Keyed by a defense that created multiple turnovers and extra offensive chances, Montesano earned an impactful 60-48 victory over Elma on Jan. 22 at Elma High School.
Leading 23-20 midway through the second quarter, Montesano used its half-court trap to go on an 11-2 run just before the half. Monte’s run included three straight possessions where the Bulldogs would score, get a steal at halfcourt, then convert on the other end, capped by a Braden Dohrmann 3-pointer that extended Monte’s lead to 34-22 with a minute, 21 seconds remaining and forced an Elma timeout.
Elma’s Raiden Aho followed with a baseline jump shot to halt the run as Elma faced a 34-24 halftime deficit.
The Bulldogs carried the momentum after the break, scoring four quick points to take a 38-24 lead.
But Elma found some success against Monte’s 2-3 zone by feeding the ball to Brady Johnston in the high-post. Johnston scored six points in the paint and found open Elma shooters as the Eagles clawed their way back into the game in the third quarter.
Aho hit a three from the corner and was followed by a Johnston bucket down low 30 seconds later as Elma cut Monte’s lead to 42-36 with 2:10 left in the frame.
The teams traded baskets as the Bulldogs took a 44-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
Much like they did in the third quarter, Monte opened the fourth with another run, this time fostered by a relentless pursuit on the offensive boards. The Bulldogs took a commanding 56-41 lead after a 12-2 run after four consecutive Elma possessions produced three turnovers and a missed 3-pointer.
Monte freshman Wesley Bjornsgard gave the Bulldogs the 15-point lead after scoring his sixth point of the run, scoring on the inside after multiple offensive rebounds.
Elma’s Sawyer Witt and Aho were able to hit a 3-pointer each down the stretch, but it was too little, too late for Elma as Monte took the 60-48 victory and a two-game lead in the race for the top spot in the Class 1A Evergreen League.
“Those runs were huge,” Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said. “Anytime in sports you can get a little bit of momentum, it really helps that team out. I just wanted to ride that momentum as long as I possibly could with the kids so I probably didn’t sub as much as I normally do, but when you get in those runs you dance with what brought you there. … I just tried to do as little as possible to mess things up.”
Cole Daniels led Monte with 16 points and went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line for a Monte team that had an solid night at the charity stripe, hitting 11-of-14 (79%) in the game.
Bjornsgard added 10 points for Monte, six of those coming in the Bulldogs’ 16-point fourth quarter.
Aho and Canon Seaberg led Elma with 11 points each followed by Johnston, who scored 10 points for the Eagles.
With the victory, Monte stays perfect in league play and holds a two-game lead over Elma and Forks, who are tied for second with 2-2 league records.
“When you are in a high school basketball game, if you can win the rebounding battle, you have a good chance at winning the game and I think our kids are getting better at that,” Galloway said.
Montesano 71, Hoquiam 42
For one half, the Hoquiam Grizzlies banged and battled with the Montesano Bulldogs well enough to keep the game close.
Montesano then decided enough was enough right before halftime.
The Bulldogs closed the first half on an 8-0 run then scored 28 points in the third quarter to leave the Grizzlies in the rearview mirror of a 71-42 Monte win on Friday in Hoquiam.
Hoquiam tied the game early in the second quarter after holding Monte to just 16 points through the first 11 minutes of the game.
The Grizzlies took a 22-18 lead when Dane McMillan hit a 3-pointer with approximately three minutes left in the half.
But the Bulldogs found their rhythm midway after that, finishing the period on an 8-0 run that included 3-pointers from Braden Dohrmann and Carter Olsen to take a 26-22 lead into halftime.
“That final two minutes of the second quarter you could tell a little bit of fatigue set in on our guys,” Hoquiam head coach Curtis Eccles said. “And that continued in the third quarter.”
After the half, Monte put to rest any notion of a Hoquiam upset. The Bulldogs found an extra gear, outscoring the Grizzlies 28-12 in the quarter as two Monte shooters heated up.
Olsen and teammate Cole Daniels each caught fire in the period. Olsen hit three 3-point shots while Daniels added eight points in the third, including going 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.
By the time the quarter ended, Monte held a commanding 55-34 lead.
“Hoquiam played a heck of a first half of basketball. They played physical, strong, smart and shot the ball well,” Montesano head coach Doug Galloway said. “In the second half, we wanted to come out and be aggressive … and we were hoping to hit a couple of jumpers. And in the second half, we did hit a few jumpers.”
In the third quarter, Monte shot lights out. The Bulldogs were 9-for-20 from the field, including 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, and hit all five of their free-throw attempts.
Monte’s lead swelled to as much as 29 points at 68-39 after both teams had emptied their respective benches.
Olsen led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including hitting five 3-point shots.
Daniels added 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Braden Dohrmann added 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting for the Bulldogs.
Hoquiam was led by Cameron Bumstead, who scored 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
Zach Elsos scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds for a Grizzlies team that was outrebounded 42-32.
Elma 65, Mossyrock 32
The Elma Eagles started off Friday’s game against Mossyrock on the right foot, quickly earning an 18-point lead in the first quarter en route to a 65-32 road win.
Elma jumped out to a 23-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended the advantage to 41-16 by halftime, thanks in large part to a huge advantage in turnovers.
The Eagles’ defense forced 30 turnovers while giving up the ball just seven times on offense in the contest.
Elma also held a big advantage in rebounding, grabbing 42 boards compared with 27 for the Vikings, including a 21-3 edge in offensive rebounding.
Though Elma only scored six points in the third quarter, the Eagles responded with an 18-point fourth.
“We started out well and pressured them,” Eagles head coach Jeff Niemi said. “We weren’t really happy with a lackluster third quarter but we bounced back and played well in the fourth.”
Brady Johnston led Elma with 16 points followed by Nick Church, who had 12 points.
Taholah 62, Mary M. Knight 52
Tommy Underwood hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points to lead the Taholah Chitwhins to a 62-52 victory over the Mary M. Knight Owls on Jan. 22 at Mary M Knight High School.
“When you need a big shot, he’s the man,” Taholah head coach Tyler Crossguns said of Underwood before turning his attention to the competitiveness both teams put on display. “It was a very good game from both sides.”
James Orozco added 18 points as Taholah outscored MMK 21-9 in the second quarter to seize control of the game.
Izaiah Compton led the Owls with 28 points.