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Bengals best Bears back to back

Jan. 9—In their first home event of the new year, the Bengal boys and girls basketball teams pleased fans at Lewison High School with a pair of area rivalry wins over the Moscow Bears on Monday.

A steadily tight girls game saw Lewiston come out on top 49-44 to start the evening, then the Bengal boys took over in the second quarter en route to closing things out with a convincing 74-48 decision over the Bears.

Bengals bear Bears' pressure in girls game

After finishing the first quarter down 9-8, Moscow (7-6) had a brief spurt to lead early in the second by as many as three points at 12-9 and 14-11. The Bears had chances to extend their advantage beyond a possession, but missed four consecutive free throw attempts and stalled out midway through the quarter to let go of what would prove to be their last lead of the game.

Lewiston (7-10) found some momentum late in the second behind Reese DeGroot's outside and free-throw shooting. The Bengals would go into halftime up 23-20 and maintain a one-to-two possession lead through the third quarter.

"Credit to them defensively," Moscow coach Josh Colvin said of Lewiston. "They tend to take away the interior pretty well, and we weren't hitting them outside."

Trailing 39-34 at the beginning of the fourth, Moscow found a five-point run started by a mid-range jump from McKenna "Punk" Knott, who then fed Maya Anderson an assist that led to a traditional three-point play to tie things up at 39 apiece. Moscow would hold even or within a possession into the last four minutes of play, but stalled again late as fast-break layups from Lewiston's Skye VanTrease and Breanna Albright plus a pair of VanTrease free throws reestablished separation. An Avery Lathen hook shot with a little over a minute to go proved the Bengals' final field goal of the day, with the game ending on a series of long possessions and free-throw attempts.

"We handled the pressure," Lewiston coach Julie Fisher said. "We actually handled it all four quarters this time. We did have some turnovers that I would like back, but for the most part, we handled the pressure and we kept our heads about us. I'm really proud of the girls for stepping into pressure situations and having it go our way, and handling those situations well."

DeGroot was the top offensive contributor for the Bengal girls with 16 points, totaling four 3-point goals and shooting 2-for-2 from the foul line in the process. Addy McKarcher provided another 13 Lewiston points off four inside baskets and a 5-for-6 free-throw showing. Anderson led the Bears with 16 points of her own, with Knott and Jessa Skinner adding 10 apiece.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Bengals, while the Bears have now spent their last half-dozen games alternating wins and losses one at a time. This was the teams' second meeting of the season, having a similar but slightly more-decisive outcome in comparison to a 51-48 victory for Lewiston on the Bears' home court Nov. 29.

Bear boys can't keep pace

The boys game was tight at 16-14 Lewiston through a fast-paced opening quarter, but the Bengals (8-4) broke things wide open early in the second as Rylan Gomez, Jordan Walker and Royce Fisher all locked in at the same time and scored with abandon on fast breaks. It was a demoralizing frame for the Bears (4-8), who entered intermission down 38-21.

Moscow's Ian Hillman went on a rampage from 3-point range during the third quarter to briefly cut into Lewiston's advantage, but the Bengals reasserted themselves by the end of that frame and pulled yet further away in the fourth.

"I thought we played pretty well in the first quarter, and Moscow was able to hang tough," Lewiston coach Brooks Malm said. "We played with really good pace tonight. I thought Jordan Bramlet and Jordan Walker did a good job pushing the ball in transition. ... Rylan Gomez — defensively, you talk about a guy that sits down on a stance and steps up and guards a guy. He's the guy."

Moscow boys coach Josh Uhrig expressed similar sentiments to Colvin about the experience of playing Lewiston.

"Lewiston is as good a defensive team as they come," he said. "They put a lot of pressure on us."

Bramlet came on strong in the latter stages and had a big day at the foul line, going 10-for-11 en route to scoring a season-best 19 points. The Bengals also received 14 points from Gomez, 11 from Dray Torpey and gained at least six points apiece from eight players in all.

Hillman totaled a team-high 15 points for the Bears, all of them coming off 3-pointers. Joey Williams added another eight after a strong opening quarter in which he put up five of their first seven out of the gate, and his defensive effort was critical to holding Lewiston big man Drew Hottinger to only six points.

This was a similar result to the Bengals' 69-38 win over the Bears two weeks ago at the Avista Holiday Tournament, in which Lewiston went on to take the title.

Both the Moscow and Lewiston boys and girls teams will face Inland Empire League foes from their own 4A and 5A divisions, respectively, when they return to competition.

GIRLS

MOSCOW (7-6)

Punk Knott 5 0-0 10, Angela Lassen 0 0-0 0, Kolbi Kiblen 2 0-0 4, Maya Anderson 4 8-11 16, Jessa Skinner 5 0-0 10, Lola Johns 1 0-2 2, Jacque Williams 0 0-0 0, Faith Tiegs 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-11 44.

LEWISTON (7-10)

Bay Delich 1 0-2 2, Breanna Albright 2 2-2 6, Skye VanTrease 1 2-2 4, Addy McKarcher 4 5-6 13, Avery Lathen 2 0-0 4, Mara Kessinger 1 0-0 2, Reese DeGroot 5 2-2 16, Avery Balmer 1 0-2 2. Totals 17 11-16 50.

Moscow 8 12 14 10—44

Lewiston 9 14 16 10—49

3-point goals — DeGroot 4.

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BOYS

MOSCOW (4-8)

Ian Hillman 5 0-0 15, Cody Wilson 2 0-0 5, Breese 1 0-0 2, Cummings 1 0-0 2, Tyson Izzo 0 0-0 0, Bethel 2 0-0 6, Frei 1 0-0 2, Grant Abendroth 1 0-0 2, Joey Williams 2 4-6 8, Ceron 0 0-0 0, Reed 0 0-0 0, Hurley 0 0-0 0. Totals

LEWISTON (8-4)

Rylan Gomez 6 2-5 14, Jordan Bramlet 4 10-11 19, Drew Alldredge 0 0-0 0, Jordan Walker 1 0-0 2, Royce Fisher 3 2-2 8, Dray Torpey 4 3-3 11, Parker Bogar 2 2-2 7, Drew Hottinger 3 0-0 6, Blaze Hepburn 3 0-0 8.

Moscow 14 7 12 15—48

Lewiston 16 22 13 23—74

3-point goals — Hillman 5, Bethel 2, Hepburn 2, Wilson, Bramlet, Bogar.