Considering how its offense was sputtering, it was probably in Aberdeen’s best interest for its defense to pitch a fourth-quarter shutout.
Holding Capital scoreless in the final period, the Bobcats pulled away to a 44-30 victory in an Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball game Thursday night at Sam Benn Gym.
The victory all but assured Aberdeen (4-7, 9-10) a district playoff slot. The Bobcats will close out league play at Centralia on Tuesday in a game that will settle what could be termed the “championship” of the league’s unranked teams.
The Evergreen’s top three clubs — Chehalis, River Ridge and Black Hills — are all state-ranked. In addition, state poll leader Mark Morris looms as a potential district foe for the Bobcats.
Kiana Dixon, one of five Bobcats honored in pre-game Senior Night festivities, paced all scorers with 14 points. Three others seniors, Alexxi Timmons, Emily Fisher and Tiana Blackburn, added nine points apiece.
This, however, was far from an offensive showcase for either side.
After the Cats blasted out to a 13-3 lead in the opening four minutes, their shooting went into the deep freeze. They connected on only 1 of 14 field-goal attempts in the second quarter, but still owned a 19-14 halftime lead.
“We couldn’t get in the flow offensively,” Aberdeen coach Aaron Roiko. “We scrapped at times on defense. I said at halftime if we held them to 30 points, we’d win the game and we did, we held them to exactly 30 points.”
Actually, Capital (1-10 in league) had reached the 30-point plateau by the end of the third quarter. The Cougars had nosed in front on a couple of occasions in the third period, but the Cats took a 31-30 advantage into the final eight minutes.
Fittingly, defense fueled Aberdeen’s initial surge in the fourth quarter.
Dixon intercepted a pass and went the length of the court for a conventional three-point play in the opening 90 seconds. Then Timmons stole a pass in backcourt and tipped the ball to Fisher, who fed Dixon for a 3-point basket. The shot was originally scored a 2-pointer, but officials later determined that Dixon’s feet, while inside the college 3-point line at Benn Gym, was outside the high school arc.
Baskets by Fisher and Blackburn widened the margin to 11 with 4:43 remaining. With Capital going 0-for-12 from the field in the quarter, that was more than enough.
Olivia Jackowich paced Capital with 10 points.
Fisher handed out several assists, while Timmons and Dixon each contributed some steals for the Bobcats.
Lily Walsh, who is sidelined with an injury, was also honored in Senior Night ceremonies.
Capital 5 9 16 0 — 30
Aberdeen 13 6 12 13 — 44
Capital (30) — Fenton 8, Chamberlin 5, Jackowich 10, Christopher, Shea, Rothenglass, Wahlmark 3, Pearson 4. FG — 13-55 (.236). FT — 2-5.
Aberdeen (44) — Fisher 9, Timmons 9, Dixon 14, Kuhn, Blackburn 9, Roiko 3, Dietrich, Swor, Johnson. FG — 16-54 (.296). FT — 10-19.
JV — Aberdeen 38, Capital 37. Jillian Swor 11 points for Aberdeen.