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Friday’s 2B Boys Basketball: Napavine Bests Toledo in Pigtail Playoff

By the Chronicle

TOUTLE LAKE — For just the fourth time in the past three decades, Toledo is not advancing to a district playoff.

The Indians (5-15) were eliminated after falling to Napavine in back-to-back nights, most recently a 53-39 pigtail playoff match Friday.

The Tigers (12-8) move on to face Kalama Saturday in the final pigtail playoff to determine the eighth and final seed from the Central 2B League. The winner of that game faces Onalaska at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13, at Rochester High School.

On Friday, Napavine held off any Toledo comeback attempts, including a game-high 14-point performance from Indians’ junior Ryan Bloomstrom, who also drilled four 3-pointers.

“We did a really good job closing out the game,” Napavine coach Rex Stanley said.

Toledo got another big game from senior Caleb Perz-Stewart, who scored a game-high 14 points, and junior Laythan Demarest.

The Indians turned the ball over 20 times, their season average per game, while the Tigers coughed the ball up 13 times.

“Turnovers killed us,” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said. “We started the game with four or five. “Rex has been at Napavine for a long time. He had a good gameplan and challenged our guys.”

The state tournament will look a bit different this year without the Indians, perennial basketball powerhouses that have advanced to state each of the past six years that Fallon has been coach, including a fourth-place finish in 2019. But Toledo lost 11 seniors from that team last year and returned just two players, Duke Schaplow and Carlo Arceo-Hansen.

“We knew there would be a target on our backs and that everyone would give us their best game,” Fallon said. “And they did.”

For Napavine, their road to and through districts will be a difficult one. They face Kalama (5-14) on Saturday in Toutle Lake, then the winner travels to play Ocosta on Tuesday. That would be three-straight loser-out games in a row for the Tigers. The winner of that takes on C2BL four seed Onalaska (15-5) on Thursday.

“These kids have fought all year,” Stanley said. “We’ve been in virtually every game we’ve played in. We feel like we get better every day. We feel our best basketball is ahead of us.”

 

At Toutle Lake

TIGERS 53, INDIANS 39

Toledo 7 5 15 12 —39

Napavine 10 16 10 17 —53

Toledo (53) — Bloomstrom 14. Arceo-Hansen 9, Soto 5, Cournyer 2, Schaplow 9

FG: 15 of 48 —.312 FT: 3 of 6 —.500 Reb. 31

Napavine (39) — Demarest 13, Parker 8, Perz-Stewart 14, Evander 9, Olson 9

FG: 18 of 47 —.383 FT: 10 of 20 —.500 Reb. 29

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