The 2B No. 3 Morton-White Pass boys basketball team didn’t play the perfect game, but it did what it needed to do to fend off a Rainier side that never went away in a 68-51 win in Central 2B League play Thursday night.
“It was like we were playing in sand and everybody else was on pavement,” MWP coach Chad Cramer said.
The Mountaineers took advantage of a step-slow start by the ranked hosts to hang around early. By the end of the first quarter, MWP led by just a point at 17-16.
But the T-Wolves started to flex their muscles in the middle quarters, asserting dominance on the defensive side. MWP held Rainier to just four points in the second quarter, taking a 28-20 lead into the locker room at halftime, and then won the third 19-10, allowing just 14 points across the middle 16 minutes.
“We just kind of woke up a little bit. I think defensively we were especially subpar in the first quarter, and then we did better in the middle quarters,” Cramer said. “We kind of found our footing defensively.”
That gave the hosts a 17-point lead going into the fourth, which grew to as many as 25 at one point before Rainier trimmed it down with a few shots from distance.
Josh Salguero led a balanced Morton-White Pass offensive effort, scoring 19 points. Hunter Hazen added 14 points, and Carter Dantinne and Jake Cournyer made it four T-Wolves in double figures with 12 and 11, respectively.
Josh Meldrum scored 16 points to lead the Mountaineers, and Jared Sprouffske put in 13.
“I give (Rainier) a ton of credit for really bringing it tonight, they just really didn’t back down from anything,” Cramer said. “When you’re playing a team that does that, and you’re a step slow physically and a step slow mentally, some of those 50-50 plays aren’t going to go your way.”
MWP will take its win into the weekend, when it will host Winlock in Randle on Saturday. Rainier will also play Saturday, going to Kalama.