Tre Eisenhut's confidence never wavered.
The Fort Vancouver guard wasn't going to stop shooting 3-pointers after two cold games to open the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League season.
(Troy Wayrynen/The Columbian)
And when Eisenhut heated up Tuesday, he was the engine that propelled Fort past Prairie for a 61-53 road win.
The senior scored 23 points and shot 7-for-15 from 3-point range. As a team, the Trappers made 11 shots from behind the arc.
That 3-point barrage came after Fort was a combined 4-for-22 in their first two league games -- a loss at Kelso and a win over Hudson's Bay.
"I've thought all along we're a good 3-point shooting team," Fort coach Scott Thompson said. "I think that because we're a good-shooting team that we've rushed the shots. Tonight we had more patience."
Fort and Prairie now sit at 2-1 in league, one game behind Columbia River.
For much of Tuesday's game, there was little to separate the teams. Neither opened a lead larger than four points during the second or third quarters.
Fort pulled away by scoring 16 of the first 18 points in the fourth quarter. And while Fort's long-range shooting had its fans on their feet, the Trappers defense was what buried the Falcons down the stretch.
Until 35 seconds were left to play, Prairie managed only two points in the final quarter.
"Fort did a great job of putting on pressure and taking us out of a rhythm offensively," Prairie coach Kyle Brooks said. "We settled for shots on the first or second pass."
With four players each at 6-foot-4 or taller, both teams have a fair amount of size. Fort's Will Doty and Jordan Suell held their own against Prairie's frontcourt.
Many of Fort's 3-pointers came on kickout passes from those big men.
"Will was doing all the work," Eisenhut said. "He was getting all the rebounds and then finding me."
Prairie kept pace in the back-and-fourth game behind James Phillips and Ronnie McPherson, who each had 16 points.
Phillips made consecutive shots to give Prairie a 45-42 lead after three quarters.
"We challenged them at the end of the third quarter," Thompson said. "I told them '55 points wins this game.' All we talked about during that break was defense. There was so much energy on the court. It was good to see."
FORT VANCOUVER 61, PRAIRIE 53
FORT VANCOUVER — Jacob Brugman 0, Will Doty 11, Tre Eisenhut 23, Jordan Howard 9, Malachi King 9, Jordan Suell 9, Nate Harris 0. Totals 21 (11) 8-12 61.
PRAIRIE — Palmer Goecke 6, Jacob Davidson 3, Michael Stockbridge 0, James Phillips 16, Mason Pack 12, Cairo Jackson 0, Ronnie McPherson 16. Totals 21 (6) 5-9 53.
Fort 16 11 15 19—61
Prairie 13 15 17 8—53
JV — Prairie 50-40