Shielded from the howling wind with electricity still pumping through the gym, the Washougal High School boys basketball team held beat Fort Vancouver 41-37 Thursday in a battle of two boys basketball teams who were 5-0.
“It was an exciting atmosphere, and the kids really stepped up,” said head coach Malcolm Estes.
The Trappers scored the first eight points in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but then missed their next eight attempts.
Yorro Bah made two shots from the foul line for Washougal. He also fed Spencer Adams the ball on a fast break, and Adams took it to the hoop for two more points.
All Fort Vancouver could get the rest of the way was two points from the foul line. Ryan Taylor added two more insurance points from the stripe, and the Panthers walked off the opposing team’s court with a four-point victory and a 6-0 record.
“It sends a message to the league and the county that we mean business,” Taylor said. “All of the hard work we are putting in is paying off, but we can’t let this go to our heads. We have to keep coming out strong every single game. Be confident, but not cocky.”
The Panthers took care of Hudson’s Bay 53-26 in their first league game of the season Monday, in Washougal. After an 18-2 start in the first quarter, Taylor nailed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Panthers a 27-4 advantage at halftime.
“We can relax and just play our game if we start off strong,” Taylor said.
Noah Prangley netted 15 points in the game, and Taylor added 11. Dylan Snapp provided eight points and solid defense off the bench.
“Anytime you can hold a team to four points in a half, that’s pretty good defense,” Estes said.
Washougal edged Centralia 47-45 Dec. 9, at home. Bah delivered 15 points, Prangley notched 13, Taylor scored nine and Adams added eight.
The Panthers grabbed a commanding lead on a 20-5 surge in the third quarter, but the Tigers wouldn’t lie down. Bah nailed two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep Washougal on top. Taylor also scored seven points during those final eight minutes, and Adams added six.
Washougal (7-0) heads to R.A. Long Thursday for a tough league game on the road. Tip off is at 7 p.m. The Panthers have an opportunity to go 8-0 for the first time since the start of the 2011-12 season.