Containing Chehalis was one thing. Scoring against the tall and talented Bearcat girls was quite another.
Aberdeen found that out the hard way Friday night. Limiting the Bobcats to eight field goals, the Bearcats rolled to a 53-24 victory in an Evergreen 2A Conference girls basketball game Friday night at Sam Benn Gym.
For the most part, the Bobcats (0-2, 3-4) played tough defense against the Bearcats (3-0, 7-2), who start three 6-footers in the front line and bring 6-3 junior Tiana Parker off the bench.
But Aberdeen experienced extreme difficulty negotiating the Chehalis defense. Starting in a zone and later switching to a man-to-man, the Bearcats (ranked second in the Tacoma News-Tribune’s state 2A poll) held the Bobcats to 19 percent field-goal shooting and also had a hand in 20 AHS turnovers.
“Their length and size (hurt us),” Aberdeen coach Aaron Roiko said. “Nothing is easy. Every shot is contested. Bottom line is we competed, but I thought they wore us down. They’re deeper and just a better team than we are.”
Despite falling into an 11-2 hole in the opening five minutes, the Bobcats hung tough through the early stages of the second period. They trailed by only five, 15-10, when Erin Kuhn hit a jumper from the right wing and Ericka Manwell followed with a pair of foul shots at the 6:05 mark of the second quarter.
Aberdeen, however, failed to score again until Emily Fisher hit a 3-point shot with 55 seconds remaining in the first half. Prior to that, the Bearcats had gone on a 16-0 run to establish a 31-10 bulge as Parker and 6-foot-2 Julie Spencer took turns scoring from inside.
Chehalis owned a 33-13 halftime lead.
The Bearcats missed a number of close-in shots in the second half. But with the Bobcats needing almost 6 1/2 minutes to score from the field in the third quarter, the visitors were never threatened.
“Defensively, we’re pretty consistent,” Chehalis coach Henri Weeks said. “We’ve been struggling offensively.”
Four Bearcats scored in double figures, although none had more than 11. Parker and 6-foot senior Katie Hankins scored 11 apiece, with Spencer and Nike McClure adding 10 points each. The 6-3 McClure contributed at least five of Chehalis’ eight blocked shots.
Kuhn and Kiana Dixon paced Aberdeen’s scoring with six points apiece. Dixon also grabbed six rebounds and was cited by Roiko for a strong floor game. Fisher handed out three assists.
The Bobcats now face a critical stretch in which they play six times in the next two weeks.
“The next two weeks are going to make or break our season,” Roiko observed.
They host Tumwater in another league game Tuesday.
Chehalis (53) — McClure 10, Weeks 4, Nelson 2, Spencer 10, Hankins 11, Kelly 2, McKay 3, Lofgren, Parker 11. FG — 23-62 (.371). FT — 7-12.
Aberdeen (24) — Fisher 3, Timmons 3, Manwell 4, Blackburn 2, Dixon 6, Kuhn 6, Roiko, Riekkola, Dietrich. FG — 8-43 (.186). FT — 7-9.
JV — Chehalis 44, Aberdeen 21.