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Thursday’s Boys Basketball: Speck Sparks Bearcats in Spanking of Centralia

Hot Start: W.F. West Opens Game on 16-Point Run on the Way to 67-29 Rivalry Win

By Jordan Nailon / jnailon@chronline.com

Like the cold winter air on a basketball forgotten in the backyard it didn’t take long for the Bearcats boys to take the air out the Swamp Cup here on Thursday. W.F. West scored the first 16 points of the game and outpaced Centralia 24-2 in the first quarter on their way to a 67-29 victory in their 2A Evergreen Conference basketball tilt.
Tigers turnovers fueled that early run for W.F. West and Centralia never seemed to fully recover from the onslaught of the opening eight minutes.

“I really don’t feel like they did anything out of the ordinary. It was a pretty standard 3-2 zone which we’ve seen plenty of times this season,” said Centralia coach Kyle Donahue. “We just got panicky. We didn’t catch the ball. We didn’t throw the ball to the right guys. Just basic little simple fundamental stuff that we didn’t do in the first quarter of the basketball game and we didn’t give ourselves a chance right from the start.”

While the Tigers shot just 25 percent from the field on 44 shots the Bearcats were able to sink 50 percent of their 52 shots. 

W.F. West coach Chris White said he was pleased with the way his team executed their game plan right out of the chute.

“We kind of knew what they wanted to do on their press break so we had kind of a cool plan for that,” said White.

The Bearcats also won the rebound battle 30-20. Tyler Speck led W.F. West in the scoring column and on the glass with game-highs of 22 points and 8 rebounds.

“I thought he rebounded well. He shot well. He’s had some huge games this season but I know he wants to do better,” said White of Speck, a senior wing. “This was definitely a step in the right direction. He did a nice job on the baseline with his defense and his rebounding and just shot the ball confidently.”

Cade Haller added 11 points for the Bearcats and Dirk Plakinger scored 10 points. Brit Lusk added six points and seven rebounds in the win.

“Brit had a nice night getting some confidence> I know he made one three, a couple of free throws, and he had one nice drive to the basket,” said White. “I like to see him grow his game,”

The third quarter had the best returns for the Tigers as they were outscored just 11-10 out of the half. Nolan Rice scored seven of those points for Centralia and finished the game with a team-high 10 points.

“Nolan is a kid that from the get-go we didn’t quite know how he was going to fit in with the team but he shows up every day and practices 100-percent,” said Donahue. “He can shoot the ball when he gets some open looks it’s just a matter of getting him open.”

Benito Valencia and Cameron Erickson each scored five points in the loss.

“Looking at the stat sheet I actually thought Derek Beairsto played a really solid game for us on the floor,” added Donahue of his senior post. “He worked hard. He got a lot of scrappy rebounds in the second half he just couldn’t find a way to get the ball in the basket. He got a lot of good looks but there was just a lid on that thing for him tonight.”

W.F. West (11-5, 4-2 league) will host Rochester on Tuesday.

Centralia (3-13, 2-4 league) will play at Tumwater on Wednesday.


Beavers Cough the Ball Up in Loss to Forks

TENINO — The turnover bug got the best of the Beavers here on Thursday as they fell 63-30 in their 1A Evergreen League boys basketball contest against Forks.

Tenino trailed 51-30 after three quarters and then went scoreless over the final eight minutes as the Spartans padded their final tally. The woes for the Beavers began long before that, though, as a spat of turnovers prevented their offensive from ever getting going.

“We came down the first five possessions of the game without any kind of press and just turned the ball over. Then they smelled our fright and fear and just kind of turned it up on us,” said Tenino coach Joe Chirhart.

The Beavers made just a dozen shots on 30 attempts in the game. 

“There’s not too many shots taken when you turn the ball over 41 times,” noted Chirhart.

Logan Brewer led the Beavers with 15 points. Takari Hickle posted another double-double with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

“He’s a double-double machine,” said Chirhart of Hickle.

Trey Baysinger scored a game-high 16 points to pace the Spartans and Logan Olson added 15 points.

“They’ve got a good little squad. Gooding’s a good coach and he’s got them going hard,” said Chirhart of Forks.

Tenino (5-10, 0-4 league) will play at Montesano on Tuesday.


At Centralia


W.F. West 24 19 11 13 —67

Centralia 2 11 10 6 —29

W.F. West (67) — Kelly 3, McCoy 4, Haller 11, Tornow 3, Lusk 6, Guerrero 2, Taylor 2, Speck 22, Deskins 4, Plakinger 10

FG: 26 of 52 —.500 FT: 5 of 9 —.555 Reb: 30 (Speck 8, Lusk 7)

Centralia (29) — Baum 4, Rice 10, Wood 3, Valencia 5, Hoyt 2, Erickson 5

FG: 11 of 44 —.250 FT: 4 of 7 —.571 Reb: 20 (Beairsto 5)


At Tenino


Forks 16 16 19 12 —63

Tenino 8 13 9 0 —30

Forks (63) — Pursley 6, Davis 8, Gonzalez 3, Windle 3, Baysinger 16, Flores 10, Olson 15, Stessen 2

FG: 26 of 66 —.393 FT: 4 of 6 —.667 Reb: N/A

Tenino (30) — Brewer 15, Wright 3, P. Russell 2, Hickle 10

FG: 12 of 30 —.400 FT: 3 of 8 —.375 Reb: 26 (Hickle 11)


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