By Dan Trujillo
Jakob Davis will never forget what happened on Friday the 13th.
The sophomore caught his second first down for the Washougal High School football team in a big league game at Woodland. He tried to leap over the defender, but got flipped over and landed hard. Davis heard the snap and then felt the pain.
“It’s broke! It’s broke! It’s broke!” He shouted. His coaches and teammates could hear the agony. There was nothing they could do.
Davis dislocated his elbow. A few weeks later, he was back at practices catching footballs with one hand. His season was over, but Davis was determined to heal up and compete again for the Panthers very soon.
“I just love basketball,” he said. “I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I always want to keep playing.”
Once Davis was cleared, new head coach AJ LaBree welcomed him with open arms. All of the sudden, the Panthers had another weapon in the arsenal.
“He has a really versatile skill set,” LaBree said of Davis. “We’re excited to have him back out there, just to see some of the things he can do. I think he’s just going to get better as he gets more comfortable.”
In just his second game of the season, Davis scored 16 points to help Washougal defeat R.A. Long 80-53 Dec. 19. Troy Prince-Butterfield, Carson Adams and Moses McEwen also scored in double figures for the Panthers.
Thursday’s home game against Ridgefield turned into a more difficult challenge. The Spudders rallied to within three points late in the game, before the Panthers pulled away for a 54-45 victory. McEwen rose to the occasion with deep threes, rebounds, blocks and 24 points.
“I’ve been in a slump, lately, so it was good to get out of that,” McEwen said. “When the shot clock’s running down, you can only do one thing, so it’s pretty easy to let it go.”
McEwen dropped four 3-pointers on Ridgefield, including the deepest one in the final minute of the game.
“When he’s got it going, it’s really pretty,” LaBree said. “He’s got a gorgeous looking shot. High arching. Soft falling. All that good stuff.”
Kade Coons and Prince-Butterfield also hit clutch threes for the Panthers. Adams, Coons and Davis came through with big rebounds and putbacks for foul shots.
“Some of those guys made a mistake before. For them to not be afraid, come right back and try to do the right thing says a lot about their character,” LaBree said. “You don’t mean to turn the ball over or miss a shot, but it happens. You have to come back from that, and that’s what they did. A little adversity never hurts.”
Washougal (6-4) hosts Prairie tonight in the last game of December. Tip off is at 7 p.m.
“Prairie is going to be the toughest team we have faced so far,” LaBree said. “We’re excited for our opportunity to see what that’s like and see if we can hang around for a while.”
Washougal Girls Win Again
The Panther girls basketball team peeled the Spudders 56-41 Wednesday, in Ridgefield.
Beyonce Bea led Washougal with 21 points and nine rebounds. Her sister, Skylar, added 14 points and 10 rebounds. McKinley Stotts chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Washougal (6-3) hosts Hockinson Wednesday, Jan. 3, and goes to Skyview Saturday, Jan. 6. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Beyonce Bea is 27 points away from 1,000 for her high school career. The junior is already the school’s leading rebounder.
Panthers Image Gallery
Photos by Dan Trujillo