MONTESANO — With a short-handed opponent in their cross-hairs, Montesano’s boys pulled the trigger with their lethal running game Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs put on a fast-break clinic in thumping Hoquiam, 77-41, in an Evergreen 1A League boys basketball game at Bo Griffith Memorial Gym.
Inclined to run in any event, Montesano (3-1, 12-3) found an even greater opportunity to demonstrate its up-tempo style against Hoquiam. With three starters serving the final game of a two-week suspension and two reserves also sidelined due to injury and illness, the Grizzlies (1-3, 4-11) suited up only seven varsity players on Wednesday.
“We’re like ‘Hoosiers,’ ” Hoquiam coach Curtis Eccles murmured prior to the contest.
This game, however, featured a far different script than the classic movie.
The Bulldogs harassed the Grizzlies into 30 turnovers. Points off turnovers weren’t recorded, but Monte probably converted at least half of Hoquiam’s miscues into layups at the other end.
“We try to get up and down and try to make players go fast on own team and their team,” Monte coach Doug Galloway said. “Tonight, we were very fortunate (enough to do that).”
“When you only have seven players and you go against a team that likes to run, it’s tough,” Eccles elaborated. “They did a great job in transition and we ran out of gas.”
Senior guard Trevor Ridgway and sophomore guard Sam Winter, often at the business end of the fast breaks, shared Bulldog scoring honors with 17 points each. Both contributed in other areas, as Ridgway collected seven rebounds and six steals and Winter chipped in with six assists and a half-dozen steals.
L.J. Valley, who matched Winter’s three 3-point baskets, added 15 points for Montesano.
Sophomore post Matt Brown led Hoquiam with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Victor James scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half and sophomore post Rayyon Dayton had eight points and nine rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Guilty of seven turnovers in the first quarter but literally not missing a field-goal attempt for more than three minutes, Hoquiam stayed with the Bulldogs for a while.
Brown’s basket gave the Grizzlies their last lead at 13-11 at the midpoint of the opening period.
Two Monte spurts, however, settled the issue. Winter, Valley and Evan Bates each connected on 3-pointers as the Bulldogs scored the final 13 points of the first quarter.
They then turned a seven-point advantage into a 48-19 halftime bulge by reeling off 22 unanswered points to close out the first half. Ridgway and Winter scored five points apiece during that spurt.
Valley’s three-ball to open the fourth quarter triggered the 40-point running-clock mercy rule.
Reserve center Tanner Nicklas pulled down seven rebounds for Montesano.
The Grizzlies are scheduled to return to full strength Friday when they visit Tenino. Montesano travels to Seton Catholic for a non-leaguer Saturday.
Hoquiam 13 6 10 12 — 41
Monte 24 24 18 11 — 77
Hoquiam (41) — McMillan 2, Dayton 8, James 14, Bumstead, Brown 17, Larsen, Morales. FG — 13-45 (.288). FT — 13-20.
Montesano (77) — Ridgway 17, Winter 17, Valley 15, Farmer 6, Dierkop 4, Bates 9, Nicklas 3, Albert 6, Parker, Wyatt, Iverson, Johansson. FG — 29-65 (.446). FT — 11-15.
JV — Montesano 49, Hoquiam 39. Trace Ridgway 20 points for Montesano.