Through two quarters, the Weston-McEwen TigerScots might as well have been playing basketball against themselves. At the half against Pilot Rock on Tuesday, the stat sheets were near mirror images.
Each had 27 points. Each had 19 rebounds. Even the shooting percentages matched at 35 percent.
But the TigerScots’ third quarter was far superior as they held Pilot Rock (14-2, 6-1 Blue Mountain Conference) to just five points and bounded to a 61-51 conference victory.
The difference in the second half played out under Pilot Rock’s hoop where Ron Terjeson ruled. The 6-foot-5 senior finished with 20 points and 12 boards, five on the offensive end.
“We came out and executed and kept going inside, which is our strength,” said Terjeson, one of three TigerScots (12-5, 7-1 BMC) with the size to post up the Rockets. “We just kept going with what was working.”
The TigerScots out-rebounded Pilot Rock 28-17 in the second half, including 11 offensive boards. They turned seven of those into points and crafted a healthy lead while the Rockets managed just one field goal out of 12 shots in the third quarter.
Along with Terjeson, two other Weston-McEwen seniors ended the night with double-doubles. Dallas Reich scored 21 points with 11 rebounds and Riley Sederberg had 10 and 10.
“We have three pretty darn good post players on this team ... and I think we cause matchup problems for most teams because of our size inside,” TigerScot coach Brian Pickard said.
Weston-McEwen stretched its lead to 17 points with three minutes to play in the game but the Rockets whittled the gap to single digits over the next minute and a half. But a couple of costly turnovers and fouls allowed the TigerScots to kill the game with free throws.
Reich made five of his six charity shots in the final minute to seal the victory and vault Weston-McEwen ahead of Pilot Rock in the Blue Mountain standings. The TigerScots sit a half game ahead of the Rockets and one game ahead of the Stanfield Tigers (11-5, 5-1 BMC)
Weston-McEwen has played more conference games than those two teams after beating Elgin on Saturday when all other BMC games were postponed because of icy roads.
The loss to Weston-McEwen was the first in league play for Pilot Rock, which entered the contest on a seven-game winning streak. It’s a disappointing stumble for the Rockets, coach Doug Baxter said, but one they can learn from.
“Our mindset is now what does this do to help define us?” Baxter said. “Do we all pout about it for the next three days or do we come tomorrow focused and ready to go to work on the practice floor and understand we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Logan Thorne led the Rockets in scoring with 19 points while D’Marcus Bowie contributed 14 points.