Having exercised the veto that prevented his team from claiming an official championship, Montesano coach Doug Galloway happily settled for the unofficial boys title of the Raymond Holiday Classic basketball tournament.
Overcoming poor shooting with strong rebounding and defense, the Bulldogs wore down short-handed Raymond, 46-29, on the final day of the Raymond Holiday Classic on Dec. 30.
Montesano (6-5) was the only boys team to win both games in an event in which pairings were pre-determined.
Raymond athletic director and tournament director Mike Tully said earlier that he had hoped to institute a traditional tournament this year, but that Montesano coaches had expressed reservations about a potential second meeting with Onalaska this season.
Galloway said following the contest that he would sign off on a traditional tourney format next year.
Raymond (7-2) hung tough for three quarters despite an injury to scoring ace Kason Koski. The senior guard came down awkwardly after making a lay-up in the opening two minutes and hobbled off the court with a sprained ankle.
After returning for sporadic periods later in the first half, Koski was benched as a precautionary measure in the second half. Raymond coach Derek Rask said the injury didn’t appear to be serious, but said prudence dictated a cautious approach in a non-league contest.
Unable to make virtually anything outside of five feet in a fast-paced, physical affair, Montesano compensated by dominating other phases of the game.
Killing the Gulls on the offensive glass and having a hand in forcing 25 turnovers, the Bulldogs literally launched twice as many shots (66-33) as Raymond. Their frigid .258 shooting percentage still beat Raymond’s .182 marksmanship.
“We tried to change some things up and tried to get a little more intensity,” Galloway said. “Hopefully, we can keep it going, because when you don’t shoot well, you’ve got to play defense.”
Junior forward Trevor Ridgway paced the Dogs with 13 points. Junior center Seth Dierkop had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior post Luke Hamilton and sophomore guard Devine Souvannavanh shared Raymond scoring honors wieh seven points each.
Dierkop’s breakaway lay-in to open the second half snapped a 20-all halftime deadlock and gave Monte a lead it never relinquished.
The Gulls, however, were still within a point, at 27-26, when Souvannavanh drove for a lay-in with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter
That, however, proved to be Raymond’s final points until the final minute of the game. After Ridgway opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a lay-in, freshman Sam Winter hit a 3-pointer from the left wing and fed Dierkop for a bucket that made it 36-26 with 4:45 remaining.
“You’re not going to win many games shooting (18 percent) and you’re particularly not going to win games scoring 29 points,” Rask summarized. “Credit to Montesano. Their pressure defense was disruptive for us.”
Hamilton pulled down 10 rebounds and Souvannavanh swiped five steals for the Gulls.
Montesano got off to a good start at the tournament when the team cruised to a 76-29 victory over Darrington in the Raymond Holiday Classic on Dec. 29.
Led by 19 points from junior Ridgway, the Bulldogs grabbed an early lead and never trailed.
“We came out pretty well and were trying to be a little more aggressive on defense and breath some life back into our season,” Galloway said.
Montesano 11 9 9 17 — 46 Raymond 8 12 6 3 — 29
Montesano (46) — Ridgway 13, Winter 3, Chapman 4, Valley 3, Dierkop 10, Nicklas 3, Nicholson, Peterson 6, Burbidge, Bates, Quinn 2, Albert 2, Farmer. FG — 17-66 (.258). FT — 10-13.
Raymond (29) — Phansisay 3, Koski 6, Anderson 4, Souvannavanh 7, Hamilton 7, Collins, Sida 2, Hubbard. FG — 6-33 (.182). FT — 16-29.
Montesano 23 12 22 19 — 76
Darrington 5 7 5 12 — 29
Montesano (76) — Peterson 12, Ridgway 19, Burbidge 2, Bates 6, Winter 10, Chapman 3, Quinn 4, Albert, Farmer, Dierkop 4, Valley 8, Nichlas 8. FT — 5-11.
Darrington (29) — Maltos 2, Ross 3, McConnaughy 9, young 1, Draper 4, Soloman, Tillequots 2, Jones 3, Franke 5, Ayers, Smith. FT — 11-22.