Looking to rebound after its first league loss of the season, the Tumwater boys basketball team was on upset alert for the second straight game, this time against Centralia, but held off the red-hot Tigers, 73-60, Thursday night at home.
The Thunderbirds had three double-digit scorers after settling in, with Luke Brewer’s 17 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and five steals leading the way.
Brewer and guard Andrew Collins got off to a hot start with a pair of dunks in the first quarter, but the Tigers responded with a barrage of 3s to take an early lead.
Forward Cole Wasson led the Tiger charge, scoring 20 points, with Jayden Pannette finishing with 12. Landon Kaut scored a modest 10 points, but faced double-teams and traps against an alert T-Bird defense.
The difference came in the third quarter, where the Thunderbirds outscored the Tigers, 23-10, hitting multiple outside shots while a lid was on the rim for Centralia.
“We came out with good energy,” Tigers coach Kyle Donahue said. “We shot the ball well in the first half, we flew around and got a hand on some passes to create turnovers, and we got back on defense and stopped their transition game. They hit some shots in the third quarter, and we didn’t. That was the difference in the game.”
Donahue praised the efforts of Wasson and Pannette for shouldering the scoring load while Kaut faced double-teams, and Kaut for handling the bodies and pressure Tumwater put on him.
The Thunderbirds will take on Black Hills next Tuesday while the Tigers look to stay alive in the district race with a key game against Shelton on Monday at home.