Grizzly girls open season by routing Ocosta

Chelsy Stewart and Brandi Creviston combined for 38 points as Hoquiam rolled past Ocosta, 60-9, in a non-league girls basketball opener Tuesday night at Hoquiam Square Garden.

Taking the ball to the basket with authority, senior forward Stewart led all scorers with 21 points. She also collected six rebounds and six steals.

Junior wing Creviston hit a couple of 3-point baskets in adding 17 points. Sophomore Ellie Quercia had an impressive debut as the starting point guard, finishing with 10 steals and seven assists.

The Class 1A Grizzlies capitalized on turnovers against the inexperienced 2B Wildcats, scoring the game’s opening 14 points and never looking back.

Like many schools in an era of tight budgets, Hoquiam is filling its non-league schedule with games predominantly against schools from its geographic area. The coaches differed on the value of such a lopsided contest.

“I thought we got a good test before we play a tough team like Aberdeen (Hoquiam’s next opponent), to get some kinks out,” Grizzly coach Chad Allan said. “(Ocosta) worked hard. I applaud them for their hard work. They are where we were three years ago.”

Wildcat coach Rachel Wenzel said the step up in classification sounded like a good idea when it was broached last year, but added that the disparity in size and experience soon made it apparent that the contest was unnecessary. She was hopeful, however, that her club may benefit from it in the long run.

“We are a young team and we’re trying to figure out a formula for success,” Wenzel said. “We’re not there yet.”

The Grizzlies pressed for less than half of the contest, but the Wildcats had difficulty even getting the ball beyond halfcourt during those periods. Ocosta finished with 42 turnovers, 27 of those coming in the first half.

Stewart tallied the game’s first 10 points before teammate Mikaila Johnson converted an offensive rebound and Creviston drove for a layin after a steal and feed from Stewart. That made it 14-0 with the contest less than four minutes old.

Reserve Courtney Rutzer broke the scoring ice for Ocosta by connecting from the baseline with 1:35 remaining in the first quarter.

The Grizzlies led 30-4 at the half. The 40-point running clock rule was employed at 44-4 with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter.

Creviston came up with six steals. Allan was pleased with his team’s relatively low (14) turnover total.

Rutzer topped Ocosta with six points.

The Grizzlies will host Aberdeen on Thursday. The Wildcats travel to Lake Quinault on Friday.

OCO 2 2 2 3 — 9 HOQ 17 13 23 7 — 60

Ocosta (9) — Schmeling 1, Sunde, Wingate, Jones, Christenson, Phillips 2, Saul, Rutzer 6, Poulson. FG — 4-24 (.167). FT — 1-3.

Hoquiam (60) — Quercia 4, Creviston 17, C. Stewart 21, Johnson 6, Madison, Parker 3, Mode, Rose 4, Dhooghe 2, Gwinn, Bradley 3, Doyle, K. Stewart. FG — 27-72 (.375). FT — 4-11.

JV — Hoquiam 46, Ocosta 8.