Grays Harbor rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit en route to a 99-90 over Tacoma Community College on Saturday in Tacoma.
While the Chokers (11-6 overall, 2-0 NWAC West) shot a blistering 66& from the floor in the first half, they still trailed 45-43 at the half, largely due to an ineffective defense.
“We started extremely slow defensively,” Chokers head coach Matt Vargas admitted. “We mixed and matched line-ups and defenses — playing zone, man and pressing — then not pressing and trying to play a trapping zone. It was like watching paint dry. We just couldn’t get it going.”
After the break Grays Harbor, playing with more purpose and and energy, completed the comeback by outscoring the Titans (3-11, 0-1) by 11 points to pick up the victory.
Five players scored in double figures for a Chokers team that shot an eye-popping 68% from the field and made 19-of-20 free throws (95%) for the game.
Chokers big man Zyare Ruffin scored a team-best 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
Grays Harbor guard Michael Sampson was a perfect 10-for-10 from the field and scored 21 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Antoine Hines (14 points), Genuine Powell (12 pts.), and Zachary Marotte (10 pts.) also scored in double figures for the Chokers.
Grays Harbor also held a 33-11 advantage in bench points, a stat Vargas noted was key to the victory.
“It was a great road win. Its hard to win on the road in the NWAC, but its especially tough if you have to do it not playing your best ball,” he said. “Everyone played over five minutes that was on the bench. The bench minutes wore them down.”
Kyra Gardner’s brilliance on the basketball court continued on Saturday as the Raymond sophomore guard was a dominant presence in the Seagulls’ 52-31 win over Willapa Valley in Raymond.
Gardner scored 33 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and had seven steals to lead Raymond (11-1 overall, 9-1 Pacific 2B) to a key league victory.
Gardner was 6-of-13 from the 3-point line for a Raymond team that struggled from beyond the arc, Aside from Gardner, the rest of the Seagulls were a combined 2-for-24 from long range, a stat Raymond head coach Jason Koski was none too thrilled with.
“We were lucky to get some transition buckets because shooting 8-of-37 from the 3-point line is a disaster,” he said. “Hopefully, those shooting threes will take this game as a wake-up call and get some extra shooting in.”
As good as Gardner was on the evening, a depleted Willapa Valley team held a first-half lead. The Vikings (7-5, 6-4) were without starting point guard Brooklyn Patrick (illness) and brought a mere 11 players, junior varsity and varsity combined, after struggling with injuries and illness.
No matter as defensive-minded Willapa Valley took a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“I’ve got to give credit to Willapa Valley in the first half as they were a step or two quicker than us,” Koski said.
But Raymond turned up the defensive intensity in the second quarter and its defense turned into offense.
With Raymond leading 27-25 with 2:21 left in the third quarter, Willapa Valley turnovers led to a Seagulls’ run. By the time the start of the fourth quarter rolled around, Raymond was up by 12 points.
“The thing about Jason Koski’s teams is that they are going to defend you,” said Willapa Valley head coach John Peterson, whose team committed 18 turnovers in the game.
Peterson remained proud of his team, which made Gardner and Raymond work to score on the offensive end.
“We made (Gardner) work the whole game,” Peterson said after Gardner scored her 33 points on 31 shots. “As wounded and sick as we were, they gave me everything and for a coach that’s all you can ask for.”
Hannah Miller led Raymond with 12 rebounds, nine on the offensive glass.
Katie Adkins scored 13 points to lead Willapa Valley. The senior also grabbed eight rebounds to go along with four steals.
Cami Swartz, who returned to the lineup after being out for several games with an illness, led the Vikings with 10 rebounds.
Hoquiam 41, Castle Rock 27
Playing its second game in as many days, the Hoquiam Grizzlies got 14 points from Sharaya Brydon to beat Castle Rock 41-27 on Saturday at Castle Rock High School.
Hoquiam (2-10, 0-2 Evergreen 1A) led 13-6 after the first quarter and took control of the game by outscoring the game 14-2 in the third quarter.
“It was a good, balanced game for us,” Hoquiam head coach Chad Allan said. “We had a solid defensive effort and solid execution.”
Smiley Elders scored nine points and Sadie Carlyle added eight points for Hoquiam.
South Bend 33, Northwest Chr. 22
A big second-half run led to South Bend’s 33-22 victory over Northwest Christian on Saturday in South Bend.
Down 8-0 after the Wolverines opened the game with a run of their own, South Bend (5-7, 5-5 Pacific 2B) took off on a 22-0 run to take control of the game by halftime.
“We started flat at first and then, after changing defenses, we were able to get the floor running. … The girls stepped up when they needed to,” South Bend head coach Randy Carlson said.
Alise Rohr led South Bend with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Indians senior hit 12-for-17 free throws in the game.
Elli Capps scored 11 points for a South Bend team that had 21 steals on the evening.
BOYS PREP SWIMMING
Hockinson 93, Aberdeen 68
Traveling south to take on Hockinson in a District IV 2A dual meet, Aberdeen came through with one of its best days in the pool on Saturday — except on the scoreboard — at the Clark County Family YMCA pool in Vancouver.
Sophomore Russell Bates won two events and sophomore Colton Burns won one event, while several Bobcats dropped time and qualified for the district meet against the Hawks.
“Hockinson has a very good, young squad that I knew could test us and they did,” Aberdeen head coach Rob Burns said. “And, we responded. Russell and Colton are both coming back from illness, but had strong days, while others improved throughout. This was a very good day for the Bobcats.”
Bates cruised to the wins in the 100-yard butterfly and backstroke events, while Colton Burns held off the field in the 100 freestyle.
The duo, along with senior Brice Kola and freshman Isaac Brandt, made up the 200 freestyle relay, which was edged out on the final lap by the Hawks in one of the closest finishes of the day.
Coach Burns cited Kola and Brandt for their overall swims, as well as senior Colin Kenoyer (second in the 100 fly), junior Noah Johnson (second in the 200 free) and sophomore Jamieson Berney (second in the 100 back) for their performances.
Aberdeen will be on the road again today, this time at Timberline.
— For the Grays Harbor News Group