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Cats race past Beavers

Westview builds a big lead through three quarters and coasts to victory
by: MATTHEW GINN, BIG MAN BATTLE — Andy Poling of Westview and Killian Fitzpatrick of Beaverton fight for a rebound in the third quarter of Westview’s 66-53 win at Beaverton High.

BEAVERTON - They played one of the state's toughest preseason schedules - and took their lumps in the process.

But now, with the Metro League season at full tilt, the Westview boys basketball team is well prepared for a run through one of the state's toughest leagues.

Losers of six straight at one point, the Wildcats had anything but a slow start Friday, racing out to a 34-15 halftime lead and cruising to a 66-53 win over Beaverton. The victory at Beaverton High School sent Westview to 2-0 in Metro play and evened its overall mark to 8-8.

'We were surprised we started the way we did,' Wildcat post Andy Poling said. 'We knew we would turn it around. It was just a matter of when. It made us tougher and we're better for it.'

And, boy was Westview tough on Friday - all but shutting down Beaverton, which shot 5-of-21 in the first half, and eclipsing the Beavers' halftime scoring total in each of its first two quarters.

Beaverton eventually found its groove, but not until the fourth quarter when it scored nearly as many points (26) as it had in the first three periods (27). After shooting 26 percent through three quarters, Beaverton, which fell to 0-2 in league and 6-10 overall, made 11-of-20 shots in the fourth.

'They took away a lot of what we tried to do,' said Beaverton wing Ryan Meehan, who had a game-high 21 points. 'We didn't come out with intensity. Toward the end, everything was firing. We need to play that way every game.'

After Meehan's three-pointer drew the Beavers to 6-5, the Wildcats took off. Against an active defense, Beaverton went nearly seven minutes without a field goal and Westview went on a 17-2 run.

'We really worked on defense in practice this week,' Westview sophomore Hayes Garrity said. 'We wanted to stop Meehan from getting on fire and deny him the ball.'

Poling, who had 15 points, started the spurt with a tip-in. Moments later, Garrity swished a 3-pointer then added another with 1 minutem 3 seconds left in the first quarter for a 14-5 lead. After a pair of Meehan free throws, Westview held for the last shot and junior point guard Josh Hill buried it from beyond the arc off a Poling assist for a 17-7 lead.

'Andy really distracts a lot of defenses,' Garrity said. 'It leaves us open in the perimeter. Then if they close in on us, we feed him inside.'

Post Austin Kuemper hit a pair of jumpers around a Terrell Wallace steal and layin as the Wildcats built their lead to 23-7. Beaverton post Jordan Railey's short hook finally ended the rut, but Hill drained another three-pointer and Westview only continued to pull away.

'We're jelling so well right now,' Poling said. 'It was definitely frustrating (early in the season) as we searched for our identity. But the coaches kept us on track. We learned lessons and turned things around.'

Any thoughts of a Beaverton comeback evaporated when Westview went on a 10-3 run to start the second half. Garrity's three-pointer made it 38-15 and he later had a steal and fastbreak layin for a 44-18 lead.

Beavers' point guard Jake Krichevsky and Meehan buried three-pointers but that only closed Beaverton within 20 at 44 Beaverton within 20 at 44-24. Sophomore wing Garrett Jackson's three-point play off his steal bumped Westview's lead back to 49-24 and Garrity later swished his fourth 'three' as the Wildcats took a 56-27 lead into the final frame.

For the game, Westview made 6-of-10 three-point attempts.

'Beaverton was double and triple teaming inside,' Poling said. 'Our shooters were hitting their 'threes.' People have to think about the defense they play. Right now we're firing on all cylinders.'

The Beavers finally started firing in the fourth when Meehan had nine points, sophomore wing DeAngelo Davis eight and Rier six on a pair of three-pointers. But it was far too late despite Beaverton runs of 11-2 and 15-2. The Beavers made their first four three-pointers in the fourth with Rier hitting a pair and Meehan and senior wing Sam Rudolph one each.

'We definitely have streaks of playing with anybody,' Meehan said. 'But we also have streaks when nothing is going right for us. We need to minimize those.'

Beaverton's next chance was yesterday at Sunset (results not available as of the Valley Times' press deadline). The Beavers host Aloha on Friday then travel to Jesuit on Wednesday for a pair of 7:30 p.m. games.

Westview was at Southridge yesterday (Wednesday) then hosts another team that has enjoyed a 2-0 Metro start in Sunset on Friday, before playing at Aloha on Wednesday.