Hoquiam’s girls put together the offensive production of the night, shaking off Thursday night’s emotional victory over Aberdeen midway through the second quarter to pull away from pesky Forks in the first contest of an Evergreen 1A co-ed doubleheader at Hoquiam Square Garden on Friday.
The Grizzlies used a definitive 29-9 run that spanned the second, third and fourth quarters to knock off the Spartans, 45-28, in the girls contest.
The Hoquiam and Forks boys teams put down an impressive defensive showcase that buried the opposition’s offensive plans. The host Grizzlies didn’t hit double-digit scoring until midway through the third quarter before the Spartans prevailed, 29-20.
On Tuesday, Hoquiam’s teams will travel to Rochester for another co-ed doubleheader.
This game is one for the statistician’s books and it highlighted two defensive teams.
Hoquiam finished 4-for-43 (.093) from the field overall, including one field goal scored by Forks’ Mark Jacobson inadvertently on an inbounds play with 1:12 left in the contest. Senior Cole Smith converted two field goals in the first quarter and the Grizzlies didn’t score another field goal until Blake Kelly’s offensive-rebound putback with 4:54 left in the fourth.
In between, the Grizzlies were 12-for-23 from the free-throw line, including 6-for-13 in the second and third quarters to account for all of HHS’ scoring in the frames.
Forks was a little bit better on offense, hitting 11-for-41 (.268) from the field and 6-for-14 from the free-throw line. The Spartans had 26 turnovers, the Grizzlies had 24 miscues and Forks outrebounded Hoquiam, 41-34.
With all of that, Hoquiam was in the game until the final three minutes when Forks hit a game-closing 7-2 run. The Grizzlies’ final basket came from the Spartans’ Jacobson.
“If there is any bright spot, it was on defense; we held our own there,” a shell-shocked HHS head coach Curtis Eccles said. “That was the only bright side tonight. It was one of the worst offensive performances I’ve seen from a team. We are so much better than that. I know we are, but we didn’t prove that tonight. (Forks) did a great job on defense tonight; they’re one of the best defensive teams in the league and it showed.”
“Kudos to my kids, because it is easy to tell them to collapse on Cole Smith, but it is entirely different to actually do it,” Forks head coach Rick Gooding said. “He’s a stud. Having Ronnie (Espedal) injured, I have to give him credit for coming out and playing hard. If Hoquiam hits a couple of those shots, it is a different game plan. If you can find a way to come into this house and scrap through (a win), that’s on the kids.”
Espedal was slowed by a broken toe and a sprained ankle.
Forks’ plan to collapse on Smith and post Alex Boulden worked out better and was executed better than expected. Hoquiam had trouble getting the ball into its big men and its perimeter shooters had trouble finding open looks for shots. Once the Spartans saw that the Grizzlies’ shooters were cold, they switched to a zone defense and never got out of it.
While the offense sputtered, Hoquiam’s defense picked up the slack. Forcing turnovers on the perimeter and keeping posts Jacobson, Leo Gonzales and Braden Decker occupied, the Grizzlies kept the game close for that one chance of an offensive explosion. It never came. Jacobson led all scorers with 12 points for Forks. David Sandstrom, who was credited with Jacobson’s own-field goal, led Hoquiam with eight points. Smith finished with six points and four blocks before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.
Rolling on an emotional high of beating rival Aberdeen, Hoquiam suffered a crash in the first 1 1/2 quarters of this contest against Forks. The Spartans stayed close on their defensive efforts, methodically ran their plays and forced a 13-13 tie with five minutes left in the first half.
Slowly, but surely, the Grizzlies crawled back into their high-energy offensive sets. A free throw here, an offensive-rebound putback there and a first-half ending 11-2 run greeted the hosts with a 24-15 halftime margin. Two field goals from Ellie Quercia, a free throw from Bailee Bradley and a 3-point conversion by Brandi Creviston, off a Quercia assist, ended the first half.
“Once again, our nemesis is energy,” HHS head coach Chad Allan said. “From last night’s emotional win, they gave a lot coming back for a second night. We weren’t there and needed to calm down. We mustered some more energy, moved a few players around to give people rest and ran some plays to calm things down. They worked very hard last night. Tonight, there was some carry-over lag, but the girls stuck with it, stayed together and made little runs to get that energy back.”
A 10-3 third quarter by Hoquiam, powered on Quercia and Olivia Rose drives to the basket and free throws from the duo, solidified the contest. The Grizzlies also forced a game-high eight turnovers from the Spartans and were running up and down the court.
Creviston paced the fourth-quarter offense, hitting 6-of-7 free throws in the frame and shared game-high honors with Quercia with 11 points each. Rose added 10 points and seven rebounds. Bradley added seven rebounds.
Forks 8 7 3 10 — 28 Hoq 13 11 10 11 — 45
Forks (28) — Sheriff-Penn, Paul 2, Raben 9, Price 9, Weekes, Williams 6, Flores 2. FG — 11-41 (.268). FT — 6-12.
Hoquiam (45) — Quercia 11, Parker, Mode, Rose 10, Creviston 11, Stewart 4, Johnson 2, Bradley 1, Madison 2, K. Stewart 4. FG — 14-60 (.233). FT — 16-25.
Forks 9 6 5 9 — 29 Hoq 5 3 3 9 — 20
Forks (29) — Raben 5, Abrahams, Gilmore, Harris, Decker 6, Hatch 4, Jacobson 12, Gonzales 2. FG — 11-41 (.268).FT — 6-14.
Hoquiam (20) — Sandstrom 8, Espedal 2, Lorton, Newton 2, D. Kelly, B. Kelly 2, Smith 6, Guined, Boulden, Brydon. FG — 4-43 (..093). FT — 12-23.
JV — Hoquiam 67, Forks 24. Jake Oliver 21 points for HHS.