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Balanced Beavers hit run late, pull past Bulldogs

Jan. 2—Box score

At Tenino

BEAVERS 59, BULLDOGS 46

Montesano14 14 8 10 —46

Tenino14 13 16 16 —59

Montesano (46) — Peterson 15, Bodwell 13, Chan 9, Cobb 3, Taylor 2, Crites 2, Damasiewics 2

Tenino (59) — Schow 15, Burkhardt 14, Gonia 12, Feltus 7, Gore 6, Lindholm 4, Strawn 1

TENINO — The last squad in the area to play a league game, the Tenino boys basketball team entered 1A Evergreen play with a promising sort of win, pulling away from Montesano 59-46.

"You start 1-0, that's the first thing," Tenino coach Ryan Robertson said.

The Beavers (8-4, 1-0 1A Evergreen) dug themselves a nine-point hole in just over two minutes from the opening tip, but pulled themselves back into it by the end of the quarter. And a year after they struggled at times to hold onto leads and keep momentum, they only got faster as the night went on.

With four minutes left in the third quarter, Tenino led 36-34. Two minutes later, it was 43-34, and the hosts were threatening to blow the game open.

"The biggest thing was that we were able to get out in transition (when) we caused turnovers," Robertson said. "We had more intensity on defense, we got to them and we disrupted them. You have to get to them in that defense, because you're so spread out; if not, they're going to move it too quickly. We got to them, we put pressure on them and then we converted."

Three minutes into the fourth, Will Feltus hit a layup through contact to make it a 10-point game, and the Beavers kept running, getting the gap out to as many as 17 on a Jack Burkhardt transition bucket before the Bulldogs scratched a few points back in the final minute.

Noah Schow had a comparatively quiet — for his standards, at least — game on offense with the Montesano defense focusing all its attention on keeping the ball away from him, but still finished with 15 points to lead the Beavers on 7-of-15 shooting. He also had 11 rebounds and a block.

Austin Gonia added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and five other Beavers got in on the scoring action.

"We're not a two-man team," Roberston said. "I've got two really good players, but we have a lot of other guys who are learning how to play together and contribute, and I thought that happened today."

Jack Burkhardt had a huge night for Tenino down low, pairing 14 points up with a team-high 13 rebounds and two blocks.

As a team, Tenino out-boarded Montesano 39-28. Burkhardt, Schow and Gonia — who give the Beavers three defenders over 6-foot-2 at the bottom of their zone — combined to bring down more rebounds than all the Bulldogs combined.

"We're pretty tough to deal with, not just offensively but defensively," Robertson said. "We should be a dominant rebounding team."

Feltus, who dished out a team-high five assists from the point and took away two steals, also scored seven points.

"Will had a great game," Robertson said. "He's so solid with the ball and distributing, and as he gets more confident he's going to finish like that more often, and that's going to really help us too."

Tenino will stay at home for another league matchup, welcoming Hoquiam to Stone City on Thursday.

"It was a good step tonight," Robertson said. "We've got to get a lot better, but we're happy with how we did."