Toledo was just too big, too strong, and too quick.
That combination helped lead the Indians to a 57-49 home win against Central 2B League foe Morton-White Pass Friday night.
Reece Wallace led Toledo with 19 points, and Junior Arroyo scored 12 points and added 14 rebounds.
The Indians got out to a 10-2 lead after the first quarter, and 90 seconds into the second, Toledo extended its lead to 16-4.
The game looked like a walkthrough to that point, but MWP came back to life with a 14-6 run in the final six minutes of the half.
The Timberwolves kept the momentum and got Toledo coach Grady Fallon’s nerves going. Matt Poquette, MWP’s star, pulled up for deep 3s on consecutive possessions and brought the Timberwolves within four points.
“He got going, and he’s going to get going,” Fallon said. “The thing about doubling him is that he’s so tall that he can just pass right over.”
Arroyo and Wallace tag-teamed for 12 of the Indians’ 15 third-quarter points, and stymied the momentum Poquette built for the Timberwolves. Poquette finished with 23 points.
“Fano (Arceo-Hansen), Westin (Wallace) and Junior (Arroyo) did a really good job of getting inside, and (Poquette) is on me so he has to help,” Reece Wallace said. “Then we can get it back out and set screens, give them the open look.”
The Indians fended off the Poquette-led attack for long enough to keep the lead, finishing the third frame with a 37-35 advantage. Their defense provided a boost in the fourth, holding the Timberwolves to three converted field goals and winning the defensive rebounding battle by a healthy margin.
“This game we really locked in and didn’t give those guys any room,” Wallace said. “That was the main thing.”
Arceo-Hansen scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds, while Westin Wallace scored eight points with eight rebounds.
It was Andreas Malunat, though, who checked in midway through the fourth quarter and pulled up just outside of the key, sinking two shots within one minute of each other.
“Malunat coming off the bench when it was within four points, that was huge,” Fallon said. “He’s a really good shooter, and he usually shoots 3s. That was a really smart move to go in there and then pull-up. Textbook.”
Malunat’s two field goals forced MWP to foul, and the Indians went 9-11 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“It’s so, so stressful when they have a guy like Poquette,” Wallace said. “The bench guys really came in and stepped up.”