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With five minutes remaining in the third quarter of Woodland’s Greater St. Helens 2A League game Monday, guard Wyatt Harsh stripped the ball from a Ridgefield ballhandler and lobbed it to forward Alex Bishop.

Bishop rose to the rim and jammed the ball down hard through the net.

The play exemplified exactly how the Beavers ran to a 54-24 victory over the Spudders. Solid defense led to efficient scoring, putting Woodland (2-3 league, 6-7) back on track in the league playoff picture.

“Our press really worked and putting pressure sealing off the ball (was what worked on defense),” Harsh said. “Also communicating on defense. We really emphasized that because (Ridgefield coach Jason Buffum) runs a lot of screens. He did the same thing when he was here so we expected that.”

Buffum was Woodland’s coach for three seasons, before joining Ridgefield in 2016.

Woodland held the Spudders to just 10 first-half points, utilizing a fullcourt press at times, while also clogging lanes and preventing drives. The Beavers were solid on the glass, too, as Palmer Dinehart grabbed 11 rebounds with 15 points, and Harsh hauled in five boards to go with his career-high 12 points.

Not long after half, though, Harsh’s lob to Bishop (10 points, four rebounds) for the two-handed slam got the Beavers fired up.

“He throws it down hard, too,” Harsh said. “It gets the juices going. … I think if we play defense like (tonight), we’d be pretty good.”

Coach Andrew Johnson agreed.

“It got me pumped up, it got the bench, it got the crowd,” Johnson said. “Anything like that to keep the momentum on our side, it’s great. He can get up, there’s a reason he was third in state high jump”

The 30-point victory is Woodland’s largest margin of the season, and though three scored in double figures, the defense led the way.

“It was the defensive intensity all the way through. Everything we do starts with our defense,” Johnson said. “If you’re playing defense, you’re stopping them and you’re getting more opportunities to score.”

Isaiah Flanagan scored five points and Tyler Flanagan scored eight, with two points apiece coming from Trey Hanson and Kyle Groce.

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Sports Reporter

Jason is a journeyman sports reporter who has covered the Golden State Warriors, Oakland A's, along with a heavy emphasis on the Oakland Raiders. He comes to Cowlitz County from Oakland, Calif. and is a loving father.

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