Malvar scores 18 points to lead Wildcats in 36-point win
Asked to assess the Wilsonville boys basketball teams first 10 games, coach Chris Roche, Sam Bullock and Zach Reichle all gave B grades.
In the final game of the nonleague slate, the B might as well have stood for blowout.
Fresh off three days of tournament play in Idaho, the Wildcats thumped Estacada 75-39 at home Jan. 8 in a meeting of former conference counterparts.
Wilsonville reached the 70-point mark for the fourth time this season, held an opponent below 50 for the eighth time and finished its preseason with a 7-3 record. Its regular season begins with road games against Milwaukie (Jan. 14) and Sandy (Jan. 17).
The rout of Estacada gave the Wildcats a perfect 4-0 record against Class 4A teams for the second year in a row. They clobbered Yamhill-Carlton, Scappoose and Siuslaw in their first three games this season.
Last year, Wilsonvilles average margin of victory against the aforementioned 4A teams was 13.5 points. It was a whopping 31.75 this season.
The first 10 games revealed promising signs as well as potential obstacles for a program that placed fourth at the OSAA tournament last year.
We had some pretty good efforts, but right now were pretty inconsistent, sophomore point guard Sam Bullock said. We need to be able to get a good effort every single night.
Against Estacada, the Wildcats were imperfect but still imposing.
Senior wing Zach Malvar scored a game-high 18 points, draining two three-pointers and creating several transition opportunities with his aggressive perimeter defense. He even flirted with a dunk on a lob play in the second half.
Freshman wing Zach Reichle added 14 points, and sophomore wing Tyler Hieb finished with 11 despite not scoring from the field after halftime.
Sophomore forward Jack McNulty and senior wing Tyler Martin each chipped in nine, including respective baskets to beat the second- and third-quarter buzzers.
Wilsonville wrested control with stingy man-to-man defense and had little trouble scoring. It closed the first quarter on a 7-2 run, gave up just seven points in the second quarter, started the second half with a 13-2 surge and finished the game with a 36-point lead its largest of the night on a three-point play by junior Wyatt Fennell.
It was the kind of dominant performance that the Wildcats werent able to put together in Coeur dAlene, where they lost two of three games against out-of-state opponents.
We didnt really do well on the road we didnt impose our will, Reichle said. We didnt play D. We went against zone and didnt attack the gaps, didnt do what we do.
Wilsonville certainly imposed its will against the Rangers (3-7). After surrendering the first points of the game on a drive by Estacada sophomore Mitch Nation, the Wildcats pulled even on a putback by Hieb and never trailed again.
Malvar gave Wilsonville its first double-digit edge with a three late in the first quarter. The lead exceeded 20 on Reichles close-range shot early in the second half and ballooned to 50-20 on Bullocks fast-break layup moments later.
Meanwhile, Bullock said, the Wildcats did a better job in the second half of keeping Alec Barstad out of the key. The Rangers senior finished with a team-high 12 points.
The game reunited Wilsonville and Estacada for the second-straight season. Both schools were members of the old Tri-Valley League before the Wildcats jumped to 5A and landed in the Northwest Oregon Conference before the 2006-07 campaign.
Of course, Wilsonville didnt come close to taking its lopsided win as a sign that it has peaked. Far from it.
That much was clear when the Rangers scored an uncontested layup on an inbounds play from the sideline, leading Roche to call a timeout.
We have a lot to improve on, Reichle said. We couldve done better. Even though theyre a 4A team, we try to take the same approach.
Added Bullock: Its always fun playing against the best teams in the state, but every game counts the same so we take every game seriously. Were just always trying to find ways to get better.
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AT A GLANCE
Wilsonville 75, Estacada 39
Jan. 8 at Wilsonville High School
1 2 3 4 F
Estacada 11 7 9 12 39
Wilsonville 20 17 20 18 75
Estacada (39): Alec Barstad 12, Willie Blankenship 7, Mitch Nation 6, Kris Kelly 6, Marshall Cantele 4, Andy Avants 2, Sam Blankenship 2.
Wilsonville (75): Zach Malvar 18, Zach Reichle 14, Tyler Hieb 11, Tyler Martin 9, Jack McNulty 9, Sam Bullock 5, Wyatt Fennell 3, Kaden Ogles 2, Nate Christensen 2, Keenan McClellan 2.