Toledo doomed by slow start in season-ending loss to Wahkiakum


On Friday, the Toledo defense struggled early, as the Riverhawks gave up 40 points to Chief Leschi in the first two quarters and entered the locker room down 17.

Heading into Saturday’s fifth-place game against Wahkiakum, Toledo coach Grady Fallon knew that the Riverhawks were going to have to start off better on the defensive end to have a better chance of winning.

But after a first quarter in which Wahkiakum hit eight threes and scored 32 points, Fallon could do nothing but shake his head.

“It’s hard to beat anybody when they’re making shots like that,” Fallon said. “It felt like they didn’t miss any.”

Like they did the day prior, the Riverhawks battled back to make it a game, but Wahkiakum pulled away late to clinch the fifth and final District 4 state bid with a 68-56 win over the Riverhawks.

Toledo did a better job keeping pace early on Saturday, scoring 22 points of their own in the first quarter, including three threes of their own.

Both offenses slightly came back down to Earth in the second, but the Wahkiakum defense really kicked it into gear in the third.

In the third quarter, the Riverhawks scored just seven points, and the Mules went on a 12-0 run near the end of the frame to extend their lead to 18. Toledo scored the next nine points to keep hope alive, but Zakk Carlson hit two threes in a matter of minutes to ice the game for good.

“I’m just proud of the guys,” Fallon said. “We battled this whole tournament. We’re in a tough league. We got sixth in our league. Nobody really counted us in, and we did something that the last few years we hadn’t done.”

Rogan Stanley finished with a game-high 17 points, while Eli Weeks scored 11. Cooper Fallon scored seven and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Trevin Gale added four points and four assists.

Following the game, Fallon spoke to his team, and his seniors one final time in the locker room. It’s a moment he says he “dreads every year.”

The Riverhawks finish the season 15-11 and will graduate six seniors: Kaven Winters, Jacob Nef, Caiden Schultz, Rayder Stemkoski, Christian Malunat and Stanley.

“I hope they learned more than just basketball,” Fallon said. “I think when guys leave this program, they’re pretty proud of being a part of it. I hope that’s the case.”