Centralia hung for the first quarter, holding a 15-12 lead after one, but W.F. West’s deep bench finally wore the Tigers down as the Bearcats took a 73-46 victory over the Tigers in the 2021 edition of the Swamp Cup Monday in Centralia.
It was a sloppy first quarter for the Bearcats, who struggled to convert offensively as Centralia played staunch defense and hit enough buckets to maintain the lead.
W.F. West took its first lead of the game with 3:23 left in the first, but Centralia kept fighting back and held a 15-12 advantage after one.
“I feel like we were not respecting the game at first,” W.F. West coach Chris White said. “We were kind of embarrassing ourselves. We kind of thought we could just show up and, really, we had to get our head on straight. We didn’t come mentally focused.”
But the Bearcats finally caught fire, reeling off a 15-4 run in the second quarter to take a 29-19 lead at the break, highlighted by a couple two-handed jams by Carter McCoy and Dirk Plakinger.
The Bearcats used a full-court press and subbed generously as the Tigers began to tire with only five regular varsity players and a crew of JV swingers suited up for the night. Missing were key starters Benito Valencia, Chase Sobolesky and Rex Akins.
“With fresh legs, we were flying around the court well,” Centralia coach Kyle Donahue said. “We packed it in and made them shoot from outside. But we got tired and they put pressure on us. It was a game we definitely thought we could compete in. So proud of our five kids for giving it their all.”
Centralia was led by junior Jayden Pannette’s team-high 18 points, while Brandon Yeung added 12 and Landon Kaut had nine.
“To their credit, they executed their stuff really well,” White said. “I know they’re shorthanded, but they’re not going to just roll over. They’re going to fight. This is a crosstown rivalry.”
W.F. West senior Carter McCoy led all scorers with 20 points, while junior Dirk Plakinger added 18, senior Gabe Cuestas had 12 and Whalen Deskins chipped in seven.
“I was happy with the second half, with how we answered the call,” White said. “‘Let’s do what we do, find some post-ups, grind on defense.’ They answered the call pretty well.”
W.F. West improves to 3-1 and travels to Black Hills on Wednesday.
Centralia drops to 1-3 and hosts Black Hills on Friday.
Warriors Clipped by Bobcats
Tyler Klatush scored a game-high 26 points but Rochester was unable to generate enough offense in a 53-48 road loss on Monday.
Aberdeen broke off an 8-0 run before Rochester coach Derrick Pringle called a timeout and sparked a 22-4 run for the Warriors that gave them a 22-12 lead.
But the Warriors committed three-straight turnovers in the third to let Aberdeen climb back in it and regain a 40-34 lead. Rochester had one final push, taking a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but fouls and miscues handed Aberdeen the victory.
“This is the first time we’ve ever led most of the game,” Pringle said. “Our defense and rebounding was the key factor, along with Klatush’s sharp shooting in the first quarter.”
Klatush hit five consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter.
“Tyler played like a veteran,” Pringle said. “He took what the defense gave him and capitalized on the open opportunity.”
Rochester falls to 0-4 and travels to Tumwater on Wednesday.
Rochester- Tyler Klatush-26, Caleb Vanderhoof-8, Ben Clouse -6, Porter Mason-5, Jaegen Reese-1, Camron Henderson-2.
Aberdeen- Angel Battana-14, Andrew Troch-13, Kayden Sarbert-7, Kale Gongs-6, Jeremy Sawyer-4, Ashdea Swope-5, Jalaron Brooks-1, Robert Salmen-2