There was much holiday cheer at Sam Benn Gym on Saturday as Aberdeen avoided a Christmas hangover and swept a non- league, coed basketball doubleheader against Shelton.
The Bobcat girls forced 34 Highclimber turnovers in the first game. Aberdeen took the lead early and controlled the game throughout in a 46-29 win.
The Aberdeen boys featured a well-balanced and potent attack in their win. The Bobcats fought through a slow start and exploded for 23 second-quarter points en route to a 57-47 triumph.
Bobcats 57, Highclimbers 47
Early in the game, both teams were playing an intense full-court pressure defense. Shelton was cruising through Aberdeen’s press with ease, but the Bobcats were struggling to get down the floor and struggling to execute once they got into a half-court set.
Colton Hubble scored five points on a Shelton 11-2 game-opening run. With 1:15 left in the first quarter, Tyler Speaks hit a pair of free throws to give Shelton an 13-6 lead.
Aberdeen (3-3) responded swiftly and effectively. The Bobcats went on an 18-2 run that spanned from late in the first quarter until late in the second. Lorenzo Ontiveros and Austin Floch each scored five points during that stretch.
“Our defense was excellent in the second quarter,” said Aberdeen head coach Leonard Barnes. “It’s a complete team win, but Austin Floch got it all started. He’s getting better and better every day. We only have him down for three steals, but he definitely had an impact on the game. He put pressure on them from end-line to end-line and really made things tough for them.”
Ontiveros finished with a team-high 12 points, pulled down four rebounds and recorded five steals.
All nine Bobcats scored, with six scoring five points or more.
Shelton did manage to cut Aberdeen’s lead down to nine a couple of times in the third quarter, but never got any closer than that. The Bobcats were in control from halftime on.
Aberdeen will hit the road on Friday to take on Chehalis.
Bobcats 46, Highclimbers 29
Aberdeen took advantage of 15 first-half Shelton turnovers to take a 21-6 lead about halfway through the second quarter.
Tiana Blackburn scored seven points for the Bobcats during that stretch. Emily Fisher and Alexxi Timmons added four points apiece.
Shelton fired back with a 10-2 run that cut Aberdeen’s lead to 23-16. Jordan Leach scored the first four points for the Highclimbers during the team’s only offensive spurt. Taylor Stroud, Cheyenne Overlin and Jessica Johnson each scored a bucket to round out the scoring run.
The Bobcats (3-3) played well defensively and gradually built their lead throughout the second half, but often struggled to capitalize on the many Shelton turnovers.
“What we need to work on is getting better on offense, executing our sets,” Aberdeen head coach Aaron Roiko said. “Our league is tough. We’ve got league play starting in January. We need to get better. We just don’t seem to have the energy to get after it. The scoreboard didn’t really reflect those 34 turnovers. We need to get out and run lanes in transition and play up- tempo. We’ll regroup. We’ll get better. We just have a bunch of stuff to work on.”
Kiana Dixon was the only player on either team to score in double-figures. The AHS senior finished with 13 points.
Aberdeen will be back in action on Friday at home against state-ranked Chehalis.
Shelton 13 7 10 17 — 47 Aberdeen 8 23 12 14 — 57
Shelton (47) – Kennedy, Hubble 11, Gonzalez, Scott 6, Quantz 4, Gregory, Speaks 19, DeAndre 3, Tullar 2, Bogh 2, Drinkall. FG – 18-47 (.383). FT – 7-7.
Aberdeen (57) – Campbell 7, Edwards 2, Follett 11, Floch 5, Schlesser 4, Cheema 5, Black 7, Ontiveros 12, Taylor 4. FG – 22-48 (.458). FT – 10-16.
Shelton 4 12 6 7 —29 Aberdeen 10 15 11 10 — 46
Shelton (29) – Stroud 6, Leach 6, Pinter 2, Overlin 4, Gouley 2, Johnson 4, York, Slone 2, Machado 3. FG – 12-35 (.343). FT – 5-10.
Aberdeen (46) – Dietrich 1, Fisher 8, Timmons 6, Riekkola, Dixon 13, Roiko 4, Manwell 2, Kuhn 3, Blackburn 9. FG – 16/46 (.348). FT – 13-25.