Hungry Panthers

Washougal starts new year off with three league wins

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Years of playing football paid off for Daniel Davis, and then his love for basketball took over.

The Washougal High School senior dropped back behind the 3-point line and intercepted a pass by Woodland with 2.8 seconds left on the clock of a tie game in overtime. In one swift motion, Davis turned to the basket and drained the game-winning shot that helped the Panthers sink the Beavers 52-49 Friday.

“That was the best sports moment I’ve had in high school,” Davis said. “The ball was right there, I jumped up and caught it, turned around and had a wide open three for the win.”

Washougal trailed by two points with time ticking down in regulation, when Brody Oberg made a contested basket to send the game into overtime.

“I drove in and took the shot, tried to draw a foul, but didn’t get it,” he said. “The ball went in, anyway.”

Woodland took the early lead in the extra session, until Curtis Crosby nailed a 3-pointer for the Panthers and Collin Prangley hit a jumper to tie the score again.

“It was just insane. I had never played in a game like that before,” Prangley said. “We were doing all the right things. Even when we got in a slump, we found a way to break out of it and get back to doing what we do well. We were not going to go home empty-handed.”

All of this effort set the stage for Davis.

“I wouldn’t have been in that position without my teammates,” he said. “Every single kid hit a clutch shot. That’s what we need. We can’t have guys be afraid to take the shot.”

Washougal head coach Malcolm Estes has seen the Panthers lose games that went down to the wire in the past. He said it was nice to see these boys earn the victory and celebrate their accomplishment together.

“I got excited. Some people said I may have even jumped off the ground,” Estes said. “For an old guy like me who has been around, I still get thrilled when these kids are successful and I feel for them when they fail. A win like this is something they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Prangley finished the game with 16 points and Oberg added 15. Davis and Crosby chipped in eight points each.

Several Panthers contributed to a 57-45 victory against Hockinson Monday, in Washougal. Prangley led the attack with 18 points. Oberg added 11, Crosby netted nine, Matt Rotundo delivered eight and Davis scored seven.

Crosby and Oberg held Hockinson’s leading scorers to seven points each. Oberg also made back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Panthers up by 13 points in the fourth quarter.

“Defense wins basketball games,” Estes said.

Washougal (7-5, 3-1) hosts Mark Morris (8-3, 3-1) Wednesday in a battle for sole possession of first place in the 2A Greater St. Helens League.

“This is a pretty special opportunity for our kids,” Estes said.

“It’s going to be a fight,” Prangley added. “We have no fear. Just hunger.”