In a game where every suited-up Wildcat scored at least five points, the Mt. Spokane High School boys basketball team rolled past Pasco 71-43 on Thursday in the second matchup of the day at the Hanford Holiday Tournament.
The Wildcats (7-2) continued their great start to the season after topping Hanford 62-58 on Thursday in their first game of the tournament. Their only losses this season have been to Post Falls’ Genesis Prep Academy and Gonzaga Prep (the top-ranked 4A team in Washington).
“We’re not going to be taller than anybody this year, and so I thought we did a fair job of battling,” said Pasco’s first-year coach Adam Berg. “But at the end of the day their size kind of overwhelmed us a little bit, and their pressure on the outside as well with their long guards.”
In another tough game of a rebuilding season, the Bulldogs (1-9) went 15 of 46 from the floor (32.6 percent) and were out-rebounded 38-18. But, as Berg said, games like this are just a part of the process.
“Obviously the first year, we want to change the attitude and culture of how we go to work every day,” Berg said. “The biggest thing for us is teaching these guys how to practice at the highest level they can, play at the highest level, and eventually win. ... There’s a learning curve, and it’s going to take time to instill everything we want to instill, have them do what we want them to do without us having to tell it to them.”
Diego Gutierrez led the Bulldogs with 16 points, but perhaps the even brighter spot for the team was Kashon Tate, who was just one point shy of his season-high with 14 and went 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.
“His biggest thing is just being consistent,” Berg said of Tate. “His body responds to the work he has to put in, and just getting it to a point where he’s in shape and can be consistent is huge. Because when he’s playing well, he’s a big part of our team.”
Mt. Spokane used two big runs to pull away from Pasco in the first half. It got things started early by scoring the game’s first eight points, then broke it open further with a 14-2 run in the second quarter to eventually lead 37-17 at halftime.
Pasco looked more competitive in the second half, but never cut the deficit to anything less than 20 points.
Jerry Twenge led a slew of Wildcat scorers with a dozen points and Cole Hattenburg chipped in 10 off the Mt. Spokane bench. The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field and missed just one of their 22 free-throw attempts.
Pasco next resumes MCC play on Jan. 5 with a home game against Kennewick. Both teams will be seeking their first conference win.
MT. SPOKANE: Wendle 5, Barrera 7, Brooks 6, Jerry Twenge 12, Williamson 8, Smith 7, Cole Hattenburg 10, Degenhart 7, McClary 9. Totals: 24-48 21-22 71.
PASCO: Millett, Diego Gutierrez 16, Tobon, Purdue, Davilo 3, Gonzalez, Ortiz, Cuevas 4, N.Gutierrez, Kason Tate 14. Totals: 15-46 12-16 43
Highlights — P, D.Gutierrez 5 ast, 5 reb, 8x10 FT.