Washington Evening Journal

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Boys' hoops

Washington has poor offensive night in loss to West Branch

By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Dec 17, 2012
Photo by: Travis J. Brown Washington junior Alex Coker goes up for a layup between a pair of West Branch defenders during the first half of Saturday's game. The Bears defeated the Demons 49-37.

For the fourth time this season, Washington held its opponent to less than 50 points in a game.

Unfortunately, the Demons fell to 0-4 in those games.

Washington played solid defense against visiting West Branch on Saturday night, but couldn’t back it up with a good offensive effort in a 49-37 loss to the Bears.

“We’ve played four games where we’ve held teams in the 40s and got beat,” Washington head coach Bryce Smeins said. “Defensively, I really can’t get too mad at them. You give up 44 last night and lose and 49 tonight. You give up 43 to Fairfield [on Dec. 7] and 48 to Mid-Prairie [on Nov. 27]. But when you only score 37, it’s tough to win.”

Washington (1-6) shot an icy 22 percent (11-for-49) from the field in Saturday’s loss.

“Eleven of 49 is not going to win games,” Smeins said. “It just isn’t. We have to find a way or a lineup or something that will be able to put points on the board. You can’t hold teams in the 30s at this level and think you’re going to win.”

Senior Kyle Roder, Washington’s only returning starter from last season, scored 20 of his team’s 37 points in the contest. His 3-pointer early in the second quarter gave the Demons a 12-8 lead.

But West Branch sophomore Mason Hays answered with a 3-pointer to spark a 15-0 run that gave the Bears (6-1) control of the game.

“We had a nice little run there,” West Branch head coach Stephen Bender said. “I thought to start off we were rushing our shots and taking a lot of threes. Then we started getting the ball inside more, and our defense picked it up more. That was the big difference. That was a nice run.”

Washington went scoreless for five minutes while the Bears made their run.

“We got some pretty good looks, I thought,” Smeins said. “We were just stone cold.”

West Branch led 27-16 at halftime, and the Bears extended their lead to as many as 22 points early in the fourth quarter. The Demons responded with a 12-2 run to trim the lead to 12 with just over a minute remaining in the game, but they could get no closer.

“I was extremely happy with our defense,” Bender said. “In the fourth quarter they scored a few more than I wanted them to, but to hold a team to 37 is good.”

Seniors Rylan Murry and Cole Cook both had double-doubles for the Bears. Murry, who ranks third in the state in scoring, finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Cook had 11 points and 10 boards. Sophomore guard Lucas Lamont chipped in eight points and four steals.

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