The calendar reads mid-December, and it’s only the second game of the 3A Narrows League season for Wilson and Timberline. Both teams know it’s going to take time before league supremacy is determined.
Though Wednesday at Timberline High School in Lacey, in a battle of what many consider to be the league’s top two teams, visiting Wilson made a statement in a 71-51 win against the Blazers.
Jamal Welch scored 15 points and was one of five Wilson players to reach double figures, joining Ivy Smith, Jr. (13 points), Robert Knox (13), Alphonso Anderson (11) and Montre Brown (10).
The youthful Rams, who started two sophomores, won with depth, strong outside shooting (9 of 18 from 3-point range) and an effective 2-3 zone to rush out to a 20-point lead at halftime. Timberline never cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way.
Wilson coach Dave Alwert credited his bench play, despite the Rams (3-0 overall, 2-0 3A Narrows) being limited to eight players because of the absence of starting guard David Jenkins. Knox started in Jenkins’ place and finished with a double-double.
“The bench really built the lead,” Alwert said. “They came in and played better than our starters.”
Wilson’s goal: To make somebody besides the Washington-
bound Donaven Dorsey beat them.
It worked for most of the game.
Dorsey, with his future college coach Lorenzo Romar watching inside the gym, had 14 of his team’s 17 first-half points, including 8 of 9 from the free-throw line, but the rest of the team was a combined 1 of 10 shooting; Jarryn Bush’s bucket with 2 minutes, 27 seconds to go in the first half made him the only player besides Dorsey to get a field goal in the first two quarters. Bush finished with 17 points.
After a school-record 44-point performance in Saturday’s double-overtime win against Kentwood, Dorsey finished with a game-high 19 points but was held to two second-half field goals. Foul trouble plagued Dorsey, who picked up his third and fourth fouls in a 13-second span. He exited with 6:54 left in the third quarter and re-entered with 7:06 to go as Wilson led 58-40.
Still, Timberline (2-3, 0-2) had a chance to cut a 12-point deficit to single digits with less than 3 minutes to go, but Wilson ended the game on a 9-2 run.
Timberline finds itself in the same spot it was at this time last year: 0-2 in league play. But that’s not a cause for concern for second-year Blazers coach Allen Thomas, who is never one to make excuses for his team’s loss. He was, however, playing without two junior point guards – Brandell Evans and Sam Tarabochia – but both plan to return soon, Thomas said. Evans hadn’t played since spraining his ankle in the team’s overtime loss against Foss to open 3A Narrows League play.
“Missing Brandell hurt,” said Thomas, who relied on Dorsey for much of the ball-handling duties Wednesday. “He’s our general and not having him hurts. We’re struggling with not having a point guard.”Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 @megwochnick