The streak ended at eight wins to start the season for Washougal, but the boys are rebuilding for the long haul.
La Center cooled the hot-footed Panthers 80-57 Dec. 29. Washougal bounced back with a 43-29 victory against W.F. West Friday, in the Joe Brown Gymnasium. Noah Prangley netted 15 points, Yorro Bah added 10 and Dylan Snapp earned eight.
“It was an ugly win, but we’re still 9-1,” said head coach Malcolm Estes. “We’re not where we were before Christmas break, but we’ll get back to it.”
La Center had a few games to get back into the swing of things before coming to Washougal, but Estes said the Panthers hadn’t played in a week and it showed. Washougal still looked sluggish Friday, but played through the pain and adversity, and finished strong in the fourth quarter.
“That last game wasn’t good for us. It was a reality check,” Bah said. “Everyone on the bench, from the first guy to the last guy, stepped up and made things happen tonight. It showed that there’s a lot we can still improve on. A lot of work still needs to be done.”
Washougal is competing shorthanded since senior Ryan Taylor suffered a collapsed lung. He caught a pneumonia year ago, but his lungs healed on their own. Although Taylor played basketball last season without any setbacks, Estes said he reaggravated the injury during Washougal’s 44-42 victory at R.A. Long Dec. 18.
While Taylor recovers from surgery, the Panthers are getting a boost from sophomore Collin Prangley. Snapp and Dan Davis have also made an impact to the starting lineup.
A 10-3 start gave Washougal a commanding lead Friday, but W.F. West crawled back into the game before halftime. Both teams struggled the make baskets in the third quarter, but the Panthers built a 10-point advantage at the foul line.
Washougal came alive in the fourth quarter. Noah Prangley scrambled for a loose ball and put it back up for two points. Collin Prangley stole the ball and was fouled on a fast break. He made both free throws to put the Panthers up by 14.
The Bearcats hit a 3-pointer, but then the Panthers went on another surge. Bah swarmed around the defense and scored two points, Noah Prangley rebounded a miss and put back up for two, and Spencer Adams drove to the hoop for two points. Bah, Davis and Noah Prangley passed the ball around the court and put it in the net for a flashy finish.
Washougal hosts Woodland tonight, before going to Hockinson Thursday and Mark Morris Monday. All three games start at 7 p.m.