Once Montesano took the lead halfway through the first quarter, the Bulldogs did not relinquish it on its way to a 68-54 boys basketball win over Aberdeen on Wednesday night, Dec. 20, at Sam Benn Gym.
Montesano (5-2) came away with the win on the strength of its consistent shooting and tenacious defense to build and maintain the lead. But the Bobcats (1-6) kept themselves in the game for the entirety of the contest.
The Bulldogs came out in a zone press that bothered Aberdeen’s ball-handlers but they did well to break the press when they opened the game on an 8-2 scoring run.
After some mid-quarter adjustments, the Bulldogs went on a run of their own that gave them the lead at the conclusion of the first quarter.
Monte took an 18-10 lead into the second quarter and used the scoring of L.J. Valley and Trevor Ridgway, who got their points inside and outside. Ridgway led the way with 18 points while Valley contributed 13 points.
Due to the disadvantage in size, Aberdeen had a much more difficult time getting inside and had to rely on mid-range and long-range jumpers to get their scoring. Ben Dublanko led the Bobcats with 21 points and used his 3-point shooting to keep the score close but it wasn’t enough to close the gap as Monte held on to a 34-26 lead.
Aberdeen found more scoring success in the third quarter and cut the lead to four at one point but Montesano coach Doug Galloway said he liked the way his team worked to rebuild the lead in the third quarter.
“We’ve been having some trouble coming out and being ready to play in the third quarter,” he said. “They got a couple of baskets but that was more because of what we were in. The kids came out really well in the third quarter and I was excited about that.”
Aberdeen found more success inside in the second half, which opened up the outside game even more. Alonzo Coburn was one of the Bobcats who benefited from cutting lanes to the basket and picked up 13 points getting to the rim and shooting from the outside.
Aberdeen hung around in the game and even used a trio of threes to cut the lead to 10 with three minutes to go but that’s a close as the score would get heading down the final stretch.
Bobcat head coach Mark Buckman said the losing the rebounding battle was a huge blow to his team.
“The difference was the strength of Montesano and their ability to crash the glass hard,” he said. “They were able to bully us. We didn’t do our part on the defensive glass like we have been emphasizing all season against a big, strong team like Montesano.”
The Bobcats travel to R.A. Long on Dec. 28.
Montesano 18 16 16 18 — 68
Aberdeen 10 16 12 16 — 54
Montesano (68) — Bates 9, Ridgway 18, Nicklas 4, Winter 8, Albert 2, Parker, Valley 13, Farmer 6, Dierkop 6. — FG 19-48 (.395). FT— 7-12.
Aberdeen (54) — Manwell 4, Barragan, Bojorge 12, Dublanko 21, Coburn 13, Sayers 2, Shale 2 . FG — 18-48 (.375). FT— 12-13.