After dominating the first quarter on both sides of the ball, Hoquiam withstood a strong second-half push by North Beach to register a 54-36 non-league victory at Hoquiam Square Garden on Monday night.
Led by a game-high 24 points from Chelsy Stewart, the Grizzlies (4-1) got the game started right. The senior guard scored inside on Hoquiam’s first possession, then stole the ball back for a layup for a 4-0 lead 40 seconds into the game.
Those two quick buckets sparked an opening 16-0 run, with Stewart scored 12 points during that stretch. It took North Beach the entire quarter to get onto the scoreboard — Koral Frost’s free throw with no time on the clock ended the quarter at 16-1.
“We communicated well, and had great energy during that stretch,” Hoquiam head coach Chad Allen said. “The girls came out and really executed what we wanted to do with a lot of high energy.”
After trailing 32-14 at halftime, the Hyaks (2-3) looked like a different team in the third quarter.
North Beach opened the second half with a 15-4 run that was sparked by an old fashioned 3-point play by Wakeena DeLaCruz within the first minute of the half. A 3-pointer by Marya Pope with just under three minutes left in the third quarter cut Hoquiam’s lead to 36-29, the slimmest margin since early in the first quarter.
“We have had a little bit of trouble in our last few games getting too hyped at the start of game,” North Beach head coach Peter Fry said. ”We’re working to try to get past that and be able to slow the game down in our minds, take care of the basketball and remember our fundamentals. Once we were able to slow the game down a little bit, we played a lot better.”
After cutting the Hoquiam lead to seven points, North Beach would not be able to get any closer. The hosts closed the game on a 13-3 run that started with two consecutive field goals by Olivia Rose early in the fourth quarter. Stewart led the Grizzlies in scoring during that stretch with five points.
“I thought in the first quarter we played well offensively and defensively, and then we just didn’t quite flow as well as the game went on,” Allen added. “Give it to North Beach for coming back and not giving up. We knew that they would. We knew they had it in them. They were able to withstand our run, then they made their run. But I’m proud of our girls for making their own run at the end.”
In addition to being the only Grizzly to score in double digits, Stewart contributed on the defensive end by recording seven steals.
“Chelsy has a lot of tools, and we haven’t even seen a lot of them yet,” said Allen of his leading scorer. “She is asked to do a lot of things on the defensive end, guarding the toughest offensive people. So I think that’s a great attribute, too. She can do double duty.”
Quay Sotomish, who transferred from Hoquiam to North Beach last year, led the Hyaks in scoring with 10 points.
“Quay stepped her game up for us tonight on the offensive side,” Fry said. “And on the defensive side we asked her to be a lot of different places. She answered the call for that. She adds athleticism. She adds a threat in transition. We are really excited to have her here. I would also mention that she is very coachable, very respectful, and great kid. Any time you have a kid like that, and couple it with her kind of athleticism, you’ve got yourself a winner.”
Today, North Beach hosts Naselle. On Friday, Hoquiam tips off Evergreen 1A play at home against Rainier.
NB 1 13 17 5 – 36 Hoq 16 16 9 13 – 54
North Beach (36) – Sotomish 10, Pinnel, Garman 4, Pope 3, Delarcruz 7, Grossi, Frost 3, Schreiber, Shale 8, Pope 1. FG – 11-39 (.282). FT – 12-20
Hoquiam (54) – Quercia 6, Parker, Rose 5, Dhooghe 2, Creviston 9, Stewart 24, Johnson 2, Bradley 2, Doyle 4, Madison. FG – 20-65 (.308). FT – 11-13.
JV – Hoquiam 48, North Beach 7.