LONGVIEW — Hockinson boys basketball coach Matt Gruhler entered Saturday’s game with an 0-4 record against W.F. West of Chehalis.
And Gruhler was thinking that his winning percentage against the Bearcats wouldn’t improve if the Hawks’ shooting percentage didn’t go up.
“We were 2 for 15 from 3-point range in the first half,” Gruhler said. “We were getting the shots we wanted. We just couldn’t get them to fall.”
Enter Wyatt Yearout. The senior — and Hockinson’s career leader in 3-point goals — knocked down three big 3-pointers in the third quarter to spark the Hawks to a 42-37 win over W.F. West in a loser-outgame in the Class 2A district tournament.
The win sends the Hawks to a matchup Tuesday against Wasougal for the district’s third and final berth to the 2A regionals.
“It was just a case of a senior stepping up,” Gruhler said of Yearout.
Yearout had 19 of his game-high 21 points after halftime to spark the Hawks.
But Hockinson had others play key roles.
Tommy Beckley’s 3-pointer in the fourth quarter gave the Hawks a 34-31 lead.
After W.F. West tied the game 36-36, Jack Klodt buried two free throws to give Hockinson the lead for good. Later, Yearout would seal the win with four late free throws.
“We lost to (W.F. West) earlier this season on a buzzer beater, so we knew we could play with them,” Gruhler said. “We are two similar teams. To come out with a win over these guys and get one more game — at least — feels great.”
HOCKINSON 42, WF WEST 37
HOCKINSON (13-10) — Jack Klodt 8, Alan Haagen 3, Jess Krahn 0, Wyatt Yearout 21, Taylor Rennaker 2, Taylor Ellensohn 3, Tommy Beckley 5. Totals 15 (6) 6-6 42.
W.F. WEST (15-8) — Forgione 0, Gueller 11, Moon 6, Wade 13, Sherfey 5, Cline 2. Totals 15 (3) 4-6 37.
Hockinson 10 4 15 13–42
WF West 4 12 11 10–37