Hutchings powers Monte girls past Hoquiam

Montesano’s girls overcome slow start to beat Hoquiam

MONTESANO — In Tuesday’s Tale of Two Halves saga at Bo Griffith Memorial Gym, Montesano’s Zoe Hutchings took the lead role in both acts.

Powered by Hutchings’ 24 points and 22 rebounds, the Bulldogs dominated the second half for a closer-than-it-appeared 64-40 win over Hoquiam in Evergreen 1A League girls basketball action.

Although the final score scarcely reflected it, the league-leading Bulldogs (4-0, 11-4) appeared to be in serious jeopardy for a half.

Shredding the Monte press and with Rylee Vonhof matching Hutchings in the paint, the underdog Grizzlies (2-2, 8-8) played some their best ball of the season in never trailing in the first half. They led 16-8 after one period and only Hutchings’ 14 points kept the Bulldogs within one (27-26) at intermission.

Although the Bulldogs shot much better in the second half, their defense was the catalyst for the turnaround.

Ineffective with their press early, they re-applied it with much more success early in the third quarter. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything to drop, shooting only 12 percent from the field in the final two quarters.

The Bulldogs blanked Hoquiam from the field for the opening 8:37 of the second half and limited the Grizzlies to four field goals in the half.

“We were playing a zone press in the first half. We switched to a man in the second half to give them a different look,” Monte coach Julie Graves said.

“The biggest thing, though, was the energy level. Night and day,” she continued. “We were two steps behind in the half and really picked it up in the second half.”

Hutchings opened the second half by converting a lob pass from Lexi Lovell for the game’s only lead change.

Then starting point guard Katie Granstrom tallied six points within a minute and Glory Grubb — a major contributor off the bench — added a jumper from the left wing to break it open at 37-28 at the 4:07 mark of the third quarter.

Montesano increased the lead to 20 (49-29) by the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

“We actually executed our game plan the way we wanted (in the first half),” Hoquiam coach Mark Maxfield noted. “The kids were moving, we were hitting our open shots and it seemed like we were getting every loose ball.

“In the second half, they clearly changed the tempo,” he added. “In the first half, I thought we played at our tempo. In the second half, we definitely played at their tempo.”

Granstrom finished with 11 points and Grubb 10 for Montesano. Lovell dished out five assists, many on lobs to Hutchings, while Samantha Stanfield pulled down seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.

The 5-10 Vonhof mustered a double-double for Hoquiam with 19 points (15 in the first half) and 15 rebounds. Sophomore Maddie German, on the mend from a recent illness, had nine rebounds for the Grizzlies.

Hoquiam visits Tenino as part of a co-ed doubleheader Friday. On Saturday, Montesano ventures east of the mountains to face state power Cashmere.

Hoquiam 16 11 2 11 — 40

Montesano 8 18 18 20 — 64

Hoquiam (40) — Jade Cox 4, Jump 8, Krohn 6, Vonhof 19, German 1, Brydon, Bagwell 2, Bogdanovich, Strom. FG — 16-64 (.250). FG — 16-64 (.250). FT — 8-21.

Montesano (64) — Granstrom 11, Hutchings 24, Lovell 6, Lisherness 5, Perkinson 4, Stanfield 2, Grubb 10, Ekerson, Mittleider 2, Miller. FG — 25-63 (.397). FT — 9-24.

JV — Montesano 56, Hoquiam 41.

Hutchings powers Monte girls past Hoquiam
Hutchings powers Monte girls past Hoquiam