Aberdeen’s inability to convert on offense led to a missed opportunity for a win on Tuesday night.
Hosting a young Tumwater squad, the Bobcats did more than enough on defense to shut down the T-Birds. However, Aberdeen was unable to capitalize on its good fortune on the offensive end of the court to fall, 44-40, in an Evergreen 2A girls basketball game at Sam Benn Gym.
Three AHS players accounted for all but three points for the Bobcats — Emily Fisher, game-high 16 points; Kiana Dixon, 11 points; Ericka Manwell, 10 points. Aberdeen (0-3, 3-5) forced 24 turnovers from Tumwater and never trailed by more than nine points in the game.
However, the T-Birds never lost the lead they gained early in the contest, grabbed 18 Bobcat turnovers and hit enough shots down the stretch to hold off a fourth-quarter rally. Aberdeen didn’t help itself by going 0-for-10 behind the 3-point arc.
“Give Tumwater credit; it came out and scrapped,” AHS head coach Aaron Roiko said. “Offensively, we’re not hitting shots, scoring points. When we hold a team to just 44 points, we feel pretty good about that. However, we only scored 13 points in the first half for the second time in a row. It is killing us. It is deflating this team when that happens.”
Aberdeen trailed 38-29 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game before Manwell’s mid-range jumper moved the scoreboard for the Bobcats. Tumwater’s Alyssa Gilchrist (10 points) hit a free throw on the T-Birds next possession, then picked up her fourth foul on an offensive charge call with 4:17 left in the game.
Tumwater called timeout, but Gilchrist was given a technical foul by the game officials before the players huddled up to eliminate her on fouls. Dixon hit the two technical free throws, then Manwell nailed a 15-foot jumper from the near-corner to trim the deficit to 39-35.
Fisher’s driving layup and one free throw from Dixon brought Aberdeen to 39-38 with 2:32 left in the game. The crowd and the momentum were on Aberdeen’s side until Tumwater’s Mackenzie Bergquist drained a 3-point shot from the wings with 1:38 left for a 42-38 lead.
The teams traded field goals in the final minute as Aberdeen misfired on three possessions and Tumwater couldn’t ice the game at the free-throw line.
The first three quarters saw Tumwater inch away from Aberdeen. A 7-4 second quarter for the T-Birds put them up, 20-13, at halftime. The Bobcats forced 11 of the T-Birds’ 24 turnovers in the second quarter, but gave up six of their own and hit just 2-for-13 from the field.
Roiko cited Manwell for her play, “she’s been hurt since soccer season, so she’s finally getting back healthy and playing well,” he said. Roiko also cited Fisher for her court vision.
Freshman guard Sierra Snyder led Tumwater with 12 points.
On Thursday, Aberdeen hits the road to take on state-ranked River Ridge.
Tumwater 13 7 12 12 — 44
Aberdeen 9 4 14 13 — 40
Tumwater (44) — Snyder 12, Kelly 3, Hare 8, Christoffer, Bergquist 5, Jones 4, Gilchrist 10, Weller 2. FG — 18-47 (.383). FT — 3-5.
Aberdeen (40) — Fisher 16, Timmons, Dixon 11, Roiko, Manwell 10, Kuhn 1, Blackburn 2. FG — 14-48 (.292). FT — 12-16.
JV — Aberdeen 36, Tumwater 35.