Thursday’s 2B Boys BB: Morton-White Pass Secures Regional Berth With Win Over Toledo
DISTRICTS: MWP Tops Indians 49-37; LCA Edges Napavine 56-53 in Consolation Semifinals
By Matt Baide
ROCHESTER — Matt Poquette scored 27 points to lead the Timberwolves to a 49-37 win over Toledo in a District 4 2B Boys Basketball Tournament consolation semifinal game here Thursday.
The Timberwolves face Life Christian on Saturday in the tournament’s third-place game at 2:30 p.m. in Chehalis, and have now qualified for the regional round of the 2B state playoffs.
“It feels awesome. As a coach, it’s the best feeling ever. That regional game isn’t so important anymore,” MWP coach Tony Gillispie said. “Usually, when you get to this point in districts, you’ve kind of placed and you move on to that regional but it’s awesome, actually. The kids have worked extremely hard, as well as the Toledo kids.”
Toledo beat MWP, in Toledo, 57-49 back on Jan. 12 in a Central 2B League game.
“We weren’t really happy with the way we played down there. I thought they were tougher than we were,” Gillispie said. “I challenged our kids on being tougher and mentally tougher and I thought we were today.”
Toledo will play Napavine on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Rochester for the fifth and final spot into regionals.
“I thought they just brought more energy than we did. I thought we played a little tentative. I don’t know what we had to be scared of. I mean, we’re the No. 1 seed,” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said. “I like being in their position, where you just bring it and you’re not supposed to win just cause of the seeding, kind of bring a different mentality to it. … We had a couple good practices, we had a good game plan and things didn’t go our way.”
Poquette led MWP with nine rebounds and Tristan Storey added 12 points. Reece Wallace was the only Toledo player in double figures with 16 points.
The Timberwolves utilized their size down low in the teams’ second meeting, with Storey and Poquette combining for 39 points.
“We held a good team to 37 points,” Gillispie said, noting that Toledo hit three 3s in the first quarter but none in the second. “Our defense was spectacular. We made everything rough on them.”
Poquette, he added, wasn’t happy with his performance (15 points, 14 rebounds) in a semifinal loss to Adna on Tuesday.
“He wanted to show everybody what he’s about today and he did,” Gillispie said. “We got it to him and we kept going to him and we got them in foul trouble a bit, which worked to our game plan and exactly what we wanted.”
The size became an issue for Toledo in the second half, as center Junior Arroyo fouled out midway through the third quarter to give MWP even more leverage inside.
“That’s been something that’s plagued our big guys, but not usually all three of them at once,” Fallon said of the foul trouble. “Usually, one person’s in trouble and our bench has been great, just not tonight.”
MWP led by a point after the first quarter but stretched the lead to 29-22 by halftime.
The Timberwolves already played Life Christian (21-3) once in districts, winning 62-42 in the quarterfinals. The Eagles, though, didn’t have 6-foot-5 sophomore center Keegan Bitow-Woods in that contest, and freshman point guard Omari Maulana is exceptional, Gillispie noted.
“We’ve got our work cut on with him again,” Gillispie said. “They play a lot of zone so we’re going to have to work against that. They’re a pretty good team.”
Toledo and Napavine played once in the regular season, with the Indians’ winning 65-57 in Toledo. Napavine fell to Life Christian 56-53 in Thursday’s other consolation semifinal.
The two teams know each other well, and Fallon expects another close contest, especially with the final regional berth at stake.
“Rex (Stanley) has been doing this a long time. He’s been in lots of big games so I don’t think it’s going to bother him in this situation. He’ll be prepared,” Fallon said. “It’s kind of like he said in the paper the other day, they’ve been playing each other since they were in youth basketball. They know each other well and hopefully it will be a dog fight.”
LCA Edges Napavine in Consolation Semifinals
ROCHESTER — Noah Robinson drained a 3-pointer with just under a minute to play, helping Life Christian beat Napavine 56-53 here Thursday night in the consolation semifinals of the District 4 2B Boys Basketball Tournament.
The loss means Napavine (18-6) faces Toledo (20-4) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., back in Rochester, for the fifth and final District 4 berth to the regional playoffs.
Napavine fought back from a 10-point deficit at halftime to tie the game at 53, before Robinson’s big shot. The Tigers wound up with the ball out of bounds on the baseline with just under 10 seconds left to play, but a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer was off the mark.
“We got off to a slow start. We had a hard time knocking down shots early, and as the game went we got better,” Napavine coach Rex Stanley said. “We basically had to fight the rest of the game to get back to even.”
Robinson led Life Christian with 17 points, and freshman Omari Maulana added 15.
Jordan Purvis scored 18 with seven rebounds to lead Napavine. Peyton Stanley added 12 and Dawson Stanley chipped in 11.
The Tigers lost, 65-57, in Toledo in the teams’ only regular-season meeting back on Jan. 2.
“I’m sure it’s going to be another dogfight,” Stanley said. “The bad teams aren’t around anymore, unfortunately, so you’re going to have to beat somebody fairly good.”
TIMBERWOLVES 49, INDIANS 37
Toledo 15 7 5 10 —37
Morton-WP 16 13 11 9 —49
Toledo (37) — Wood 2, Arceo-Hansen 6, D. Marcil 1, R. Wallace 16, W. Wallace 6, Malunat 6
FG: 14 of 50 —.280 FT: 3 of 8 —.375 Reb: 23
Morton-WP (49) — Rashoff 7, Gillispie 3, Poquette 27, Storey 12
FG: 16 of 29 —.551 FT: 12 of 21 —.571 Reb: 29 (Poquette 9)
EAGLES 56, TIGERS 53
Life Chr. 18 13 13 12 —56
Napavine 10 11 17 15 —53
Life Christian (56) — Maulana 15, Robinson 17, Shemp 7, Woods 8, Shaughnessy 9
FG: 20 of 51 —.392 FT: 11 of 15 —.733 Reb. 33
Napavine (53) — Purvis 18, Kinswa, Lantz 8, D. Stanley 11, P. Stanley 12, Subitch, Evander 4
FG: 18 of 55 —.327 FT: 8 of 10 —.800 Reb. 27 (Lantz, Purvis 7)