RAYMOND — Raymond’s shooting slump proved to be exceedingly short-lived.
Blistering the nets at a 54 percent clip, the well-balanced Seagulls thumped rival Willapa Valley with surprising ease, 66-40, in a Pacific League boys basketball showdown Thursday night at Raymond.
Junior forward Darol Ratsavongsy scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to pace a quartet of double-digit Gull scorers. Senior guard Carte Bisbee added 12 points, with senior post Andrew Hamilton and reserve guard Marvin So collecting 10 apiece.
The Gulls (5-0, 9-2) had shot less than 30 percent from the field in losing to Class 1A Montesano and Hoquiam in their holiday tournament last weekend.
A reversal of form was evident from the outset last night. Raymond hit 10-of-15 from the field in the opening quarter and cooled off only slightly thereafter.
“We were finally able to knock down some open shots. We’ve really been struggling with our shooting,” Raymond coach Mike Tully observed. “I thought that was the key, to (gain) confidence and get us rolling.”
Shooting, in fact, was the major difference in a game in which rebounding and turnovers were relatively even.
The Gulls canned 7-of-10 from 3-point range. Often missing perimeter jumpers by wide margins and experiencing difficulty converting close-in shots, Willapa Valley (4-1, 9-4) hit 29 percent of its field-goal tries and connected on only 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Valley coach John Peterson acknowledged that he didn’t expect that type of perimeter firepower from his rivals.
“Our thing was to back off and let them shoot (from the outside) and if they made them, good for them,” Peterson said. “They made them, so good for them, I guess. We weren’t aggressive at all and they were. The aggressive team won.”
The Vikings handled the ball well enough to minimize Raymond’s transition opportunities, but the half-court game suited the Gulls nicely.
Hamilton, Bisbee, So and Elliott Murdock combined to score 13 successive points as the Gulls erupted to a 19-4 lead with 1:02 remaining in the first quarter. So’s three-ball at the buzzer made it 22-7.
Valley twice reduced the deficit to seven in the second quarter, the last time at 24-17 on Stephen Camenzind’s basket midway through the period.
After Alex Sida’s layin following a Viking turnover, Ratsavongsy and Bisbee each nailed 3-pointers to restore a double-digit margin.
The Gulls led 36-20 at the half and were up by 20 late in the third quarter.
The 6-foot-3 Camenzind contributed 13 points and seven rebounds. Zach Friese came off the bench to grab six rebounds, while Brian Konigsberger blocked four shots and Cody Buchanan had four steals for the Vikings. Peterson praised the reserve play of Friese, Buchanan and Drew Pearson.
Hamilton pulled down 10 rebounds, two more than teammate Ratsavongsy. Sida dished out four assists for the Gulls.
Raymond’s hot shooting, incidentally, did not extend to the foul line. The Gulls were an abysmal 7 of 19 from the stripe.
Both teams return to action Saturday, with Raymond at Northwest Christian and Valley at South Bend.
WV 7 13 9 11 — 40 Ray 22 14 14 16 — 66
Willapa Valley (40) — Sagen 2, Konigsberger 8, Rockett 4, Camenzind 13, Heckard, Pearson 4, Friese, Buchanan 7, Ochman 2. FG — 15-51 (.294). FT — 9-18.
Raymond (66) — Bisbee 12, Newman 3, Sida 2, Ratsavongsy 18, A. Hamilton 10, So 10, Flemetis 1, Murdock 6, J. Hamilton 2, McFadden 2. FG — 26-48 (.542). FT — 7-19.
JV — Raymond 56, Willapa Valley 53.