EAST WENATCHEE — It was a mixed bag for the Eastmont Wildcats in their season-opener Friday night against Chelan.
The Lady Wildcats struggled, putting up just 29 in a 15 point loss to the Goats. But the Eastmont boys flourished in front of a packed house and outscored Chelan 53-40 in the second half to nab a 97-81 win.
“We work hard in practice and it showed in the game tonight,” head coach George Juarez said after the win. “We just kept plugging away and did a good job of shooting the ball.”
Eamon Monahan led the team with 29 points, Ethan Easley chipped in 26 points and 10 rebounds and Brooks Trovato scored 14 points and grabbed six boards. Tyrell Malcolm provided a spark for the Wildcats off the bench and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Wildcats were able to hang around with the Goats in the first quarter but Chelan’s Nate Harding and Reed Stamps, who combined for 51 points, started to catch fire in the second and gave the Goats an eight-point lead. However, following a timeout, the Wildcats took back the momentum with a 13-3 run.
The Wildcats wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the night.
Stamps and Harding kept the Goats in the game, but that was all Chelan had offensively. Braiden Boyd chipped in 11 points but wasn’t much of a factor in the second half. Eastmont pulled away from Chelan midway through the third after Chelan’s head coach Tony Callero was given a technical foul. And then Monahan and Easley took over in the fourth quarter as Eastmont outscored Chelan 24-16 over the final eight minutes.
“Eamon started a little (slow) but sometimes when your know you’re going to be an integral part of the team it takes a while to get loose in that first game,” Juarez said. “We got loose and he did as well. I knew it would happen, he had a great game.”
Juarez was complimentary of Malcolm as well, saying the senior gives the team a different dimension while on the floor.
“He does a great job of rebounding the ball and driving toward the hoop,” Juarez said. “He gave us a big lift tonight.”
Eastmont needed a game like this — against a skilled non-conference opponent — and it was an ideal start. The Wildcats were tested, especially in the second and third quarter with Stamps and Harding draining 3-pointers at will.
But the Wildcats proved their fortitude and got to a comfortable enough position to put in the reserves with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“Chelan does a great job and has some shooters,” Juarez said. “But we have a good shooting ball club as well.”
Up next for Eastmont is a road matchup against Shadle Park next Friday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.