Wednesday’s 2B Boys BB: Indians Win Another Do-or-Die Game
STATE: Toledo Tops Colfax, 52-37, in Play-In Round
By Aaron VanTuyl
SPOKANE — It’s not the first loser-out game the Indians have seen this year, and it won’t be the last.
And, like they have four times in their last six games, Toledo got it done.
The Indians overcame another slow start, got a little timely shooting from Andreas Malunat and 13 second-half points from Reece Wallace here Wednesday to beat Colfax, 52-37, in the play-in round of the State 2B boys basketball tournament.
“I don’t know what the deal is, but we just manage to step up our game, and our intensity, and our energy, and execute,” Wallace, the Indians’ senior point guard, said, “and realize that every possession matters. We really, really take that to heart when we know that the game’s on the line and we could be done.”
As it stands, however, the Indians have at least two more games left in the season, starting with a first-round game against Adna on Thursday.
“We feel pretty good. Obviously it’s nice to have a win under our belt now,” Wallace said, “and we know we’ve got our work cut out for us with Adna.”
The work started early for Toledo on Wednesday, as Colfax went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter and led 17-8 early in the second quarter. The slow starts have become something of a dubious habit for the Indians of late.
“That’s what I said in there: ‘You got me stressed out and worried,’” Toledo coach Grady Fallon said, referring to his postgame locker-room address. “Our shots don’t fall — I don’t know if we’re tight in the first half or what, but it’s stressful. It’s like you can’t get in a rhythm when you’re hoping and wishing every play.”
Malunat, though, helped steady the boat. The junior guard hit three 3-pointers in the first half, the last of which tied things up at 18 shortly before the intermission.
“He steps up in big times, when people are in foul trouble, like me,” said Wallace, who went to the bench with two fouls in the second quarter. “And those guys just have to step up when I’m out, and they did. That just shows how deep we are this year.”
Fallon was a bit more pointed in his assessment.
“Andreas saved our butts there in the first half,” he said. “Everybody in the gym knows he can shoot, but he took some that, just, boom — I wasn’t expecting him to shoot.”
Wallace hit all three of his 3-pointers after the break, including a 3 at the end of the third quarter that put Toledo up 32-25, and blanked Colfax for the first half of the third frame to help build the lead.
The Indians tacked on 20 in the fourth for a comfortable win, helped in part by a 32-19 rebounding advantage. Fano Arceo-Hansen grabbed a game-high eight rebounds with 6 points, Junior Arroyo scored 11 on 4 of 6 shooting with seven rebounds, and Wallace grabbed six boards.
The win means Toledo (22-5) is one win away from securing a piece of state hardware and can, for at least a day, play without its season on the line.
“That’s a huge relief. … I don’t want it to end. That’s the worst part of the coaching season, when you’ve got to walk into that locker room with seniors that are done,” Fallon said. “We’re pretty happy now that we at least got back to where we were last year.”
Carson Cloaninger led Colfax with 14 points, and Brett Kincaid chipped in 10.
Note: Toledo lost to Adna, 63-40, back on Jan. 4 in a Central 2B League game. The teams face off at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, back in the Spokane Arena.
INDIANS 52, BULLDOGS 37
Colfax 13 6 6 12 —37
Toledo 8 12 12 20 —52
Colfax (37) — Soncarty 3, Cloaninger 14, Berquist 5, Kincaid 10, Gregory 1, Rubin 1, Becker 1, Ring 2
FG: 12 of 34 —.353 FT: 10 of 17 —.588 Reb. 19 (Kincaid 5)
Toledo (52) — Wood 4, Arceo-Hansen 6, Arroyo 11, R. Wallace 13, W. Wallace 4, B. Marcil 2, Malunat 12
FG: 17 of 38 —.447 FT: 12 of 21 —.571 Reb. 32 (Arceo-Hansen 8)