At the halfway point of the 1A Evergreen League schedule, we have a two-way tie, after Montesano knocked Hoquiam down a rung in the standings on Friday.
Montesano and Forks have 4-1 records after Friday night’s action with Hoquiam on their heels at 3-2. The final two weeks of the regular season should be filled with intrigue, beginning Friday when Hoquiam travels to take on Montesano in a game with major league implications.
Here’s a look at recent action from around the Twin Harbors as the winter sports season hits the home stretch.
After Montesano allowed Hoquiam to mount a fourth-quarter comeback in the first meeting of the season, Bulldogs guard Evan Bates was determined to get the win in the rematch.
Bates scored 24 points to lift the Bulldogs over Hoquiam on Friday in Montesano.
“I had butterflies coming into this game, but they were the good type of butterflies. I was ready,” he said. “We were practicing hard all last week. We did let one slip, but we weren’t going to let that happen again.”
Montesano (10-7 overall, 4-1 Evergreen 1A) grabbed some steals early on to get the transition game going, which resulted in the Bulldogs starting the first quarter on a 9-0 run.
Hoquiam (7-9, 3-2) normally relies on Matt Brown and Rayyon Dayton to shoulder the load offensively, but Montesano used the tandem of Tanner Nicklas and Shaydon Farmer to slow down the Grizzlies’ leading scorers.
Dayton and Brown scored 13 and seven points, respectively.
Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said he was impressed with the way his defenders handled themselves in the interior.
“They have two very good big men and you always have to be aware of them because they can beat you up really quick,” he said. “Our focus was to not let them get off to a good start. I thought our bigs played pretty well against them.”
Montesano (10-7, 4-1) had success contesting shots in the paint and also made it difficult to get the ball into the post. Hoquiam tuned the ball over 21 times, eight of them coming in passes to the interior.
The combination of turnovers and hot shooting from Montesano helped give the Bulldogs a 39-15 halftime lead.
Hoquiam head coach Curtis Eccles was disappointed with his team’s ball movement and is hoping they can correct some of those issues in practice.
Montesano outscored Hoquiam, 17-11, in the third frame. Hoquiam shot 2-for-8 in the third quarter while Montesano shot 4-for-12 to give the Bulldogs a 56-26 lead heading into the fourth.
The win puts Montesano in a tie for first in league with Forks, which won its matchup with Tenino on Friday night.
Hoquiam falls to third place in the league standings with the loss and had a shot to bounce back with a game against Elma on Wednesday, which ended too late for this edition.
The Bulldogs played Tenino on Tuesday, but that game ended too late for this edition..
Bates said the Bulldogs are starting to peak at the right time with just three games left on the regular season schedule.
“We have a lot of momentum, and we’re playing well. We’re seeing the court well and we’re getting a lot of good looks for each other offensively,” he said. “We’re also getting good looks for our bigs, which is something that I don’t think we did earlier in the year. I’m excited for these next three games before playoffs.”
Klahowya 43, Elma 42
Turnovers proved costly for the Elma Eagles in a 43-42 loss to the Klahowya Eagles on Friday at Klahowya High School.
Despite holding a large rebounding margin (40-22) and shooting for a higher percentage (33 percent to 22 percent), Elma was unable to hold on to a 33-24 third-quarter lead and was outscored by 10 over the final eight minutes of the game.
“(We) dominated the boards, but turned it over way too many times,” Elma head coach Jeff Niemi said. “Some were us making poor passes, some were results of very physical play in the fourth quarter. They got back into the game from us turning it over and getting to the line.”
Further complicating matters for Elma (1-15, 0-4), they were playing without starting point guard Christian de la Concha (no reason provided) and had three players foul out in the fourth quarter.
“We missed (de la Concha’s) ball handling, but lots of kids stepped up and played hard,” Niemi said.
One of those kids was Brady Johnston, who led Elma with 11 points to go with four rebounds.
Cody Vollan also had a solid game for Elma, scoring eight points to go with 12 rebounds on the evening.
Carter Jacobson, Cobey Moore and Josiah Jones-Wyeth scored six points apiece for Elma.
Elma faced league rival Hoquiam on Wednesday, but the game ended too late to make this edition.
Montesano 71, Elma 47
Montesano’s balanced offense produced three scorers in double figures as the Bulldogs grounded the Elma Eagles on Jan. 16 in Montesano.
Senior forward Shaydon Farmer led the way for Monte with 12 points.
Juniors Carter Olson and Tanner Nicklas scored 11 and 10 points for Monte, respectively.
The Bulldogs shot 28-for-60 from the field (47 percent) and had built up a 14-point lead at the half (34-20).
Eagles senior co-captain Carter Jacobson scored a game-high 20 points to pace Elma.
Mary M. Knight 47
James Dan hit seven 3-pointers to lead the hot-shooting Taholah Chitwhins to a 69-47 victory over Mary M. Knight on Friday in Elma.
Dan led all scorers with 24 points on the evening, but Taholah (10-3, 6-0 Coastal 1B) also got a big game from co-captain James Orozco, who was right behind Dan with 23 points on the evening.
Taholah, which was down 29-25 at halftime, made the tweaks needed after the break to pick up the win.
“We went into the locker room and moe our offensive adjustments,” Chitwhins head coach Tyler Crossguns said. “Our defense picked up in the second half.”
Taholah’s 6-foot-3 center Eli Waugh led the way for the Chitwhins defensively, grabbing 12 rebounds while rejecting six Owls shots.
The Chitwhins also swiped 15 steals from Mary M. Knight.