The Westview Wildcats survived a Sunset three-point barrage by opting for the high-percentage shot of the highest player on the floor.
Senior 6-10 center Jack Poling scored 16 of his team-high 24 points in the second half as the Wildcats defeated the Apollos 65-62 at Westview Wednesday night. Poling connected on four straight shot attempts twice in the second half and was 12-for-18 from the field in the game for the Wildcats, who improved to 2-1 in Metro League play and 7-5 overall with the victory.
Sunset (1-3, 2-9) fell behind 7-0 to start the game, but stormed to an eight-point lead in the first half, led by sophomore guard Braeden Sato’s 16 points. The Apollos connected on seven 3-point shots in the first two quarters, but were limited to a pair of treys the rest of the way.
Down 36-30 at the break, Westview turned to the future Pacific Lutheran center Poling frequently right out of the gate in the third period. Poling connected on four straight shots as the teams traded buckets on their first three trips down the floor. But Sunset’s rhythm got disrupted when the Apollos were called for three offensive fouls on illegal screens. The visitors had just one more field goal until Coleman Newsom scored in the paint midway through the fourth quarter, a stretch of more than ten minutes of clock. By then, Westview had opened up a 53-47 lead.
However, the Apollos raced back in front, scoring eight straight points, capped by a pair of Newsom free throws with a little over three minutes remaining. The three-sport standout stole an offensive rebound from the Wildcats after a missed Sato trey and was fouled. After a Kobe Newton layup tied the game at 55, Sato buried his fifth trey of the night, putting Sunset up 58-55 with 2:10 to play.
Westview went inside for a Poling bucket to pull within one. Andrew Bear rebounded a missed Nick Cizik three and was fouled. After tying the game with a free throw, Poling gathered in his missed second shot and scored on a putback to give the Wildcats a 60-58 advantage with 1:45 left.
Two clutch free throws by Eric Anderson with a minute left gave the Wildcats a 62-58 lead. The teams traded buckets before Sunset’s Nick Reese scored and Sunset called time out with 25 seconds to play, trailing 64-62. The Wildcats inbounded the ball and ran off nearly half the clock before Shasank Bonthala was fouled. Bonthala missed the first free throw and hit the second, giving Sunset a shot at a game-tying three with 14 seconds left in the game. But the Apollos could not get a clean look before Newsom’s last-ditch heave ended up in Newton’s hands as time expired.
Westview, which shot 65% from the field in a loss to South Salem Friday, connected on 55% from the field. Sunset shot 45% and hit 9 of 27 from three-point land, but just 2-for-11 from deep in the second half. Sato finished with a game-high 25 points on 9 of 14 shooting, including 5 of 10 from long range. Cizik added 11 points and Newsom had a strong all-around game with 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.
For Westview, Bonthala scored 13 of his 14 points in the first half, when he connected on three treys. Newton added 12 points and Bear had eight rebounds and four assists to go with nine points, directing a lot of Westview’s second-half offensive attack from the high post.
The Wildcats entertain Beaverton Friday. The Beavers beat Jesuit 68-49 Wednesday night. Sunset will try to snap a six-game losing streak at home against Liberty Friday. The Falcons were no match for Southridge, losing 93-48 in South Beaverton. In other Metro league boys basketball, Glencoe defeated Century 42-38.