The Battle Ground boys basketball team has been behind in every game this season.
The Tigers remain undefeated, though.
“The third quarter is always our time to push forward,” senior guard Jamie Ford said. “In the second half, we’re on.”
The Tigers erased another deficit with a 15-0 run in the second half to take control Friday night at Prairie High School, downing the Falcons 69-61 in a non-league in-district rivalry game.
Devin Johnson had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Jamie Ford added 15 points, and three Tigers had at least four assists.
Colby Cahoon had 10 points and four assists. Damien Ford had eight points and four assists. Jamie Ford led the passing with seven assists.
“When we reverse it, we get in our rhythm and we look inside,” Damien Ford said. “It’s there every time.”
The Tigers also used four inbound plays from under the basket to get easy points.
“It’s a team game,” Jamie Ford said. “We have to pass it to each other to win.”
Those extra passes allowed for Battle Ground to make 25 of 51 shots. The team’s defense also led to points the other direction.
The Tigers held Prairie to four points in the third quarter, ending the period on a 12-0 run to take a seven-point lead. Johnson’s three-point play to open the scoring in the fourth made it 15 in a row. Prairie went more than five minutes without a point.
“Just a matter of the guys wanting to do it and relying on our team philosophy,” Battle Ground coach Wes Armstrong said.
Prairie made eight 3-pointers in the first half, jumping out to a 14-point lead in the second quarter before settling for an eight-point advantage at the half. The Falcons would not make another 3-pointer until the final 21 seconds of the game, when it was all but over.
“We lost our poise a little bit in that third quarter,” Prairie coach Kyle Brooks said. “They did a good job of putting pressure on us.”
James Phillips led the Falcons (1-1) with 18 points and five assists. Cairo Jackson made four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Ronnie McPherson added 10 points.
“For three quarters, we played really well,” Brooks said, adding that he saw some good moments from his young team. “Battle Ground is 4-0, and we took it as a good opportunity to learn and get better.”
It was a six-point game midway through the fourth quarter when Jamie Ford made a free throw and then missed the second. Damien Ford, though, got the offensive rebound, and seconds later buried a 3-pointer to push the lead to 10.
“Coach said I had the green light for anything. If I was open, take it. I just shot it,” Damien Ford said. “I know he wanted me to reverse it, but I just shot it.”
Jackson finished 10 of 17 from the floor for the Tigers. Cahoon and Damien Ford each made two 3-pointers.
“We’re excited,” Armstrong said of the 4-0 mark to start the season. “The pieces are starting to fall in place. This group of kids, there’s no quit in them. Every game we’ve been behind, and every game, we’ve answered the bell.”
BATTLE GROUND 69, PRAIRIE 61
BATTLE GROUND (4-0) — Jamie Ford 15, Nate Moring 2, Damien Ford 8, Jeff Moran 1, Devin Johnson 25, Josh Lemar 2, Colby Cahoon 10, Taylor Smith 4, Keaton Hoots 2. Totals 25-51 (5-14) 14-20 69.
PRAIRIE (1-1) — Palmer Goecke 6, Jacob Davidson 3, Michael Stockbridge 3, Cameron Papworth 0, James Phillips 18, Mason Pack 4, Cairo Jackson 17, Ethan Rouse 0, Greg Bernash 0, Ronnie McPherson 10. Totals 21-54 (10-30) 9-15 61.
Bat.Ground 15 14 19 21–69
Prairie 20 17 4 20–61