WENATCHEE — Ruben Guillen wasn’t his usual self for the Manson Trojans on Monday in the first round of the North Central Washington 2B League district tournament at Wenatchee High School.
That is, until the Trojans needed him the most against Oroville.
Guillen was held to just four points in the first three quarters, but Manson’s leading scorer this season nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to break a tie with just over a minute remaining and the Trojans held on for 48-43 win over the Hornets.
“I told (Guillen), ‘I don’t care if you miss 10 in a row. You’ll hit the 11th,’” Manson coach Jeremy Crollard said. “I told the kids to pass the ball to Ruben, and that he’d hit it. And he did.”
“That was an unbelievable shot,” Oroville coach Carl Iverson said.
Manson, the No. 3 seed in the bracket, will play top-seeded Entiat at 7 p.m. Thursday for the district title and a spot in the state tournament. Oroville will be action in loser-out play at 4 p.m. Thursday against Soap Lake.
The win was a big step for Manson’s program, which hadn’t reached the playoffs in seven years.
“It’s a huge win for these kids,” said Crollard, a second-year head coach. “They’ve worked so hard.”
The Trojans kept the game close in a back-and-forth first quarter by surprising Oroville with a taste of its own medicine — a 1-3-1 zone.
“We just played them two weeks ago and lost by 15, so we added a different defense that they run,” Crollard said. “We ran if for the first few minutes, and it caught them off guard.”
Though the Hornets took an 11-10 lead into the second quarter, Manson hit a pair of treys in the second and outscored them 12-7 in the frame.
Oroville clawed back into the game with a 6-0 run in the middle of the third, and it opened the fourth with a 3 from Brandon Funston and a 2 from Preston Iverson to take a four-point advantage.
Manson called a time out, then reeled off a 7-0 spurt that included five straight free throws from Ruben and Javier Guillen to regain the lead, but Hornet Connor Hughes hit a triple — his only bucket of the game — to knot it back up at 39-39.
With the game tied 41-41 and less than two minutes remaining, Manson made a big defensive stop, and Ruben Guillen hit his big shot at the other end to put the Trojans on top for good.
“Games like this come down to a couple of plays; they made two, and we didn’t,” Carl Iverson said.
Javier Guillen led Manson with 13 points, while Escalera and Ruben Guillen added 12 apiece.
Funston scored a game-high 14 for Oroville, but he was limited to just three points in the fourth quarter against a box-and-one defense.
“We switched to a box-and-one on their main man, and it worked,” Crollard said. “Javier did a great job of denying (Funston), and it completely threw them off.”
“It changed the tempo of the game,” Carl Iverson said.
Iverson pointed to the Hornets’ 17 turnovers as their downfall.
“You can’t turn the ball over that many times. It’s 17 empty trips,” he said.
Entiat 50, Soap Lake 40
The fourth-seeded Eagles held Entiat star Dylan Crawley to just 10 points, but Angel Avelar picked up the slack, scoring 20 to lead the Tigers to the win.
Entiat led 14-8 after the first quarter, and it pushed its lead to 11 with a 13-7 third quarter.
Kyler Moats scored 15 for Soap Lake, while Zach Allen chipped in 10.
Girls 2B district tourney
Entiat 62, Kittitas 35
The third-seeded Tigers pulled off the most surprising win of the day, blowing out a tall and experienced Kittitas team that they went 1-1 against in the regular season.
Entiat took control of the contest by outscoring the Coyotes 24-9 in the third, and 11-6 in the fourth.
Sophomore guard Mandy Southard scored 23 for Entiat, and Taylor Montgomery contributed 17 to the Tigers’ effort.
Natalie Gibb was the lone Coyote in double-figures with 12 points.
Entiat will meet No. 1 seed Liberty Bell for the district title at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, while Kittitas will try to stay alive against Oroville in a loser-out contest at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Liberty Bell 47, Oroville 29
Four players scored at least eight points for the Mountain Lions as they cruised into the title game.
Liberty Bell led 10-2 after the first quarter, and it pulled away with a 19-7 fourth.
Shelby Scott had 17 points for Liberty Bell, while Rachel Peters’ 10 points paced the Hornets.