PREP BOYS BASKETBALL TigerScots cruise past Echo

Weston-McEwen shakes off a cold third quarter to win the Christmas Classic opener, 78-44.

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Weston-McEwen's Dallas Reich keeps play alive by flipping the ball back into play as he flies over the baseline during the Tigerscots' Christmas Classic game against the Echo Cougars Tuesday.

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In a blur of motion, Weston-McEwen's Jacob Christopher (center) comes down with a rebound and looks for the putback surrounded by three Echo defenders Tuesday.

WALLA WALLA - Weston-McEwen's six-point output in the third quarter Tuesday afternoon at Sherwood Center must have had TigerScot boys basketball coach Brian Pickard questioning his halftime delivery.

The TigerScots had, after all, put up 51 points in the first two quarters against Echo, Ore., in their opening-round game at the D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic on the Whitman College campus.

"We've kind of had a hard time putting games away," Pickard said. "All year long we've been letting teams back in, and from that standpoint the third quarter was kind of a negative."

Not so much, really.

The TigerScots shook off their third-quarter doldrums with a 21-point burst over the game's final eight minutes and cruised to a 78-44 victory over the previously once-beaten Cougars.

Weston-McEwen raised its season record to 7-2, and is matched against Overlake this afternoon at 3:30 in the first of four tournament semifinal games. The 2-6 Owls advanced with a 65-22 victory over Columbia-Hunters.

Columbia-Hunters, 1-7, and Echo, 7-2, met this morning at 8:30 in the consolation bracket.

A layup by Dallas Reich and a 3-pointer by Jacob Christopher jolted the TigerScots to a quick 5-0 lead. But the scrappy Cougars fought back and took what proved to be their only lead of the game, 10-9, on a basket by CJ Flores with 3:26 remaining in the opening quarter.

It was nearly a minute later when Miles Thul drained the first of his three 3-pointers and ignited a 15-0 TigerScots run that put Weston-McEwen in firm control for the remainder of the game. Tyler Babb scored four of his five baskets during the run, Reich had a pair of field goals and Christopher chipped in with a basket.

Most of the TigerScots' offensive energy was generated by defensive pressure that forced Echo into 11 turnovers in the quarter. The Cougars coughed the ball up eight more times in the second period as Weston-McEwen improved a 26-14 lead at the end of the first period to 51-30 at halftime.

"We like to press, and we like to mix it up," Pickard said. "Sometimes we run a zone press and sometimes its man-to-man, and today we did a little of both."

Despite the TigerScots' third-quarter shortcomings, the Cougars weren't able to capitalize. Echo made just 3-of-14 shots from the floor in the quarter and trailed 57-37 going to the fourth.

Thul then made sure there wouldn't be a repeat performance in the final period as he knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game, converted a steal into a layin and racked up another trey as the TigerScots bolted to a 68-40 lead three minutes into the quarter.

Thul finished his day with 24 points, Reich tallied 18 and Babb finished with 11.

"There are those same three guys in double figures again," Pickard said. "When all three are on like that, we are tough to beat."

Isau Ibarra led the Cougars with 11 points.

In the other upper bracket boys first-round game, Cameron Lui and Dean Poplawski scored 11 points each and Jackson Umberger added 10 to pace Overlake to its victory. Dominick Marquez scored eight points in a losing effort for Columbia-Hunters.

W-M 78, Echo 44

WESTON-MCEWEN (78) - Greenwalt 3-4 0-1 6, Thul 10-16 1-3 24, McGill 0-0 0-0 0, Speed 2-3 0-0 4, Babb 5-6 1-3 11, Christopher 3-8 1-2 8, Salter 1-1 0-0 3, Chapman 2-2 0-0 4, Reich 8-15 2-2 18, Terjeson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-55 5-11 78.

ECHO (44) - Harris 2-5 0-0 4, Moffit 0-2 1-2 1, Gutierrez 3-3 1-3 7, E. Ibarra 3-11 4-4 11, Cisneros 0-3 0-0 0, Flores 2-4 1-2 6, B. Ibarra 3-10 1-2 8, Keifer 1-3 0-1 2, Munuz 0-2 0-0 0, Marcum 2-5 1-2 5. Totals 16-48 9-18 44.

W-M 26 25 6 21 - 78

Echo 14 16 7 7 - 44

3-point goals - W-M (Thul 3, Christopher, Salter), Echo (E. Ibarra, B. Ibarra, Flores). Total fouls - W-M 18, Echo 11. Fouled out - W-M (Greenwalt). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - W-M 35 (Reich 6), Echo 34 (Harris 4, Marcum 4). Turnovers - Echo 24, W-M 20.

Overlake 65, C-H 22

COLUMBIA-HUNTERS (22) - Carlson, McCoy 4, Jones, Everett, Wyborney 5, McCoy, Anderson 1, Singer 2, Flett 2.

OVERLAKE (65) - Poplawski 11, Gilles 5, Hilerio, Umberger 10, Munoz 7, Johnson 6, Spencer 9, Lui 11, Marcoe 2, Donaldson 4.

Col-Hunters 5 12 2 3 - 22

Overlake 16 19 13 17 - 65

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