Toledo Edges Toutle Lake to Clinch Share of League Title
CHAMPS: Reece Wallace Scores 16 in Final Prep Home Game as Indians Beat Toutle Lake 58-56
By Matt Baide
TOLEDO — Toledo and Toutle Lake battled all four quarters here on Wednesday night, with the Indians defeating the Ducks 58-56 to clinch a share of the Central 2B League title.
The win puts Toledo at 14-1 in league, and following the win, all eyes and phones were trying to find out what happened in Morton. As word spread about Morton-White Pass’ win over Adna, the win against Toutle Lake became a lot more significant, giving Toledo a one game lead in the C2BL standings with just Kalama, on Friday, standing in their way of a league title.
“Now we at least have a share of the league title, although Adna has the tiebreaker. That’s fine,” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said. “We’ve got first or second, secured a place with a couple byes into districts. So we can prepare mentally, physically, rest a little bit and hopefully make a run at it.”
Senior Reece Wallace led Toledo with 16 points, in his final game in front of the Toledo crowd.
“It means everything to me. You spend the last four years, spending 80 percent of your time here in this gym and working out and everything, and it means everything to go out like this,” Wallace said. “We didn’t really play very well. … But at the end of the day, we really stepped up in the fourth quarter when we needed to close that gap.”
The gap between the two teams was never more than single digits, with the Ducks leading 44-40 early in the fourth quarter. Westin Wallace hit a few shots to help Toledo take back the lead, and Andreas Malunat hit a big shot to help Toledo stay in front.
Toutle Lake had several looks at 3-pointers late in the game to cut the lead to one possession or tie things up, but wasn’t able to convert. Wallace and Dawson Marcil hit free throws with under a minute remaining to seal the win.
“That’s B basketball. The referee before the game, he was just looking at the crowd and goes, ‘God, I love B basketball, especially this time of year,’” Fallon said. “I said I agree. I was looking around, it starts filling up and you can just feel the atmosphere. Toutle was predicted to win the league with Adna. I think any of us can beat any of us on any night, and that was a great game.”
Malunat and Fano Arceo-Hansen each finished with 10 points.
The biggest play of the game for Toledo was at the end of the third quarter, with Wallace coming off a screen and hitting a 3-pointer to cut the Toutle lead to 39-38 with less than 10 seconds in the frame. Bryce Marcil was able to steal the Toutle Lake inbound pass and make a jumper as the buzzer sounded to give the Indians some momentum with a 40-39 lead and ignite the Toledo crowd.
“That was the biggest thing ever, especially with the fans here tonight. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard this gym after that,” Wallace said. “I hit the 3-pointer and you hear a little bit, and it was nice. And then after that steal and get the lay-in right there, that’s perfect and that’s how you want to end the quarter is have the momentum going into the fourth quarter.”
Toledo senior Junior Arroyo scored 6 points and was in foul trouble most of the entire game, but the Indians’ bench stepped up to score 21 points to fill the void.
“The other guys stepped up. Andreas made a couple shots off the bench, and we made our free throws. I thought it was kind of a wild game both ways,” Fallon said. “Every play, half the crowd’s screaming. That was fun. I’m happy for sure.”
Toledo (17-2, 14-1) has won eight straight games, and will try to clinch the league title on the road against Kalama on Friday.
“That’s going to be just as huge. We’re not done yet, we’re not finished,” Wallace said. “We didn’t play to our full potential tonight. We know that. We’re just going to come back to work tomorrow and hopefully get the win on Friday.”
INDIANS 58, DUCKS 56
Toutle Lake 14 12 13 17 —56
Toledo 16 8 16 18 —58
Toutle Lake (56) — Jorgenson 2, Swanson 8, Hoff 17, Ri. Moss 4, Vetter 2, Ry. Moss 4, Adams 13, Grabenhorst 6
FG: 20 of 54 —.370 FT: 8 of 17 —.471 Reb: 38
Toledo (58) — B. Marcil 4, Arceo-Hansen 10, Arroyo 6, D. Marcil 7, R. Wallace 16, Malunat 10, W. Wallace 5
FG: 20 of 49 —.408 FT: 12 of 17 —.705 Reb: 34