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With the blowout win, the Braves and Seagulls sit tied atop the Cowapa League standings with one regular season game remaining.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Charlie White uses a pump fake to keep Seaside defenders at bay during the Braves' game against the Seagulls Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Banks High School.It was all it was cracked up to be.

With first place and any hopes of the league's number one seed on the line, the Banks boys basketball team was up to the challenge, defeating first place and previously league-undefeated Seaside 47-32 Tuesday night, Feb. 15, at Banks High School.

The Braves were led by the inside presence of Charlie White, along with Cooper Gobel and Ben Mayo who combined for 21 points and nine rebounds. But it was Banks' defense that won them the game, and more specifically a zone defense that made it difficult for the visiting Seagulls to get a decent look at the basket.

"These guys worked hard, got their hands up, contested long shots, closed-out on shots, it was good," Banks head coach Patrick Marlia said. "Last time we played them we played a lot of man, but we played a lot of zone tonight and the other night against Philomath, and the zone is working pretty good right now."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Billy Harris flies to the basket during the Braves' game against the Seagulls Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Banks High School.White led the team with 13 points and eight rebounds, and while even he is sometimes guilty of thinking more along the lines of a football player (the senior is committed to play football for Portland State University next season), he also enjoys contributing as much as possible to his team's success on the hardwood.

"Most people know me as kind of a football guy, but I enjoy being the guy that just helps the team win," White said. "I don't really care too much about scoring, but when the team needs it I like to be there to pick them up."

Marlia said he's come to depend on White for rebounds and a lot of the dirty work inside, but said he's also someone who's capable of filling different roles when called upon.

"We're kind of used to him grabbing six or seven rebounds a game where you just go 'wow,'" the Banks coach said. "But you know, he helps relieve pressure on our guards by bringing the ball up at times, he hit that corner three, and of course he's the anchor on defense. We rely on him a ton."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Charlie White goes up for a lay-in during the Braves' game against the Seagulls Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Banks High School.Another player they rely on a ton is senior Cooper Gobel, who while still finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds, proved the bulk of his worth managing the team through key points of a game they desperately needed to win.

"He played really well within the game," Marlia said. "He kicked the ball out at times, didn't get frustrated, and when we ran our stall there at the end he, and really all the guys, made good decisions and were able to work the clock nicely."

The Braves wasted little time opening-up a lead on the visiting Gulls, taking an 11-3 first quarter lead and 22-11 edge to the half. Throughout the second half Banks got key contributions from White and Gobel, but also from Mayo who hit a key three-pointer, Michael Vereen who scored back-to-back buckets in the paint, and junior guard Wyatt Selleck.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Michael Vereen goes up for a lay-in during the Braves' game against the Seagulls Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Banks High School.
The lead grew to 13 after three quarters and after a Mayo basket Banks led 45-29 midway through the final stanza. Now—with the win over Seaside—the two teams are tied atop the Cowapa League standings, and if they both win in their regular season finale Feb. 17, the two will face-off again Saturday, Feb. 19, to decide the league's top two seeds.

Marlia said that while his team is excited for the rematch, it's imperative that they take care of business against Tillamook in order to secure that tie-breaking game.

"We'll be talking about that tomorrow," he said. "They played us well down at their place, so we've got to come and play, keep the tempo up and play excited. Crowds like this certainly help."

And White? He's ready for another game with the Seagulls for sure.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Charlie White charges around a Seaside defender during the Braves' game against the Seagulls Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Banks High School.
"We always seem to split with them, so I'm excited to play them again," White said. "I feel like we've grown every single game this year, but we know that it's always about who plays best on that night. So, we have to bring our best."

Banks scorers included: White 13, Mayo 11, Gobel 10, Selleck 7, Vereen 4, Billy Harris 2.

Seaside scorers included: Carson Kawasoe 9, Conner Langmo 8, Cash Corder 7, Ever Sibony 6, Jared White 2.


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