Owen Chambers is notorious for working over multiple sticks of gum on varsity boys’ basketball nights at Mount Tahoma High School – sometimes even going as far as chewing a whole pack.
“Probably changed gum four times tonight,” he said.
He probably should let his coaching counterpart from Friday night – Wilson’s Dave Alwert – in on his habit.
Loaded with sophomores and freshmen, the Rams are loaded for a run in the near future. But on Friday night, it was four Mount Tahoma seniors taking care of the business at hand, leading the host Thunderbirds to a 69-57 victory in Narrows 3A action in South Tacoma.
Mount Tahoma grabbed a 19-2 lead, survived a mid-game lull, then pulled away for good late in the third quarter.
Andre Wiley and Ray West led all scorers with 19 points apiece for the Thunderbirds. Brian Neal added 17, and Michael Rollins chipped in with 14 as the four seniors combined for all but two of the team’s points.
“We played real tough and together tonight,” said Wiley’s, Mount Tahoma’s biggest player at 6-foot-5.
The start – a 1-for-12 shooting from the floor with nine turnovers in the first quarter – doomed the Rams. They played a bit timid and never did find that one go-to player to really pull them through.
Yet, Wilson made a run to start the second half by scoring on its first four possessions – capped by Ben Matz’s runner – to cut it to 35-31.
And the Rams immediately got a turnover – but gave it right back when they could not inbound the basketball within five seconds for a turnover.
Left alone on the left side, West sank a 3-pointer for Mount Tahoma to push the lead back to 38-31 with 5:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Wilson turned it over again on an offensive foul – and the Thunderbirds took advantage on Devion Hammond’s putback basket;
Mount Tahoma closed the third quarter by scoring on its final four possessions to grab a 49-39 lead – then opened the final quarter with big buckets fro, Wiley, West and Neal.