The first day of games at the Raymond Co-Ed New Year’s Classic had plenty of moments to shine on Friday.
The day started with Raymond school officials wiping down the gym floor due to a leaky roof, the first game went into double overtime and everyone went home with a split for Hoquiam, Morton-White Pass, host Raymond and Montesano.
Hoquiam and Morton-White Pass’s boys teams started the day running and kept on running, hitting clutch shots to drive this anticipated opener into two overtime periods before the Grizzlies prevailed, 79-78. In the girls portion, the Timberwolves took advantage of a rough start by the Grizzlies to roll to a 47-34 victory.
For previously unbeaten Raymond, its defense came to play, but Montesano’s defense stepped up a little bigger in a 44-40 boys victory. In the girls nightcap, the Gulls flew out quickly with a 20-5 first quarter and kept flying past the Bulldogs, 58-36.
Today, Montesano’s girls will start the day against Morton-White Pass at 2 p.m., followed by the boys game. Hoquiam’s girls will take on Raymond at 5:30 p.m., then finished with the boys contest.
Boys Grizzlies 79, T-Wolves 78 (2 OT)
Other than the first quarter, when Central 2B League title-contender Morton-White Pass took a 22-13 on the strength of its trapping defense, this contest was nip, tuck and dramatic.
Evergreen 1A leaders Hoquiam used a 19-5 second quarter to erase the deficit for a 32-27 halftime lead and the two teams stayed close for the rest of the night. The Timberwolves gained a 45-43 third-quarter lead, but the Grizzlies’ Evan Newton (20 points) hit two clutch 3-point baskets in the fourth quarter to usher in a 59-59 tie after regulation.
But before overtime was reached, a mishap at the scorer’s table and the shot clock gave Morton-White Pass two free throws with 4 seconds left in the contest. Initially, the final buzzer went off when a foul call in favor of the T-Wolves was issued, but 4 seconds were brought back on the clock due to an inadvertent turned-off shot clock.
MWP freshman Kaleb Poquette missed two free throws, Hoquiam called timeout on the rebound and then missed two tries at the basket as time expired.
In the first overtime, Hoquiam’s Ronnie Espedal (26 points and six assists) and MWP’s Kalen Dunlap (game-high 32 points) took center stage. The duo scored all but two of the points in the extra frame. Dunlap’s trey, his fifth of the game, erased an Espedal 3-point play with 1:05 left in overtime to make it 64-64. Espedal hit a free throw and Dunlap nailed a mid-range jumper for a 66-65 T-Wolves lead.
Kylon Gillispie (17 points) converted two free throws with 17.6 seconds left for a 68-65 MWP lead. Hoquiam, with the last shot, saw Newton’s 3-point try miss, but got the ball back with 3.0 seconds left. After a timeout, senior Cole Smith (19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks) created a screen in the left corner for Espedal to hit a buzzer-beating trey to tie the game, 68-68.
Espedal and Smith combined for back-to-back three-point plays to start the second overtime frame, giving Hoquiam its biggest lead of the game, 74-68. Gillispie hit a 3-pointer to respond and the teams traded free throws and baskets. The Grizzlies never lost the lead, but saw it whittled down to one twice — the second time on Dunlap’s sixth and final trey of the game with 9.4 seconds left at 79-78.
Hoquiam turned the ball over on a traveling call with 5.4 seconds left, its 25th miscue of the contest, to give MWP one last try. After a timeout, the ball found its way to Rylon Kolb, who was wide open on the left wing, but his 3-point try was long at the buzzer.
“That was a great game,” HHS head coach Curtis Eccles said. “We knew coming into this tournament that we’ll face two really good teams and they haven’t lost a game yet for a reason. That (Dunlap) had our number. I can’t say enough about fighting through the adversity (in the first quarter) and taking the lead at halftime. I thought Ronnie did an exceptional job of being the leader on the floor and hitting the shots needed. These games will help us get better.”
Bulldogs 44, Gulls 40
Raymond played well defensively early in the game. The Seagulls forced eight Bulldog turnovers in the first quarter and a field goal by Andrew Hamilton put Raymond up 19-12 late in the second quarter.
After struggling to hit shots for most of the first half, Montesano found its offensive rhythm. The Bulldogs went on a 19-2 run that started with a basket by Tucker Ibabao late in the second quarter and was punctuated by a layin by Layne Bruner after a Ben Ohashi steal in the third quarter. Ibabao and Bruner each scored five points during that stretch.
“We were figuring out what they were giving us on the offensive end,” Montesano head coach Doug Schupbach said. “The kids recognized it, and once we got it inside, we got kick outs, too. That’s what we talked about at halftime, and they did a very good job at that.”
