Wilsonville boys team pulls away from resilient Putnam Kingsmen
WILSONVILLE—It was another solid win for the Wildcats Tuesday, Jan. 16. The home team continued their string of regular season excellence with a dominant 68-47 victory over the visiting Putnam Kingsmen to move their winning streak to four.
Wilsonville started the game strong, at one point going on an eight point streak with baskets from seniors Zac Rossetti and Caleb Larsen bringing the lead out to 13-5. Putnam closed the gap to three, but Rossetti got another string of scoring going for the Wildcats later in the quarter. The 6'3 senior had nine points in the quarter, and was instrumental in getting the lead out to 22-16 by the end of the first stanza.
Rossetti said of his performance in the first half that it was all a matter of seizing opportunity.
"Honestly, it was just what was open in the first quarter, we took it," Rossetti said. "They were behind me, so I got it and scored almost every time. That's what they gave us, so we just took it."
For their part, Putnam was competitive in the first quarter. Putnam junior Brady Miller had seven points in the first eight minutes, and was three for three from the free throw line. Junior Ruben Onishchenko had six points for the Kingsmen in the first quarter as well.
In the second quarter, Wilsonville put even more distance between themselves and the competition. Junior Jack Roche had 16 points in the first half, 12 of them in the second quarter. Roche also contributed on other baskets as well, including firing a laser of a pass to the waiting hands of sophomore Dakota Reber who scored the follow up field goal.
Putnam would have less success in the second quarter, only scoring 10 points in the following eight minutes. Still, it had its moments, including senior Datorrian Davis' massive block on Wilsonville's Roche. Heading into the half it was 43-26 in Wilsonville's favor.
Coming into the third quarter, neither team seemed able to get any sort of offense going. Wilsonville was limited to just four baskets, Putnam three. While it was a low scoring affair, 6'4 Wilsonville sophomore Keegan Shivers sank three baskets for six points, with two assists from Roche in the mix. At the end of 24 minutes, it was Wilsonville ahead 51-31.
After the game, Wilsonville head coach Chris Roche attributed it to both teams defenses.
"Neither team really played very well offensively in the third quarter," Roche said. "I thought we were hungry and played pretty good defense, but they were able to dig in, too, on the defensive end."
In the fourth and final quarter, the Wildcats took off and there was no coming back. After a big dunk off a turnover by Putnam's Davis, Wilsonville went on a scoring tear. The Wildcats scored 17-1 against Putnam over a majority of the final quarter, including a highlight reel slam dunk from Reber.
The Kingsmen would mitigate the damage towards the end of the game, scoring 11 points, nine of which came from junior Shane Halladin. Halladin led Putnam's scoring efforts with a total of 18 points, followed by Onishchenko with 11 points. When the final horn sounded, it was Wilsonville's victory, 68-47.
"We just wanted to compete and play hard at all times," Putnam head coach Gregg Griffin said after the game. "I thought we did that, but we couldn't get the ball to drop. That was very difficult for us, but we'll get back on the horse on Friday."
Despite the dominant win, Roche saw several things in his team that he believed they could still work on, including attitude.
"We have some body language issues that we need to overcome," Roche said. "If everything does not go our way, sometimes we pout or want to blame this or that, rather than just move forward and doing our best to win the next play. We in general could be more enthused and excited about everything...play with more life, more passion, more communication, more zest."
"We are doing many things well, too, but there are a ton of areas in which we can improve," Roche added.
Wilsonville (8-6 overall, 4-0 in NWOC place) will go on the road to face La Salle Prep (6-8 overall, 3-1 in NWOC play) on Friday, Jan. 19. Putnam (2-12 overall, 1-3 in NWOC play) will face Milwaukie (5-9 overall, 0-4 in NWOC play) in a home match.