Vikings Go Fast, Race Past Trojans


PE ELL — The Mossyrock boys basketball team returned to 1B Columbia Valley League play with a journey across Lewis County to Pe Ell on Wednesday, a trip that map apps agree should take about an hour. The Vikings probably made much better time both coming in and going out, though, because as they proved in their time on the court in a 76-50 win over the Trojans, they only operate at one speed.

“We like to play fast,” first-year Mossyrock coach Tom Kelly said. “We don’t know any other way.”

Mossyrock kept its tempo up until the game was well and truly in hand, blitzing the Trojans with an arsenal of different presses to never let them get close to comfortable. In the first quarter, the Vikings forced nine turnovers; by halftime, that number was up to 19.

The Vikings finished with 26 points in transition, and while they ended the night with 26 turnovers forced, they didn’t always need a takeaway to get out and running.

“It’s getting better. We want to run on makes, everything,” Kelly said. “You’ve got to get your head down if the other team makes a basket, get that thing out, and go. They’re starting to get it.”

To be able to run such a constant high-tempo attack, Kelly rolled through his bench constantly, and the Vikings delivered another balanced night on the scoresheet. Nine Mossyrock players found the bottom of the basket, with seven pitching in at least five points.

Matt Cooper led the way with a 22-point effort, going 8 for 13 from the field and 6 for 9 at the free-throw line.

“He had a hell of a game,” Kelly said. “He’ll push the ball, he can jump really well, he rebounds. When he’s on, look out. The kid is one of our senior leaders, and he really played well.”

Hunter Isom added 14 points, going to work down low and hitting jumpers from the baseline. He also grabbed four offensive rebounds, and shared the team lead on the glass with six total boards. Zackary Munoz put up 13 points of his own despite a bit of a rough shooting night.

Running an eight-man rotation and coming off a two-week break, the Trojans felt the effects of the Vikings’ pressure early, and were down by 20 before they could get into a rhythm. Pe Ell cut the deficit down to eight midway through the second quarter, but Mossyrock got it back to 15 by halftime and only added on in the second half.

“Our guys, we had a lot of unforced turnovers early on that put us in a position to have to come back,” Pe Ell coach Chris Phelps said. “They’re a really good team. Strong starting five, they fly around, they make things happen, they create chaos, and they got us in a track meet in the first quarter.”

Kaden Knowlton led the Trojans with 16 points, going 3 for 3 on 3-pointers.

“He provided us some spark offensively, so I was really excited to see that,” Phelps said.

Kail Homan added 13 points, and Carter Phelps scored 10.

Mossyrock will get right back to action with a home game against Columbia Adventist on Thursday, while Pe Ell will hit the road to take on Naselle on Friday.