Washougal boys get back on track

Panthers are ready to challenge the league favorites this week

The Washougal boys basketball team followed up a double overtime victory with its first league win of the season.

“Winning’s always a positive thing,” said head coach Malcolm Estes. “We haven’t had any easy games, yet the kids take on the challenge each time and go out and play as hard as they can.”

Collin Prangley scored 31 points to lead the Panthers to a 55-50 victory against Hockinson at Washougal High School Jan. 3.

Louie Barles earned eight points and Carson Adams added seven. Estes said Troy Prince-Butterfield, Ben Gutkind, Jake Klackner, Barles and Murray contested shots by the Hawks. Bailey Deming, Nick Oakes, Murray and Prangley grabbed key defensive rebounds.

This was a week after Washougal defeated Hudson’s Bay 66-64 following six quarters of basketball. Prangley finished the game with 35 points, and Adams and Barles both had 10.

Quentin Raynor hit a clutch three for Hudson’s Bay in the final minute of the fourth quarter to force overtime. Washougal was down by two with time running out, when Murray stole the ball and Prangley assisted Mitchell Leon on a basket to tie the score and send the game into double overtime.

The Panthers put up 11 more points to go up by two, the Eagles missed their final two shots from the foul line, and then time expired.

“The first few games were pretty rough, but we started playing as a team, playing hard and we’re getting it done,” Klackner said. “If we play together, we can win. If it’s one-on-one, we’re going to lose every time. Got to play together and got to play hard.”

Estes said there are no easy games in this league.

Mark Morris is loaded with returning talent. Woodland has a new coach, but won its first three league games. The Beavers also have a 6-foot, 11-inch big man in Bryce Mulder.

Columbia River joins the 2A league after establishing a winning tradition at the 3A level. R.A. Long and Ridgefield both have four returning starters. Hockinson and Washougal are both itching to knock off these league favorites.

“We’re not giving up any hope,” Estes said. “We just have to be gritty, get after it and believe in ourselves.”

Washougal hosts Columbia River tonight, and goes to Woodland Wednesday, Jan. 18. The Panthers then host R.A. Long, Jan. 20, and Ridgefield, Jan. 24. All of these games begin at 7 p.m.