tournament, both 5-7 in the Southeast 1B and having split their two previous matchups.

Squaring off here at a neutral site, with the loser done for the season, Pomeroy led SJEL all night as Trent Gwinn scored a game-high 24 points for the Pirates.

“Trent played really under control tonight,” Wolf said.

Danner Maves gave Pomeroy another 13 points along with nine rebounds, Evan Bartels had nine points and 10 rebounds, Byron Stallcop added eight points and 12 rebounds.

The Pirates paced SJEL all night, building a 38-22 after three quarters before pulling away in the final minutes.

Pirates 56, Eagles 33

POMEROY (56) — Gwinn 24, Maves 13, Bartels 9, Stallcop 8, Kimble 2.

St. JOHN-ENDICOTT/LaCROSSE (33) — Greenhalgh 15, Stach 6, Ty Harder 5, O. Swannack 5, Molina 2.

Pomeroy 9 15 14 18 — 56

SJEL 4 7 11 11 — 33

3-point goals — Pom 8 (Gwinn 3, Maves 3, Bartels), SJEL 1 (Swannack).