CHEHALIS — A quick start and a hot offensive hand was what Brandi Creviston and Hoquiam’s girls basketbal team brought to the court in what turned into a historic win over a league rival.
Taking on Evergreen 1A rival Rochester in a District IV 1A girls basketball winner-to-regionals, loser-out contest at Chehalis High School, Creviston scored 11 of her game-high 23 points in the first quarter to help Hoquiam secure a 42-33 victory on Thursday.
In 2003, Hoquiam (15-8) made its last state-format tournament appearance in Yakima, going 1-2 in the girls 2A tournament. It is also the first time Hoquiam secured a regional berth since 1987, when the Grizzlies were a 2A school.
“This is really, really big; this is the farthest we’ve gone (in the postseason) in a really long time,” Creviston said. “To think that we’re going to regionals, it is really exciting. Once I got into the offense and got going, everyone got going as well. Lately we’ve been low energy, but tonight, we were into it early and stayed high.”
“We’ve been working on our pick-and-roll offense, which hasn’t gone really smoothly until tonight,” HHS head coach Chad Allan said. “You get confidence hitting shots and the girls were confident early. We came with energy as well, forcing turnovers and running the floor. That is what excites us, gets us going. It was a game of runs and we kept making little adjustments throughout the game.”
This meeting in Chehalis was ultimately decided in the first quarter, thanks to Hoquiam’s high-post pick-and-roll offense. The Grizzlies one-two’ed their way to the basket early and the motion opened up the perimeter for Creviston, who nailed three of her first four shots from the field — two of them 3-point baskets.
Following a 3-point basket by Keeli Demers that trimmed Hoquiam’s early lead to 9-7 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the frame, the Grizzlies blitzed out to a 10-0 quarter-ending run and a 19-7 lead. Creviston bookended the run with two treys from the wings, with Chelsy Stewart and Vanessa Doyle converting inside layups.
Rochester’s Demers (team-high 13 points) and Joni Lancaster (11 points) scored seven of Rochester’s nine points in the second quarter, but couldn’t take advantage of a cooling Hoquiam offense. The Grizzlies found just enough offense for a 24-16 halftime lead.
Just as hot as Creviston was on offense after halftime, Rochester was cold in the third quarter. Creviston, Stewart and Ellie Quercia kept on picking and rolling, with forwards Doyle and Mikaila Johnson setting the screens, to move the Hoquiam offense. Creviston scored seven of the Grizzlies’ 11 points in the frame for a 35-22 lead after three.
The Warriors used their rebounding prowess to get second and third opportunities to score, but couldn’t get any of them to fall. Rochester hit the bench at the third-quarter buzzer with a 3-for-19 mark from the field. Overall, Rochester was 13-for-60 from the field.
Rochester’s cold offense never warmed up in the fourth, allowing Hoquiam to use the free-throw line — 7 of 12 — to ice the game and secure the district berth.
Coach Allan cited Quercia for her work running the offense and Johnson for setting the picks and screens that opened the perimeter for Creviston and others.
On Saturday, Hoquiam will take on Woodland in a third-fourth place seeding game at 6:30 p.m. at Chehalis.
“Now it is about tactically how to beat (Woodland) that has size on us, but plays with the same energy and style that we do,” Allan said. “Right now, I don’t remember the last time Hoquiam has been in the final 16 and we are ecstatic for the girls, who have worked very hard to get to this point. However, we’re not ready to stop.”
Roch 7 9 6 11 — 33 Hoq 19 5 11 7 — 42
Rochester (33) — Baird, Ke. Demers 13, Kes. Demers 4, Hegberg, Justice, Jo. Lancaster 11, Jae. Lancaster, Sanford, Althauser 3, Saxon, Seymour 2. FG — 13-60 (.217). FT — 6-14.
Hoquiam (42) — Bradley 1, Creviston 23, Dhooghe, Doyle 2, Johnson 6, Madison, Mode, Quercia 4, Rose, C. Stewart 6. FG — 13-44 (.295). FT — 12-19.