TENINO — A fast-paced, back-and-forth first quarter gave way to a slog that sloped one way the rest of the night at Brock Court, as the Tenino boys basketball team ran away from Mossyrock in a 65-46 non-league win Wednesday.
“That’s a tough team. I know they are 1B, whatever,” Tenino coach Ryan Robertson said. “They could be 17B and they’re still a tough team that can play. I was proud of our toughness today.”
The Vikings came out firing with 22 points in the first quarter. But for the following 24 minutes of gametime, the Beavers held them to 24 more, including a seven-minute dry spell out of halftime that saw the hosts — who changed things up a bit and went the whole way in a man-to-man look — push out to a 13-point lead.
Moving away from the zone for an entire night, Tenino found its groove as the night wore on, going from two turnovers forced in the first quarter to eight in the second. And the Beavers destroyed the Vikings on the glass, out-rebounding their guests 45-21.
“Mixing it up has meant that we’re not good at anything yet, so right now I’m going, ‘We’ve got to get good at something, so let’s get good at our man,’” Robertson said. “So we’re just going to focus on that.”
And while the Beavers’ defense got better and better, the offense stayed consistent. Early on, 18 points was just enough to keep up with Mossyrock’s red-hot start. But the Tenino offense kept solid with 15 points in the second and 15 more in the third, winning the middle two quarters 30-14, and added 17 in the fourth.
Mossyrock’s defense focused hard on containing Noah Schow, and the sophomore playmaker adapted quickly into a facilitator’s role, finishing with six assists. Stepping into the scoring spotlight came fellow sophomore Austin Gonia, who led all scorers with 15 points at halftime and finished with a game-high 25.
The sophomore forward posted yet another double-double, adding 19 rebounds to his line, eight of which came on the offensive glass.
“He’s a strong kid, and he’s still learning,” Robertson said. “We say that he’s the heart of our team, and he showed that tonight. We follow him a lot, with his effort.”
Gonia finished 9 for 17 from the field and 7 for 8 at the line. As a team, Tenino came down with 18 offensive rebounds and turned them into 12 second-chance points.
Schow got going more in the second half, and posted 14 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks to go along with his assists.
“He guards their best player, he plays every position on the floor, and he’s my leader,” Robertson said. “He can do everything. He’s a dang good player, and he showed that tonight. He doesn’t have to score to help us win.”
On the other side of things, Mossyrock’s high-flying attack forced 21 turnovers but only finished with six points in transition, four of which came in the first two minutes of the game. Without the defense-to-offense looks coming and forced to play in the halfcourt, the Vikings struggled.
“We have to run our offense, but we’re hurrying,” Mossyrock coach Tom Kelly said. “We’ve got to get our stuff down, but they’re hurrying it, and we’re not running the offense.”
Keegan Kolb finished with 14 points to lead Mossyrock, and Zackary Munoz scored 13.
Mossyrock will get right back to league work Thursday, hosting Naselle; the Vikings blew the rival Comets out 73-47 back in December.
With its non-league slate officially over, Tenino will stay at home for the league homestretch, hosting Montesano on Friday.
“We played so many styles in our non-league, I think that really helps,” Robertson said. “But I’m really glad we’re done with non-league, we can focus on league, and get ready for districts.
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