Elma’s young Eagles got off to an early 6-2 lead, but it was the Bobcats in control the rest of the way as Aberdeen collected a 56-45 non-league victory Saturday night at Sam Benn Gym.
The Bobcats reeled off 13 straight points to erase their early deficit and held three 20-point leads early in the fourth period before coach Leonard Barnes emptied the bench.
Seniors Collin Nord, Charlie Dietrich and Zack Ball racked up 18, 15 and 10 points respectively to account for all but 13 of the Bobcat beans.
Nord and Ball both posted double-doubles, as each pulled down 10 rebounds. Dietrich was particularly zeroed in during the first half, when he tanked four three-balls, three of them in the first period.
The Bobcats led 15-8 after one panel and broke it wide open with a run of 12 straight points late in the half, which ended with the count 33-16. Under orders from coach Leonard Barnes, the Cats took only one shot from 3-point range in the second half.
Barnes was particularly happy with his troops’ defense which limited the Eagles to 28 points in the first three quarters. The Cats led 46-28 at the third buzzer and stretched it to 48-28, which equaled their longest lead of the night, as Ball opened the fourth panel with a pair of free throws.
The Eagles, who went all the way with underclassmen, were led by the 14 points of 6-2 Chance Bremer. Ryan Collin added 11 and Ray Stark 9. All three are juniors. Bremer also grabbed 11 boards.
“Our kids battled. They outrebounded us in that first half, but overall I was pleased with our effort,’’ Elma coach Marvin Prince summed up.
Barnes was particularly pleased with the Cats’ 16 offensive rebounds (high for the season) and 12 steals. He particularly cited junior Aaron Taylor for his work off the bench but added, “we played hard and all contributed.’’
The Bobcats (5-10) will return to league play Tuesday at Tumwater. Elma (2-13) will be at home to rival Montesano the same night.
Elma 8 8 12 17 — 45
Aber 15 18 13 10 — 56
Elma (45) — Wilson, Bremer 14, Stark 9, Collin 11, Nauman 6, Davis, Farr, Stevens, Osgood 2, Emerson 3. FG —20-57 (.351). FT — 10-13.
Aberdeen (56) — Ball 10, Nord 18, Schlesser, Cheema, Dietrich 15, Follett 2, Fairchild 3, Edwards 2, Williamson 3, Harke 1, Taylor 2. FG — 23-66 (.348). FT — 14-23.
JV — Aberdeen 64, Elma 36. Payton Campbell and Austin Floch 13 each for Aberdeen.