Panther basketball is rising.
If Washougal can knock Hockinson or Mark Morris off its pedestal this week, it would be a dream come true for the 12 boys in the orange and black.
“We beat Woodland and we beat R.A. Long, but we have to find a way to beat Hockinson and Mark Morris,” said head coach Malcolm Estes. “I think we can do it. The boys are starting to believe in themselves. They are all doing a terrific job out there, and together they are finding ways to win. This is turning out to be a really fun year.”
Estes and the Panthers celebrated a satisfying 67-39 victory over Woodland Thursday, in Washougal. Aaron Diester delivered 19 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.
“Aaron did a great job for us on the boards tonight,” Estes said. “It seemed like he was getting every rebound.”
T.C. White racked up 15 points on three 3-pointers. Isaac Bischoff added eight points. Kevin Monsrud scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds. Michael McElory delivered six steals and six assists. Kyle Anderson collected five rebounds, two steals and two assists.
“We started a little shaky, but then we came out strong in the second quarter and never looked back,” White said. “We scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, which I think is the most we’ve had in a quarter all season. That’s definitely something to remember.”
Leading 8-7 after the first quarter, Washougal went on a 19-11 outburst in the second. McElory stole the ball and scored two points. He took the ball away from Woodland again, and dished it to Colton Pace for two more. After the Panthers snatched a third steal, McElory kicked the ball out to Mustapha Bah for a 3-pointer. White scored eight points in the quarter on two 3-pointers to give Washougal a 27-18 lead at halftime.
The Panthers outscored the Beavers 40-21 in the second half. It started with an 8-0 run to begin the third quarter. Diester made two shots from
the foul line, Monsrud added two points after grabbing an offensive rebound and White delivered a dynamic assist to Diester for two more points. The highlight of the night occurred when Diester gobbled up three rebounds and scored a basket in one entertaining sequence.
“That one felt pretty good when I finally got it in,” Diester said. “I got a lot of energy from the crowd.”
Bah signed, sealed and delivered another signature play when he rose above two Beavers to get the rebound. He looked back and saw Diester in a beeline toward the basket. Without hesitation, Bah hurled the ball the length of the court. Diester put the ball in the net, drew a foul shot and made it for a 3-point play.
Panthers slash Hawks
Maddie Down scored 20 points and Megan Townsend added 11 points and 14 rebounds to help the Panther girls beat Hockinson 57-44 Monday, at WHS.
“I couldn’t be happier with the effort from the girls tonight,” said head coach Charlie Boyce. “They showed great intensity, hustle and desire.”
The win moves Washougal into third place with five games to go. The Panthers host two more games against R.A. Long and Woodland. They also have one more game at Hockinson and two at Mark Morris.
“We would love to get a couple of wins against Morris, Long or Woodland. We know we have to beat Hockinson at Hockinson,” Boyce said. “We want to continue the season for as long as possible. The kids want to keep playing basketball.”