BATTLE GROUND — Timeouts taken by Battle Ground and Heritage in the opening minutes of Wednesday’s game reflected each head coach’s apparent frustration with momentary lapses on defense.
First, it was Heritage head coach Ashton Clark calling for time less than two minutes into the game after Battle Ground scored an easy layup off an inbounds pass.
Then, around the four-minute mark following a Heritage layup, Battle Ground head coach Kevin Kalian was visibly irked as he called his team to the bench, clipboard in hand.
The early timeout was little more than a footnote in an eventual 78-55 Battle Ground win, but the Tigers’ response was telling. Leading 10-8 midway through the first quarter, Battle Ground closed on a 13-4 run and carried the momentum over to the second quarter where it built a 48-29 halftime advantage.
“This being our first game, I think the excitement was there so we had to call a timeout to reorganize, just relax ourselves,” Kalian said. “Once we relaxed, we did our thing. We’ve got a young team, they’re super excited, they’re ready to go, which is awesome. We just felt like, let’s call that timeout, reorganize and obviously it paid off.”
Sophomore Tait Spencer had a game-high 34 points, 21 coming in the first half, and sophomore Noah Currie chipped in 13 points. The two are part of the Tigers’ new-look group that Kalian alluded to. The team has no seniors, and actually has more sophomores (seven) than upperclassmen (six).
Their youth may suggest this season will be one for growth, Kalian said, but so far they’ve risen to the occasion, with blowout wins over Washougal and now Heritage.
“They want it,” Kalian said. “That’s the biggest thing about this team … I think they all got great heart. They want to win and they want to work hard.”
Heritage’s Jarius Brown had a team-high 15 points for the Timberwolves, who also got 11 points from Michael Houston.
BATTLE GROUND 78, HERITAGE 55
HERITAGE — Ladaimien McCord 1, Jayden Cardiel 2, Devin Uppal 5, Quincy Caston 2, Jarius Brown 15, Aiden Miller 4, Vernon Onick 2, Michael Houston 11, J. Ramos 3, Jose Zacarias 2, Quincy Gill 6. Totals 20 (3) 8-11 55.
BATTLE GROUND — Austin Ralphs 6, Cassius Davis 4, Charles Jones 0, Noah Currie 13, Todd Copper 5, Ian Ebinger 0, Tait Spencer 34, Ty Robertson 7, Hudson Massie 0, Henri Smith 2, Jacob Champine 0, Trey Spencer 9, Samuel McDermott 0. Totals 35 (9) 0-4 78.
Heritage 12 17 14 12—55
Bat.Ground 25 23 17 4—78
JV — 44-39 Battle Ground