That scoring spurt put the Bulldogs up 31-21 and Montesano did not relinquish its lead after that.
After looking rather lackluster for much of the game, the Seagulls came out with a new energy in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left in the game, Darol Ratsavongsy converted a field goal that cut Montesano’s lead to 43-40. However, Raymond turned the ball over twice to end any last-second threat.
“We just didn’t have energy early; we have to play with energy,” Raymond head coach Mike Tully said. “We need to be flying all over the court, and we weren’t able to do it in the first three quarters. We found our rhythm a bit in the fourth quarter, but it was just too late. We dug ourselves too big of a hole.”
Girls Gulls 58, Bulldogs 36
Raymond converted 14 of its 29 field goal attempts in the first half to build a 33-15 halftime advantage. Courtney Haigan led the offensive charge for the Gulls, scoring 11 of her game-high 16 points in the first half.
“We got the ball in the right people hands,” Raymond head coach Jon Schray said. “Something that we have really been working on is knowing our roles as a team, and focusing on what our individual strengths are, and I think we really did well at that tonight.”
The Bulldogs made just three shots from the field in the first half. Montesano actually outscored Raymond in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs never got closer than 16 points of the Gulls.
“The last time that we played Raymond, we got killed on the inside late in the game, but we were right with them through the first three quarters. We tried to start out in a zone, but they hit so many shots from the outside to start the game, and that it just put us in a hole,” Montesano head coach Julie Graves said. “They came out and hit their shots in the beginning, and we didn’t. That was a big difference in the game.”
T-Wolves 47, Grizzlies 33
A rough start for Hoquiam never got better against a slow-starting, fast-moving Morton-White Pass squad on Friday night.
The Timberwolves claimed a shaky 8-3 lead after the first quarter, then found their offense inside from Ashley Kelly (11 points) and Lina Hieronymi (game-high 13 points) to push out to a 23-10 halftime score. Brandi Creviston had six of Hoquiam’s 10 points in the first half.
Despite outscoring the T-Wolves, 9-6, in the third quarter, the Grizzlies could only get as close as 10 points for the remainder of the contest.
“Yeah, we didn’t show up to play,” HHS head coach Chad Allan said. “With the holiday break, that is not the team we are. We didn’t show any motivation to come out and improve, so now we have decisions to make. We didn’t have it tonight, but we have it (Saturday) to come out and change that.”
Chelsy Stewart led HHS with 11 points, eight of them coming in the fourth quarter, and Creviston and Ellie Quercia each finishing with eight points.
Hoq 13 19 11 16 9 11 — 79 MWP 22 5 18 14 9 10 — 78
Hoquiam (79) — Sandstrom 3, Espedal 26, Newton 20, Kelly, Parker 7, Smith 19, Guined, Boulden 2, Brydon 2. FG — 29-42. FT — 13-17.
Morton-White Pass (78) — Poquette 9, Gillispie 17, Kolb 12, Walton 2, Dunlap 32, Counts 2, Reynolds, Eveland 4. FG — 30-49. FT — 7-13.
Monte 10 10 15 9 – 44 Ray 11 8 6 15 – 40
Montesano (44) – Ibabao 12, Rogers 4, Ohashi 1, Roy 13, Smith, Nelson 2, Usher 3, Bruner 9, Jensen. FG – 17-49 (.347). FT – 6-17.
Raymond (40) – So 6, Bisbee 8, Newman, Sida, Ratsavongsy 14, Hamilton 12. FG – 16-65 (.246). FT – 2-10.
MWP 8 15 6 18 — 47 Hoq 3 7 9 14 — 33
Morton-White Pass (47) — Elledge 6, Atkinson 7, Kelly 11, Allen 3, King, Hieronymi 13, Robbins 7, Eveland. FG — 17-46. FT — 8-12.
Hoquiam (33) — Quercia 8, Parker 2, Rose, Creviston 8, C. Stewart 11, Johnson, Bradley, Doyle, Madison 4, K. Stewart. FG — 14-46. FT — 3-4.
Monte 5 10 11 10 – 36 Ray 20 13 9 16 – 58
Montesano (36) – FG – Floch 8, Nuckols 6, Choate 10, Ostwald 3, Miller 4, Kloempken 2, Malizia 3. FG — 10-51 (.196). FT – 16-25.
Raymond (58) – Williams 14, Boyes 3, Garcia 7, Hagain 16, Maneman 13, Karlsvik 4, Oatfield 1. FG – 21-51 (.412). FT – 11-16.