Hoquiam’s boys found their offense just in time to prevent Tenino from clinching the Evergreen 1A title on their home court. The Hoquiam girls’ offense was early, often and overwhelming in the first contest of a league co-ed doubleheader at Hoquiam Square Garden on Friday.
The girls showed a new starting lineup and got their regular starters in the game to kickstart a game-clinching 37-4 run to overwhelm Tenino, 57-19.
A slow first half had the home crowd murmuring about the Hoquiam boys’ offensive woes. After the second half and a defensive-minded overtime period, the Hoquiam partisans went home happy in the Grizzlies’ 64-54 overtime win over the Beavers.
Boys Grizzlies 64, Beavers 54
A slow first half offensively was matched by Hoquiam’s defensive intensity in this emotionally charged contest with Tenino. The Beavers had the opportunity to clinch the league title in front of the Grizzlies, but their high-flying offense was held to under 20, leading 19-16 at halftime.
“We started out slow, we weren’t in a flow, but we did battle back,” HHS head coach Curtis Eccles said. “We just emphasized moving the ball, finding good shots and not forcing anything. We did a lot better in the second half. The game of basketball is a game of runs. We’d get a run to get to one, then they’d push a run back up to five or six. Once we got over that hump, the confidence had a lot to do with it. When you have confidence as a shooter, your form is better and you don’t worry about anything.”
The second half was filled with offensive runs. The Grizzlies would muster little spurts and streaks to get to within one in the third and fourth quarters, led by posts Cole Smith and Jaycob Guined and guards Ronnie Espedal and Evan Newton. But every time Hoquiam (8-2, 15-3) got close, Tenino (9-1, 14-4) would feed guard Devante Harris and forward Justin Conklin for key baskets to re-establish the lead.
Hoquiam took its first lead of the game with 4 1/2 minutes left on a 3-point shot from the win by Newton, 43-41. Espedal added a trey on the next possession for a 46-41 lead, but the lead was short-lived. A 10-1 run, paced by a Conklin trey and a Ben Peterson 3-point play, gave Tenino a 51-47 advantage with 2:22 left.
Guined and Newton each got the Grizzlies tied up with offensive-rebound putbacks for a 51-51 score with 1:26 left. Both teams had chances to take the lead again, including Harris missing two 3-point shots in the final 10 seconds of regulation, but overtime beckoned.
In the extra period, Hoquiam took the lead on two free throws from Espedal in the first 15 seconds and never relinquished it. Espedal and Guined each hit inside baskets, while Tenino got a jumper from Mac Shaw and a free throw from Conklin in what would be its only points of the frame. Newton, Smith, Espedal and Guined provided the points for the margin of victory and kept Hoquiam within a whisper of the league title with two games to play.
Harris had several drives and shots during overtime, but defensive work from David Sandstrom, Rashad Lorton and Newton kept him in check and scoreless for the final 7 1/2 minutes of the game. Harris finished with a game-high 23 points.
Newton led Hoquiam with 18 points, Smith finished with a double-double — 17 points and 12 rebounds — to go with five blocked shots. Jaycob Guined added 10 points and nine rebounds and Espedal 13 points, four steals and three assists.
Girls Grizzlies 57, Beavers 19
Hoquiam used this opportunity against Tenino to give five reserves — Kelci Parker, Carli Mode, Mikaila Johnson, Bailee Bradley and Kylie Stewart — their shot at starting the contest. The group enthusiastically took the court and played even with the Beavers, who claimed a 2-1 lead with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
Then, the Grizzlies slowly put in their regular starters and business picked up. On the shooting touch of Brandi Creviston, HHS ended the quarter with a 17-0 run for a 19-3 lead. Creviston knocked down 15 of those 17 points, including three 3-pointers, in the surge and finished with a game-high 22 points.
“Once of the things we wanted to do was to give our other kids confidence, but also there is nothing like starting your first varsity game,” HHS head coach Chad Allan said. “We wanted to get some of that fun back and we lost a little bit of that over the last couple of games. They were excited and it was infectious to the other kids as well. They set the tone for us and then the other girls came in with a lot of confidence.”
All of the confidence gained in the first quarter spilled over into the second. With reserves mixing through the lineup liberally, Hoquiam pushed its advantage on every possession. The HHS pressure defense forced 12 turnovers in the second quarter alone and offensive rebounding proved beneficial for easy baskets on the other end of the court.
Once Hoquiam ran into the locker room at halftime, it owned a 39-7 lead, paced by a 20-4 quarter and a 37-4 first-half run.
The second half didn’t match the intensity of the first half for both teams. Hoquiam was able to force the 40-point mercy rule running clock on a Chelsy Stewart steal and layup with 5:55 remaining in the contest.
Reserve post Taylor Tibbetts led Tenino with 12 points.
On Tuesday, Hoquiam’s teams stay home for another co-ed doubleheader against Montesano.
Ten 3 4 8 4 — 19 Hoq 19 20 9 9 — 57
Tenino (19) — Bronson, Morales 1, Tibbetts 12, Richardson, Masters, Blosl 5, Huber, Burnham 1. FG — na. FT — 2-4.
Hoquiam (57) — Quercia 6, Parker 5, Mode 6, Rose 2, Creviston 22, C. Stewart 4, Johnson 2, Gwinn, Bradley 4, Doyle, Madison, K. Stewart 4. FG — na. FT — 8-12.
Ten 11 8 17 15 3 — 54 Hoq 5 11 13 22 13 — 64
Tenino (54) — Hammond, Peterson, Conklin 11, Egge 6, Harris 23, Shaw 7, Peterson 7. FG — 19-59. FT — 9-15.
Hoquiam (64) — Sandstrom, Espedal 13, Lorton, Newton 18, D. Kelly 1, Smith 17, Guined 10, Boulden 5, B. Kelly. FG — 21-56. FT — 18-28.