ONALASKA — Though Onalaska boys basketball coach and former Toledo guard Brent Wood hasn’t been too far away from home over the years, Thursday night’s basketball contest between his new and former school was a reunion, of sorts, in Logger Country.
Wood’s Loggers fell Thursday, 49-20, to the team he set the program record for 3-pointers made, but plenty of familiar faces reminisced before, after, and during the game.
“You look over there and see your buddies,” Wood said. “I knew what we needed to do as a team, so I didn’t let that have a big impact on me, but it is nice to see them over there. Grady (Fallon) has helped me ever since I’ve gotten the job. He’s been right there and he’s someone I look up to.”
The pair met up pregame, along with Onalaska assistant Reece Wallace — another former Toledo guard — and though out-of-bounds plays were similar, defensive schemes were alike, and overall philosophies were nearly interchangeable, the Riverhawks got the upperhand early and rolled to a double-digit win.
“I told Brent before the game any night but tonight I love you,” Riverhawks coach Fallon said. “They know the offense and know all the plays and positions so they can be floor generals, between the two of them they know every inch of everything. We had a couple things we ran differently, but it was fun. We had to prepare.”
With some familiarity on both ends, it was a defensive battle Thursday night, with the Riverhawks holding the Loggers to just 20 points and being held below their season average as well on the offensive end.
Rogan Stanley had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, Cooper Fallon added eight points and nine boards, and Conner Olmstead scored all 11 of his points in the opening quarter, but it was the Riverhawk defense that guided them to victory.
The win also slotted Toledo firmly into the seventh-place spot in the Central 2B, the last position available for a district bid if form holds.
“We start with defense regardless of who we’re playing and adjust on that,” Fallon said. “Tonight was the first step. Anybody below you in the standings you have to take care of business. You have to play well at the right time, I don’t think we’ve played our best ball yet but we’re slowly getting better and tweaking things as the season rolls along.”
Toledo made life miserable on offense for an Ony team that’s still growing and learning how to compete with some of the top-half programs in the most 2B competitive league in the state.
Though Thursday night’s performance might not have been the prettiest for the Loggers, its still a step in the right direction.
“They’ve done a lot better,” Wood said of his players. “If you would’ve saw us at the very beginning to now, you’d be impressed by how much improvement we’ve made. We’re defense-first, we emphasize that.
“I told the guys after the game: that’s what we want to do, is what they did to us. They’re solid defensively, they don’t have the best athletes or shooters, they’re just solid and that’s what we need to be like.”
The Loggers play Adna on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. while Toledo takes on Wahkiakum in Cathlamet.