Third Quarter Run Helps Riverhawks to Season-Opening Win Over Warriors


ROCHESTER — Though it took both teams a bit to get warmed up and ready for its first basketball game of the season, the Toledo boys basketball team used a big run in the third quarter to win its season-opener over Rochester, 71-54, Tuesday night. 

The Riverhawks used a balanced scoring effort after a mostly low-scoring first half, and a tough start offensively for both teams with 19 points combined in the first quarter. 

“We did a good job defensively, but offensively it was pretty sluggish, first game jitters and all that rust,” Riverhawks coach Grady Fallon said. “But at half we said that this is the tipping point where you can put them away or you can let them hang around. I’m happy though, I didn’t really know what to expect.”

Holding on to a 29-19 lead at the half, the Riverhawks scored 25 points in the third quarter, nearly doubling their scoring total to pull away and hang on for the win. Three Toledo players scored in double figures, led by Conner Olmstead’s 16, Cooper Fallon’s 11, and Kaven Winters’ 10 points. Rogan Stanley was just short of double figures with eight points himself, and Trevin Gale had nine. 

Stanley hauled in nine boards on the glass, dished out three assists and had two steals in the winning effort, as well. 

“You can’t just key in on one guy, they were unselfish and everyone was having fun,” Fallon said. “When you win and play well and you like your teammates, it was fun, I’m really pleased with the first game. I was nervous all day, they have a new coach, I couldn’t really scout.”

Rochester, breaking in new coach Gino McDuffy in his first game, kept pace with the Riverhawks for most of the first half, but a lack of communication that fell a part in the third quarter spelled doom for a Warriors lineup featuring a lot of new pieces in a new system. 

Senior Larenz Payne led the Warriors with a game-high 21 points, and Carson Rotter, Ben Clouse, and Brayden O’Connor each had 10 points, as well. 

Though the Warriors came up on the losing end in McDuffy’s debut, the coach was happy with how his team started its season. 

“It’s good,” McDuffy said. “It’s rewarding because it shows me what I need to work on and what they need to work on to better assess our lineups. It was a preseason game for us, I wanted the win, but it was a good effort from our guys.”

The Riverhawks take on Mossyrock in their home opener Wednesday while the Warriors look to rebound against Hoquiam on the road.