Bobcat girls turn back Capital

Emily Fisher’s long-distance shooting proved to be the perfect tonic for Aberdeen’s ailing girls.

Fisher hit five 3-point baskets — four in the first half — to ignite the Bobcats to a 49-42 victory over Capital in an Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball game Friday night at Sam Benn Gym.

The Bobcats (3-3, 8-3) had dropped their last two contests and entered the contest without starting forward Ericka Manwell, who suffered a knee injury of undetermined severity in Tuesday’s loss to Centralia.

They struggled at times in the half-court offense, particularly in the second half, against a stubborn Capital club (0-6, 3-11).

But while acknowledging this wasn’t his club’s best performance, Aberdeen coach Aaron Roiko saw the glass far more than half full.

“After two tough losses against two quality teams and with Ericka banged up, we’re pretty relieved to get the win,” Roiko said.

Fisher led all scorers with 17 — 15 of those on three-balls — and handed out seven assists. Her pair of 3-pointers in the opening 2:50 gave the Cats a lead they never relinquished.

“We weren’t playing very well against their 2-3 zone, we had trouble getting the ball inside,” Roiko said. “Fish really stepped up and gave us the lead.”

Three-point shooting and turnovers, in fact, represented the difference in the contest. Aberdeen outscored Capital 21-6 from beyond the arc and committed only 13 turnovers — 10 fewer than the visitors.

Fifteen of Capital’s miscues came in the first half. The Bobcats capitalized on enough of them to grab a 24-13 lead at intermission.

The Cougars, however, were able to get the ball inside to 6-foot-1 center Spencer Pettit consistently in the third quarter. Pettit’s eight points in the quarter, coupled with some close-range AHS misses, reduced the margin to two (30-28) with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter.

Junior Tiana Blackburn, who started in place of Manwell, helped restore order with a rebound bucket at the 1:41 mark. The Bobcats then sandwiched threes by Fisher and Rachael Schermer around a basket by Capital’s Sophie Rice to make it 38-30 at the three-quarter mark.

Kiana Dixon scored Aberdeen’s first five points of the fourth quarter to restore an 11-point advantage. The Cougars were never again closer than the final margin.

Senior floor leader Mo Donovan added 11 points, while Dixon grabbed eight rebounds and Alexxi Timmons collected four steals.

Roiko cited Blackburn’s performance in her first varsity start.

Pettit topped Capital with 16 points. Rachel Fenton, the daughter of AHS alum Mike Fenton, contributed 12 points.

The Bobcats travel to North Thurston today for a non-leaguer.

Cap 4 9 17 12 — 42 Aber 11 13 14 11 — 49

Capital (42) — Rothenglass 2, Fenton 12, O. Jankowich, Pettit 16, S. Jankowich 2, Wieland 4, York 2, Rice 2, Shea 2, Chamberlin. FG — 17-48 (.354). FT — 4-6.

Aberdeen (49) — Fisher 17, Timmons 6, Dixon 5, Blackburn 3, Donovan 11, Schermer 7, Walsh, Arnold. FG — 19-56 (.339). FT — 4-10.

JV — Capital 36, Aberdeen 26.

C Squad — Capital 40, Aberdeen 34.