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Thursday’s 2A Boys Basketball: Hot Hands Power W.F. West Past Aberdeen

By The Chronicle

TUMWATER — The Bearcats had their backs against the wall and played like it here Thursday, exploding in the second quarter to beat Aberdeen 67-45 in a loser-out District 4 2A Boys Basketball Tournament game.

All five starters scored in double figures and W.F. West shot 8 of 20 from long range — mostly in the second quarter — to turn things into a rout before halftime.

The Bearcats beat Aberdeen 75-63 on the road in the teams’ first matchup, then lost 62-53 to the Bobcats in Chehalis in late January. Thursday had the making of another close game early, before W.F. West’s 30-point second quarter — which left the Bearcats up 42-20 at the break.

“It was just a really good energy game,” Bearcat coach Chris White said. “We kind of joked with them at halftime — who are you guys? Where you been?”

A big part of that was the aforementioned three-point shooting.

“We shot well from outside,” White said. “And they’re the kind you like — the inside-out kicks. They were the right kind of threes.”

Colton Baker scored 17 with seven rebounds. Leandre Gaines notched 14 points with 11 boards and four assists, and Kayden Kelly added 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting from behind the arc with eight assists and three steals.

Colby White scored 10 with eight rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots, and Tyler Speck scored 13 and hit 3 of 6 from long range.

W.F. West pushed its lead to 24 points after three quarters to all but seal the win.

White was impressed with his team’s attitude in the loser-out contest.

“I knew they would have heart,” White said. “But they surpassed my expectations with the kind of enthusiasm they could bring.”

Ben Dublanko, the Evergreen 2A Conference co-MVP, led Aberdeen with 21 points.

“They do have great guards, in Javier (Bojorge) and Ben, and you have to locate them,” White said. “We did a good job of knowing where they were at and making it tough for them.”

The Bobcats finished the season 16-6, after going 7-3 to take second in the Evergreen 2A Conference.

W.F. West (10-13) will play again Friday night in another loser-out game, facing the loser of Thursday’s Mark Morris vs. Black Hills semifinal game. The winner advances to the tournament’s third-place game on Saturday.

At Tumwater


Aberdeen 14 6 11 14 —45

W.F. West 12 30 13 12 —67

Aberdeen (45) — Dublanko 21, Shale 5, Pisani 2, Farrer 2, Johnson 11, Watson 2

FG: 16 of 54 —.296 FT: 8 of 14 —.571 Reb. 33 (Shale 8)

W.F. West (67) — Kelly 11, Yarter 1, Gaines 14, Speck 13, Baker 17, Haller 1, White 10

FG: 25 of 51 —.490 FT: 9 of 16 —.563 Reb. 36 (Gaines 11)

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