TUMWATER — Black Hills countered a late Aberdeen comeback to spoil the Bobcat boys’ league opener on Tuesday.
Josh Ilfanse’s basket with three seconds remaining gave the Wolves a 49-47 win in an Evergreen 2A Conference boys basketball contest Tuesday at Tumwater.
Down by as many as nine midway through the fourth quarter, the Bobcats (0-1, 1-5) nearly pulled it out with the equivalent of a five-point play in the final minute.
Zack Ball scored from inside and was fouled with 40 seconds remaining. He missed a chance for a conventional three-point play, but Titus Phillips rebounded and fed to Charlie Dietrich, who buried a 3-point shot to tie it at 47.
The Wolves, however, worked the ball inside to Ilfanse, who banked one home with three seconds on the clock. Veek Cheema’s half-court heave at the buzzer was on line, but fell narrowly short.
Aberdeen’s Ball and Collin Nord dominated the paint in this one. Ball, 7 of 10 from the field, led all scorers with 20 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Nord finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Bobcats, however, were undone by frigid outside shooting. Hitting more than 50 percent of their 2-point attempts, the Cats were only 2 of 19 from beyond the arc.
“They weren’t poor shots, but they were quick shots,” Aberdeen assistant coach Nick Bamer said. “With the way our bigs were handling them inside, it was just a matter of being patient enough to get them the ball.”
Cheema contributed five rebounds and three steals for the Bobcats.
Aberdeen returns home Thursday to face R.A. Long in a non-leaguer.
Aber 16 10 3 18 — 47 BH 7 16 8 18 — 49
Aberdeen (47) — Dietrich 6, Cheema 2, Fairchild, Williamson, Schlesser 2, Nord 17, Ball 20, Taylor, Levao, Phillips. FG — 18-49 (.367). FT — 5-12.
Black Hills (49) — Ilfanse 11, Underhill 3, Newhill 6, Troy, Devoe 8, Hurd 6, Burgess 15, Noyen. FG — n/a. FT — n/a.
JV — Aberdeen 56, Black Hills 43. Addam Follett 18 points.
C Squad — Aberdeen 49, Black Hills 45. Jashan Jandu 27 points, 14 rebounds and Mark James 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots for Aberdeen.