Grizzly girls use defense to trigger win over South Bend

Chad Allan wasn’t kidding when he said defense would have to provide the spark for Hoquiam’s girls basketball team.

Limiting South Bend to seven field goals and cashing in on 26 Tribe turnovers, the Grizzlies rolled to a 50-29 non-league victory Monday night at Hoquiam Square Garden.

Senior wing Chelsy Stewart tallied 20 points as the Grizzlies improved to 2-1.

This was a far more competitive game than the score indicated. Bothered by South Bend’s zone defense, the Grizzlies struggled mightily in the half-court offense.

They converted enough transition opportunities, mostly off steals, to finally take control in the third quarter. Hoquiam also dominated the glass in the second half.

“We still have not proven we are an offensive-flow team, so we have to rely on defense to create a portion of our offense,” HHS coach Chad Allan said. “Defense is obviously going to keep us in the game until we figure things out offensively.”

Despite turning it over on its opening seven possessions, South Bend (1-1) hung tough for the first half. Attacking the basket well to draw fouls and frustrating the Grizzlies defensively, the Indians owned a 13-12 lead on Katlyn Sawyer’s layin with 4:59 remaining in the second quarter and were tied at 16 when Sierra Cearns sank a couple of foul shots at the 2:44 mark.

Hoquiam’s Mikaila Johnson turned an offensive rebound into a conventional three-point play and Stewart hit from inside the key, however, to give the Grizzlies a 24-18 halftime lead.

Following a Makenzie Russell basket to open the second half, the Indians went scoreless for the next four minutes. The Grizzlies opened a 30-20 lead on Stewart’s jumper from the right wing and were never seriously challenged thereafter.

“When we had the breakdown in the last 2 1/2 minutes (of the first half), it cut us pretty deep,” South Bend coach Gary Wilson said. “We got into foul trouble and we never did recover.”

In addition to its turnover trouble, South Bend shot a glacial 17 percent from the field.

Hoquiam wing Brandi Crevision added 11 points, while sophomore point guard Ellie Quercia added six rebounds and five steals. Stewart came up with six steals, while reserve Bailee Bradley pulled down six rebounds.

Allan cited Tiffani Dhooghe and Vanessa Doyle for their energy off the bench.

Sawyer topped South Bend with nine points and 10 rebounds. Reserve Kessa Wilson contributed seven rebounds.

Both teams return to action tonight, with Hoquiam traveling to Centralia and South Bend hosting Rochester.

SB 9 9 7 4 — 29

Hoq 9 15 12 14 — 50

South Bend (29) — Cearns 5, Sanchez 4, Russell 6, Sawyer 9, Curtis 5, Wilson, Myers, Black, Patterson, Funkhouser. FG — 7-41 (.171). FT — 15-24.

Hoquiam (50) — Quercia 4, Creviston 11, C. Stewart 20, Johnson 5, Madison, Parker 2, Rose 4, Dhooghe, Gwinn, Bradley, Doyle 4, K. Stewart. FG — 18-66 (.272). FT — 12-22.

JV — Hoquiam 48, South Bend 28.