By David Heiling
Empire Press Correspondent
BREWSTER — The Waterville/Mansfield boys basketball team on Jan. 9 fell to the Central Washington 2B League-leading Brewster Bears by a final tally of 72-32.
Brewster deployed its full-court trapping zone defense to confuse the visiting Shockers, which led to too many turnovers for Waterville/Mansfield. Although the Shockers only committed 15 turnovers — a relatively low number against a stout Brewster defense — Shockers coach Heath Jordan said that the turnovers came in clusters, which led to a bunch of Brewster points in a small amount of time.
“We just really didn’t play well,” Jordan said.
Brewster got out to a 39-9 lead after the first half, which proved too big a hole for the Shockers to climb out of.
“We were getting great looks at the basket, but we just couldn’t make any of our shots,” Jordan said. “When you’re playing a team of Brewster’s caliber and you don’t make your shots, it’s going to be tough for you.”
The Bears’ speed and pace of play was difficult for Waterville/Mansfield to mimic or counter, and Brewster was able to get up and down the floor at will.
The Shockers didn’t see any of its players reach double digits in the scoring column, however four players — Devyn Klinginsmith, Jacob Stibal, Johnny Mullen and Ethan Petersen — all recorded six points to pace Waterville/Mansfield in scoring.
Jordan said his team excels when it can get inside with some of its bigger players and use the success inside to open up passing lanes to open shooters from the perimeter. Unfortunately for Waterville/Mansfield, the offensive production never got clicking in the first half.
The Shockers now look toward a tilt against Manson at home on Jan. 18 and an away matchup against Tonasket on Jan. 20. At the time of press, Waterville/Mansfield holds a 5-5 record in CW2BL play and sits in fifth place in the league standings. Manson is also at 5-5 in fourth place, and Tonasket is 5-4 in third place. The next two games will prove critical for the Shockers.