Boys Basketball: Toledo Tosses Toutle Lake Aside to Claim C2BL Title
‘One for the Books’: Big Second Half Makes Toledo Back-to-Back League Champs
By Jordan Nailon
TOLEDO — So many people showed up to the old school here Tuesday to watch Toledo take on Toutle Lake that the cops were called in at the conclusion of the junior varsity game to help straighten out the resultant parking lot free for all.
However, It was the home team that wound up putting the Ducks in handcuffs as Toledo outscored Toutle Lake 55-20 over the final 18:30 minutes on their way to a 65-39 victory in a pivotal Central 2B boys basketball matchup.
The win gave Toledo outright ownership of the league title for the second straight year but that outcome was not obvious from the jump. Earlier this year the Ducks got the best of Toledo by a score of 50-46 and in the early going it looked like the visitors might be able to repeat that feat. After exchanging free throws for most of the first quarter to no avail Toutle Lake ran out to 19-10 lead in the second quarter thanks to a flash of 3-pointers and a garnish of points in the paint from big man Mike Adams.
That’s when Toledo deputized themselves and started to assert their assumed authority on their home court.
First, Fano Arceo-Hansen hit a shot to halt the Ducks scoring spree. Then Bryce Marcil jumped a pass on the sideline, high stepped a row of alumni hobnobbing courtside, and went sailing toward the goal with an intent to pack home the breakaway opportunity. A foul by a defender during his ascent stopped him short of the rim but he sank the shot anyhow and knocked down the ensuing free throw attempt to help keep the home crowd rabid.
With the momentum decidedly on their side, the rest of the half morphed into the Andreas Malunat show. First he hit a comparatively pedestrian three point shot to draw his team within one point. Then, with less than 10 seconds remaining before half, he clapped his hands for the ball and casually stepped into a two-footed jump shot from just inside the center court circle and cashed the brazen shot with the nonchalance of a savant.
That eye-popping shooting display gave Toledo a 21-19 lead at the intermission, and as it turned out, they were just getting started.
Arceo-Hansen pointed out that Malunat is no stranger to long distance three point attempts and said he knocks similar shots down regularly at practice. For his part, Malunat admitted he may have been a little overexuberant on his shot selection, but he’s not quibbling with the results.
“I honestly thought the clock was running down a little bit more than it was and I was just like, alright, I’m pulling it. It looked good,” said Malunat, who finished the game with eight points.
Toledo’s resident marksman pointed out that it was actually a recommitment to defensive intensity that helped his team turn the tables on Toutle Lake.
“When we were in the huddle we knew that we needed to get some stops and then once we got our defense going the offense would follow along,” Malunat explained.
While the highlight reel plays were fun for the crowd, Toledo coach Grady Fallon wasn’t going to let his team be satisfied with a flash in the pan finish to the half.
“At halftime I said this is not good enough. This is not good enough to beat this team. It was pretty good but not good enough,” said Fallon. “Ultimately it was defense. (Hayden) Farbo did a great job on Grabenhorst. He’s a great defender. He’s hard nosed and doesn’t back down. And so is Fano (Arceo-Hansen).”
Thanks to the refreshment course on fundamentals Toledo only got more efficient after the intermission. They scored the first nine points of the third quarter and from there the Ducks deficit only grew larger as the home team picked up more and more confidence. Shortly after the start of the fourth quarter Toledo led by 16 and by the end of the game they’d turned their two-point halftime lead into a decisive 26-point win.
Fano Arceo-Hansen scored a game-high 22 points for Toledo. He didn’t dominate the scoring column right away, though.
“I wasn’t really hitting in the first half so I started passing and we sort of got the whole thing going,’ said Arceo-Hansen.
That selfless approach didn’t surprise his coach in the slightest.
“He’s been our most steady presence in the second half of the season. He didn’t start out strong offensively. He’s just too nice. He loves his teammates. Those guys are good friends and he loves to share the ball. But as the pressure has been on a little bit he has stepped up every time and slowly his points have gone up,” said Fallon.
Hayden Farbo added 12 points for Toledo and Westin Wallace had 10 points. Brian Wood also notched eight points while Wallace and Arceo-Hansen tied for the team lead in rebounds with six each. As a team Toledo shot nearly 43 percent from the field, including a six of 12 mark from beyond the arc. They also knocked down 17 of 24 free throw attempts and beat the Ducks 25-18 on the boards.
Mike Adams led Toutle Lake with 13 points and Ridge Moss added nine points. Logan Grabenhorst was held to just six points as the Ducks shot just 31 percent from the field on the night.
Looking back to the turning point just before the half Fallon noted that it was his team’s first guy off the bench who got them going like gangbusters on Tuesday.
“Bryce Marcil has been super consistent off the bench. He’s our sixth man. It really helps. He’s getting five or six rebounds every time he comes in. He knows all the plays. He can D somebody up. Whoever’s in foul trouble. Whoever needs a break. He can run the point. He can guard the big guy. He’s got hops,” Fallon said.
With back-to-back league titles in their back pocket Fallon wanted to take a moment to enjoy the victory before getting back to work on Wednesday in pursuit of a District title and a spot in the state tournament.
“They (league titles) don’t come easy. It’s something to be proud of when you do it. Especially in this league,” said Fallon, who wondered if the school may have set a new attendance record at the game. “I told (Toutle Lake coach) Swanson this will be one for the books. People were like monkeys hanging around up up there in the weight room.”
Toledo (17-2, 9-0 league) will host Napavine on Thursday in their league finale.
INDIANS 65, DUCKS 39
Toutle Lake 7 12 11 9 —39
Toledo 8 13 21 23 —65
Toutle Lake (39) — Sweet 3, Keeton 8, Grabenhorst 6, Moss 9, Adams 13
FG: 13 of 42 —.310 FT: 4 of 12 —.333 Reb: 18
Toledo (65) — Wood 8, Marcil 5, F. Arceo-Hansen 22, Wallace 10, Farbo 12, Malunat 8
FG: 21 of 49 —.429 FT: 17 of 24 —.708 Reb: 25 (Wallace 6, F. Arceo-Hansen 6)