(Brendan Carl | Grays Harbor Newspaper Group) Montesano’s Evan Bates elevates over the Eatonville defense to take a shot on Friday, Dec. 2.

Eatonville boys overpower Montesano

Despite a win to kick off the season, Montesano’s boys basketball team fell to quick-starting Eatonville late last week.

Cruisers 54, Bulldogs 43

Unfortunately for Montesano’s boys, Eatonville showed no visible signs of bus lag.

Starting fast despite a late arrival, Eatonville’s well-balanced Cruisers cruised past the Bulldogs, 54-43, in the boys half of a non-league co-ed basketball doubleheader Friday, Dec. 2, at Bo Griffith Memorial Gym.

Due to multiple traffic accidents along its route, Eatonville’s bus arrived only about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled 5:45 p.m. tipoff. The contest eventually commenced about 20 minutes behind schedule.

Once play began, the Bulldogs (1-1) faced a two-fold problem. They were guilty of 26 turnovers, many of them unforced, in a fast-paced but raggedly played game. While comparative rebounding totals were unavailable, it is likely the much taller Cruisers snared as many offensive rebounds as Monte did on both ends of the court in the first half.

“We didn’t do a good job of blocking out,” Montesano coach Doug Galloway said. “We were too far under the basket. We’ve got to be tougher.”

Eatonville also hit four of its first six shots to quickly erase Monte’s last lead of the contest, at 4-3. Ray Springer and Hershal Vuksich nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second quarter and increase the Cruiser advantage to 22-9.

From then on, the Bulldogs scrambled to keep the margin in single digits.

L.J. Valley’s three-ball (his only field goal of the game) to begin the second half trimmed the deficit to 30-22. The spread remained at eight when Nick Chapman answered a basket by Eatonville’s Carson Hutchings moments later.

The Cruisers, however, tallied 10 of the next 14 points and were never seriously challenged in the fourth quarter.

Smooth-working junior Trevor Ridgway did most of the damage for Montesano, leading all scorers with 19 points. Chapman added eight points and Seth Dierkop five rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Four Cruisers scored at least nine points, led by senior guard Justin Brandt’s 14. The exceptionally quick Springer chipped in with 13 points.

An Evergreen 1A League rival of Montesano’s last season (the clubs split their series last season), Eatonville has moved up to the 2A classification this year.

The Bulldogs hosted Rochester in another non-leaguer Tuesday, Dec. 6. The results of that game were not available when The Vidette went to press.

Bulldogs 57, Loggers 49

It took a little extra patience, but Montesano defeated Onalaska in a non-league game at Onalaska on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Tied at 23-23 at halftime, the Bulldogs (1-0) slowed down on offense and jumped ahead by nine at the end of the third quarter to beat the Loggers.

“Our first half was a little sloppy and then our second half was a little better as far as offensive patience and figuring out how to play together,” Galloway said. “We jumped on them in the third quarter and just stayed ahead from there. We just started playing solid defense and on offense we were just more patient. We were going through more than just our first option of offense.”

Valley led the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Dierkop added 10 points and eight rebounds. Chapman dished out four assists.

Galloway cited freshmen Tanner Nicklas and Sam Winter for their play coming off the bench. Winter finished with nine points on the night.

Eatonville 16 14 9 15 — 54 Montesano 11 8 9 15 — 43

Eatonville (54) — Springer 13, Schoepf 3, Brandt 14, Hutchings 10, Moeller 9, Graf 2, Scruggs, Vuksich 3, Wolfe. FG — 18-55 (.327). FG — 12-15.

Montesano (43) — Ridgway 19, Chapman 8, Quinn 5, Valley 3, Dierkop 2, Nicholson 2, Peterson, Burbidge, Bates 4, Winter, Farmer, Nicklas. FG — 16-41 (.390). FT — 7-7.

Monte 14 9 19 15 — 57 Onalaska 10 13 10 16 — 49

Montesano (57) — Nicholson, Peterson, Ridgway 7, Burbidge, Bates, Winter 9, Chapman 4, Quinn, Valley 21, Albert, Farmer, Dierkop 10, Nicklas 6. FG – 17-38. FT-16-24.

Onalaska (49) — Haight, Frazier 8, Swett 12, Covey, Cooper 14, Wells 3, Huffman 3, Beck 9. FG – 13-44. FT- 16-26.

JV — Montesano 50, Onalaska 24, Montesano’s Jared Wallace with 12 points.