WENATCHEE — Once Eamon Monahan got rolling Tuesday night, which didn’t take long, he was impossible to stop.
The 6-foot junior played nearly every minute, drained six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 32 points as Eastmont bashed its cross-bridge rival 68-49 in the first game back from winter break.
“He’s a very steady player,” Eastmont head coach George Juarez said after the win. “I don’t really have to worry about him too much.”
Even though Monahan was in a rhythm all night, the Panthers kept the score close in the first half and led by three after the first quarter. Wenatchee dominated the glass and generated a few turnovers that led to a trio of 3-pointers from Michael Torres, Camden Loidhamer and Luke Baier.
But in the second quarter, Wenatchee couldn’t get the lid off the basket. The Wildcats took advantage and built a six-point lead after going on an 11-2 run through the first four minutes. The Panthers settled back in though over the final few minutes and pulled back within four by the end of the half.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, that was as close as they would get. The Wildcats dominated the second half and pulled away in the fourth quarter behind Monahan and senior Ethan Easley, who chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds.
“We just locked down defensively,” Juarez said. “We knew we were going to be able to run out and I thought our will to run was good tonight. We just made it happen. I was extremely happy with our defensive effort and rebounding in the second half (because) we had only one offensive rebound in the first half.”
Wenatchee struggled to find a consistent attack over the final 16 minutes, scoring only 22 points. For much of the fourth quarter, the Panthers hit everything but nylon. Wenatchee scored just two points five minutes into the final quarter, but finally got some shots to fall in the closing minutes with the game out of reach.
Eastmont 1. Wenatchee 0
The Panthers will get a rebuttal next Friday at home.
In between that though, Eastmont has a pair of crucial Big 9 games this weekend against West Valley and Davis. The Wildcats host the Rams Friday night before traveling to Yakima to take on the Pirates on Saturday night. Tipoff on Friday is at 7:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Wenatchee’s game against Shadle Park on Wednesday was canceled, but the Panthers are back in action on the road Friday night against Sunnyside. Wenatchee will then host Eisenhower on Saturday night. Tipoff for both games is at 7:30 p.m.
Eastmont 44, Wenatchee 15
The score was fairly tight after two quarters but Wenatchee couldn’t buy a basket in the second half, scoring just two points over the final 16 minutes.
Eastmont kept Wenatchee off the scoreboard throughout the entire fourth quarter and forced a handful of turnovers as the Panthers labored offensively. Wenatchee will look to bounce back this weekend in their games against Sunnyside/Ike before challenging Eastmont again next Friday.